How to Exercise in the Heat

Exercising is an important activity that a lot of us do in order to stay fit and healthy. Most people that exercise would usually do it in the morning when they will also be able to get vitamin D from the direct sunlight outdoors. Vitamin D is a nutrient that can help in absorbing and retaining calcium, which is important for making the bones stronger and more durable. So, when you exercise in the morning, you will be able to not only strengthen your muscles but also strengthen your bones.

However, there will be times when the sunlight and the temperature outdoors can be so hot, so exercising outside can feel much more tiring and uncomfortable. While there are some of us that can just exercise indoors during hotter days, there are also some that have no choice but to exercise outdoors due to the lack of gym equipment at home or not having enough space at home for gym equipment. For those people that want to brave the hotter weather outside, here are some tips for exercising safely in the heat.

Stay Hydrated

plastic water bottle

The blazing heat outdoors will most likely make you sweat a lot, and if you don’t drink water while exercising, then you might pass out from dehydration since you don’t replenish the amount of sweat that your body produces. So, in order to avoid dehydration, you should drink plenty of water while exercising outdoors. 

You can just bring an ordinary water bottle during your morning exercise sessions, or you can bring a water flask or a small water jug so that you will have much more water ready. Moreover, you may also want to consume sports drinks, which usually have electrolytes that can help prevent excessive sweating and dehydration.

Have a Cold Shower Before Exercising

 having a cold shower

Having a cold shower before exercising under the heat can be very beneficial for your body. The cold shower will make your body temperature lower, which will then prevent overheating since it would take a while before your body resets to normal temperature. 

If you are going to work out in the morning, we highly recommend that you take a shower at around 4 AM or 5 AM so that you will already be ready to exercise by 5:30 AM. Don’t forget to eat a healthy breakfast so that you will have plenty of energy, and also remember to dry your hair before going to keep your scalp healthy.

Start as Early as Possible

If the weather forecasts have predicted that the day will be hot in your area, you may need to start exercising as early as possible so that you won’t have to deal with extreme temperatures once the sun has already risen. You should start getting used to exercising very early in the morning, particularly from 5 AM to 6 AM, although this may be very difficult to do immediately, especially if you are already used to exercising at a much later time. 

You can start slow by just trying to wake up at 5 AM one day, and then you can try to wake up at 6 AM or 7 AM the next day so that you don’t have to force yourself to wake up super early every day. Then, once you are used to waking up at 5 AM, you can then try to wake up at that time each day. This process would surely be worth it, as you will be able to work out at an optimum time that doesn’t feel too hot or too cold.

Wear Lightweight and Breathable Clothing

lightweight running gear

In order for your body to not overheat too quickly, you should wear lightweight and breathable clothing that allows your body to flow more freely and cool off much easier. Wearing shorts is much more appropriate for hot temperatures instead of jogging pants, as shorts cover fewer areas of your lower body and thus allow those areas to get more air. Sleeveless shirts are also ideal for wearing due to the same reason, as they cover fewer areas of the upper body.

In addition to being lightweight and breathable, the color of what you’re wearing for the morning exercise is also very important, as it determines how much heat it can absorb, which would then make your clothes much hotter when they come in contact with direct sunlight. You should wear colors that reflect heat and sun rays better, and these colors are usually lighter in color. Avoid wearing darker colors since they would often absorb more heat and will make your body overheat faster.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

applying sunscreen

To keep your skin healthy and protected while exercising in the heat and under direct sunlight, you should never forget to put on sunscreen before and during a workout. Without sunscreen, your skin will easily get sunburnt. Sunburn can damage skin cells and blood vessels, and when you constantly suffer from this condition, you will have a higher risk of getting skin cancer.

So, wearing or applying sunscreen is very important if you are going to exercise in the morning outdoors. Choose a sunscreen product that has a high SPF (sun protection factor), preferably SPF 50 or higher. Then, two hours after applying the sunscreen, you should reapply it if you are not done yet with your workout.

Take It Easy

If the temperature outdoors is high, you should try to take it easy when it comes to exercising outside, as pushing yourself too hard can be dangerous, as you will still be prone to overheating even if you have followed the tips we have already provided above. You should only exercise for 30 minutes to an hour, although you can go for a much shorter time if you feel like your body can’t really handle the heat. Pay attention to your body and know when to stop exercising so that you won’t overheat and pass out.

Exercising in the heat would allow you to burn more calories, but there are certain risks involved in performing this activity. To avoid those risks, follow the tips we have provided, as they will help in making your morning exercise safer, more comfortable, and more fun.