How to Stay Cool While Getting Fit in the Summer Heat

original (82)Summer equals high temperatures in many areas, and while this can require you to alter your exercise routine, it doesn’t have to derail it completely. As long as you’re prepared to deal with the heat during your workout, you should still be able to exercise, and not just in the early morning or at night. If you want to work out any time of day during summer without getting heatstroke, these tips should help.

Use Water to Cool Down

You should have water available to you during any workout, but especially one that takes place in the heat. Keep a bottle of cold water with you and drink some as soon as you get a little thirsty. Even if you don’t drink it all, you can always use it to splash on your head or the rest of your body, since this will cool you down fast on a hot day. If you plan to exercise for over an hour in the heat, consider drinking a sports beverage, such as Gatorade, to replace any electrolytes you lose during the workout.

Wear the Right Clothing

Summer is the time to make sure you have workout clothes that breathe. This means cotton clothing won’t cut it since it absorbs sweat so you end up soaked and overheated. Instead, get workout clothes made of a material that wicks sweat away from your skin so your body can easily cool off. This is why synthetic fabrics — such as polyester and spandex — are recommended when you choose workout clothes.

Train Your Body to Tolerate the Heat

It’s harder to deal with the heat when you’re not used to it, but it doesn’t take long for your body to adapt. You can help it by gradually exposing yourself to high temperatures as you exercise. For example, take a jog in the heat for 10 minutes, and then add a few minutes to the workout daily. This way, your body slowly gets acclimated to the heat and increases blood volume, which in turn will help you stay cool. Similarly, you can encourage your body to sweat more — helping you cool off better — by sitting in a sauna. This is especially helpful if you have a marathon or big game coming up and you want to prepare your body for the heat.

Now that you know how to stay cool, you don’t need to quit your exercise habits this summer. Of course, you can always stick to indoor workouts if you’re not prepared to increase your water intake or get acclimated to the heat. Either way, staying fit this summer is definitely an option if you want it.