The Safest Workouts In The Heat Will Help You Stay Calm, Cool, & Collected This Summer
Working out in the thick of summer can be uncomfortable as hell, mainly because it feels like the devil himself is seductively licking you with his tongue as the humidity encapsulates your entire being and sweat pours down every available crevice of your body. But along with feeling uncomfy AF during summer workouts, it can actually be pretty dangerous to exercise in the heat if you don't take the necessary precautions. There are, however, ways to protect your body, as well as a few safe workouts to do in the heat, so you can avoid any potential risks that come with sweating it out during the dog days of summer.
Dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and electrolyte imbalances are just a few of the scary things that can happen if you don't take the right steps before working out in the heat. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, a balance of water and electrolytes is crucial to your body's equilibrium, especially when it's really hot outside and you're sweating your butt off. It's recommended that you stay hydrated with lots of H2O by making sure you're sipping every 15 minutes, according to ACTIVE.com, even if you don't feel thirsty in the moment. Be sure to keep hydrating after your workout, too, either with more water, or with an electrolyte-boosting drink like Gatorade, so your body can replenish the fluids it lost during the actual exercise.
Additionally, Cleveland Clinic recommends wearing as little restrictive clothing as possible on those stuffier days, exercising during the cooler parts of the day (aka morning or evening), and remembering to slow down — in other words, a challenging HIIT circuit packed with burpee exercises maybe isn't the best idea when it's over 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside, you feel me?
If you decide to take your workout outside on one of those hotter days this summer, be sure to keep these tips in mind to stay safe under the sun (and don't forget that sunscreen!). And if you're wondering how to slow down and keep cool, here are five exercises to help you stay safe in the heat.
Find A Shady Tree For A Cooling Yoga Flow
Restorative, slow, cooling yoga flows are a great way to keep your mind calm and your body cool during the summer months when temperatures spike. Yoga can literally cool your body down because, according to DOYOUYOGA, the deep breathing techniques that you focus on during a rejuvenating yoga flow control the prana, or "energy force," within your body. During the summer, these energy fields tend to get more heated, but through breath control and cooling postures, you can stimulate the cooler energy fields within you.
Roll out your mat under a spacious, shady tree, and try flowing through some poses and breathing exercises that will cool you down from head to toe. Then, take a lengthy, luxurious savasana, and remember to replenish with lots of water after you're done.
Cool Down With A Dip In The Pool
Whether you have access to a pool at home, at your local gym, or on a friend's rooftop, swimming is an incredible form of exercise that will keep you nice and cool during the summer months. According to the Better Health Channel, squeezing in a few laps here and there is a low-impact form of cardio, meaning it's kind to your joints, and even kinder on both your mental and physical stress levels.
Try swimming laps or other fun pool workouts to challenge your body without breaking too much of a sweat. But remember, just because you're probably not sweating as much in the water, doesn't mean you should skimp out on the hydration. According to The Arizona Republic, though you're technically surrounded by water and don't feel like you're perspiring in any way, you definitely still are — and it can take as little as 30 minutes to become dehydrated in a pool, due to the warm air and humidity surrounding you.
Make sure you're hydrating throughout the day, as well as drinking water about a half hour prior to your swim, the news outlet suggests. Try to remember to sip periodically between laps, as well, whenever you're thirsty, and generously after — stay safe out there, fam.
Run Through Some Sprinklers During Your Jog
One of my personal, favorite ways to stay cool during an outdoor summer workout is, if I'm going for a run, to try to jog through every single sprinkler I come across on my path. Yes, I'm a kid at heart, but it's so much fun, not to mention so refreshing and cooling for the body.
However, according to Fox News, what you want to keep in mind for outdoor runs in the summer (sprinklers or no sprinklers) is the heat index. The outside temperature is obviously important, too, but when it comes to heat exhaustion and muscle cramping, the news outlet says you should check the index, rather than the temperature, before you head out for a run. If the heat index is above 90, consider opting for the treadmill instead, and save your outdoor run for another day, just to be safe.
Stay Indoors During HIIT Circuits
If you're craving more intense forms of exercise like HIIT circuits, the only way to stay 100 percent safe is to work out inside — preferably in an air-conditioned space.
According to Women's Health, if you do choose to brave the heat and try a more challenging workout outside, you should be on the lookout for dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, and similar symptoms. Any of those red flags may mean that your body can't handle the high temps, and that you should take a break ASAP, or call it quits altogether for the day.
Go For A Walk In Light Clothing
A slow, mindful walk outside might be the best form of exercise on those especially hot days — but it's still important to make sure you opt for the right clothing to keep your body cool and comfortable.
According to Fitness, lightweight fabrics that wick away sweat, especially those that come in light colors instead of dark, are your best bet when the sun is beating down on you. And yes, less is definitely more for your workout outfit choices during these toasty months, friends.
So remember: Breathe, bring your water bottle with you wherever you go, and maybe even take a cool shower afterward for a total-body treat.