Keep the Good Going: How to Exercise Safely in the Summer

As the thermometer ticks higher and higher, you might find your motivation to exercise sinking to an all-time low. An evening walk in the spring sounded pleasant (like something you maybe even looked forward to) but the idea of a jaunt around the neighborhood in June or July leads you quickly heading back to the couch.

But don’t forget how far you’ve come! The exercise habits you formed during the beginning of the year—and the subsequent progress that you made—doesn’t have to stop now. Read on for some easy-to-implement tips to make summer exercise tolerable, or dare we say it, even enjoyable.

Opting Outside

Albeit a bit toasty, summer weather can still be sun-drenched and gorgeous. So if you’re one of those who’s determined to enjoy the season and make the outdoor workouts happen, follow these best practices:

1. Be an early bird: An early morning workout guarantees you temperatures significantly below what you’d expect in the heat of the day. Plus, you may even find your performance to be superior to that of your hot and often sluggish afternoon self. And you can’t beat the endorphin high and metabolism boost that you’ll feel as you tackle the rest of your day.

2. Get good gear: Resist the urge to throw on your favorite old T-shirt. While it may work fine in the air-conditioned gym, wearing the right clothes during an outdoor summer workout can really up your game. Choose sweat-wicking fabrics that keep your clothes lightweight and your body cool. UPF protection is a plus—look for clothing with UPF 50+ for additional protection against harmful UV rays.

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: In hot, humid weather you can lose over a quart of sweat in an hour of moderate to intense exercise. You’ll need to replenish by drinking water leading up to your workout, but also during it. Experts recommend drinking a full cup of water every 15 minutes during your exercise session.

Indoor Alternatives

When you just can’t get yourself on board with an outdoor workout, the air conditioning calls. Developing an exercise routine—even if it is indoors—will pay off all summer long. Here are some ideas to keep it fresh:

1. Buddy up:If you’re bummed to be inside and need some accountability to stay there, find a workout partner. You can’t be the only one who is over the summer heat! Exercising with a friend helps the time pass faster, and makes you less likely to stay home and skip it.

2. Create your own circuit: Working out at home can seem more “blah” than beneficial. Spice it up by crafting an at-home circuit routine. Pick your favorite cardio and strength exercises, and alternate them throughout your workout. Try 8-12 repetitions of a strength exercise, then 30-90 seconds of a cardio exercise, and repeat around the circuit.

3. Compare gym memberships:If you don’t already belong to a gym, now could be the best time to try one. Summers are slow at gyms as many members venture outside, so deals on memberships can be easier to find. Test out some local gyms with few-day-long free trials, and then pick your favorite.

But remember, physical activity is just that. In the sweltering heat, even taking out the trash or pulling a few weeds can be sweat-inducing. Don’t sell yourself short—give yourself credit for anything that gets your heart pumping, any season of the year. Get creative with your workouts and stick to your plan to exercise safely in the summer.

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