Safely Exercising on Hot Days

Exercising frequently has a ton of benefits. According to, regular exercise can help you control your weight, reduce the risk of heart disease, help with the management of blood sugar and insulin levels, and improve mental health and mood, among other things. However, getting regular exercise isn’t always so simple, especially when the weather warms up. Why? Because, as the Mayo Clinic points out, exercising when the weather is hot also brings with it its own set of potential side-effects. So how can you exercise safely on those hot summer days? Let’s find out!

Exercising Safely in the Heat

It is entirely possible to exercise safely on hot days, it’s just a matter of doing so safely. According to the Cleveland Clinic, here’s what you need to do to make sure you’re being safe:

Acknowledge the Temperature- The first step to exercising safely in the heat is acknowledging the fact that high temperatures can have an effect on you, especially when you’re active. Even if you routinely exercise, that extra heat can (and probably will) affect you. So, what can you do after you’ve identified that it is warm for exercise?

Adjust AccordinglyAfter the acknowledgment, take precautions! Here are a few things you can do:

  • Wait until the weather cools down to start exercising, at times like early morning or after sunset.
  • Keep hydrated, both before, during and after your workout.
  • Try to stay away from caffeinated beverages as much as possible. 
  • Dress lightly, and wear breathable, light-colored clothing.

Listen to Your BodyOnce you get to exercising, your body will give you some warning signs that something is off and that you are starting to overheat. This can be broken down into 3 escalating signs:

  • Muscle cramping and spasming is the first sign that your body needs a break. Stretching and hydrating can help lessen that muscle tension, but when the cramping and spasming starts, you should take a break.
  • If you try to push through that cramping, you run the risk of heat exhaustion. This can mean hot and cold flashes, serious fatigue, trouble breathing, dizziness, and even fainting.
  • The worst-case scenario is heatstroke, which can be life-threatening. During a heat stroke, your body temperature skyrockets to over 104 degrees, and you will become disoriented and confused. Heatstroke requires immediate medical attention, but you can avoid ever getting to that point by listening to your body, and cooling down and hydrating when you start cramping.
  • Take Proper PrecautionsTo help protect your skin from sunburn, make sure that to apply sunscreen before going out to exercise or wearing sun-protective clothing–or both!

It’s important to note that if you have particular conditions or take particular medications, you may be at risk of being more susceptible to heat-related illness. Be sure you talk to your doctor if you plan on exercising in the heat so that you can take the necessary precautions.