Main content

Many people enjoy exercising in the fall or spring, when cooling breezes offer easy relief from the heat of exertion. But when summer comes around, we sometimes have to get creative in order to work out without falling prey to heat-related illnesses. Getting enough exercise is essential for good physical and mental health, no matter what season it is or what climate you live in. Here’s your summer workout plan for staying fit safely this summer.

How to Work Out in Extreme Heat

You probably know that during exercise, your body releases heat by sweating. This definitely helps, but it’s also dehydrating, and in extreme temperatures, it’s not enough. No matter what kind of workout you’re doing on a hot day, it’s worth taking general precautions against serious overheating, dehydration, and (if you’re outside) sunburns. Here are some general tips for exercising in warm temperatures:

  • Try to plan your workout outside the window of 10 am to 3 pm, which is often the hottest part of the day.
  • Cold showers. Consider taking a cold rinse in the shower before your workout, leaving your hair wet for maximum cooling.
  • Wear light clothing. Opt for loose, light-colored, breathable fabrics like cotton, or synthetic sweat-wicking clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen. If you’re heading outside, apply sunscreen with a high SPF first; consider using a waterproof variety that won’t break down with sweat.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Take regular water breaks throughout your workout, and if you plan to exercise for over 60 minutes, swap out your water for an electrolyte-rich, low-sugar sports drink.
  • AC is your friend. Consider staying indoors to exercise, especially if you have air conditioning or a heavily shaded home.
  • Know your limits. Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired, even if you haven’t finished your workout.

Creative Ways to Get Exercise Without Overheating

If the mere thought of exercising in the heat turns your stomach, there are, well, cooler ways to burn calories. Here are a few ideas:

  • Get in the water. Consider heading to a swimming pool or a natural body of water, like a lake or ocean. You can either go swimming or go for a hike around the water, occasionally getting your feet wet to cool off.
  • Head to the mall. Malls and indoor shopping centers typically have good air conditioning; if you walk around the entire space, you’ll get errands done, stay cool, and get your steps in.
  • Visit a large museum. Air conditioned museums are also great spaces for staying on your feet, getting some walking done, and engaging your brain, all at once.
  • Go bowling. If you have a climate-controlled bowling alley near you, it’s a great resource for fun, spending quality time with family and friends, and working out both your upper and lower body.

Stay Cool This Summer With Spectrum Community Services

Spectrum Community Services is committed to improving the quality of life for low-income families, seniors, and individuals in Alameda County. Through financial assistance and other services, our goal is to support community members in building healthy, safe, and independent lives. Contact us to learn more about our services, or consider making a donation to support our work. We can't wait to work with you!