It’s June and it’s hot and his pregnant momma is in desperate need of some A/C. While I’m still getting some workouts done outside, I’m looking for more that I can do indoors with a fan blowing on my face. Anyone there with me? I’m excited to share a brand new, beat the heat summer workout (video included!) as well as some tips for exercising in the heat of summer.
As a runner living in the Houston, TX area, there have been some years that I had to train during summer months. In fact, I had to start last July for my Dopey Challenge Training! Dealing with the heat and humidity can be no joke. It’s so important to watch for the warning signs of heat related illness, hydrate more than you think is necessary and listen to you body.
My Challenge with Heat Exhaustion
The reason I’m so passionate about this is because when I was a healthy, strong 24 year old woman, I suffered from heat exhaustion after a summer morning run. I went in the early morning hours before the sun came up, but didn’t bring water because I was only doing 4 miles. After my run, I felt a little dizzy and light headed and could not stop sweating. Even after I showered, I was still sweating constantly and my whole body felt heavy.
I continued on with my morning and drove to work despite feeling weird and light headed. I wore a lightweight dress to the office thinking it would help me stop sweating, but it was still happening. A few hours later I was getting up from a conference table and about to head back to my desk when I fainted. (The first and only time that’s happened in my life!) One of my coworkers grabbed me and brought me back to my desk. I had to call my husband to come pick me up. It was scary!
Luckily everything turned out okay, but I am even more sensitive to the heat now. It’s so important to make sure you’re always aware of the heat and humidity when exercising, so today I want to share my tips for beating the heat in your summer workouts.
Exercising in the Heat
The heat of the summer is not the best time to start a brand new fitness routine outdoors. I highly recommend starting in the comfort and safety of the indoors if you’re new to fitness and establishing a routine. If you’re a seasoned pro and have a great love for sweating a little extra through the challenge of the heat, be sure to listen to your body and follow these steps to ensure safety while you beat the heat in your workout!
Tips for Working Out in Summer
Be aware of the Heat Index and Humidity Level.
Just because the temperature seems lower one day, doesn’t mean it’s easier or safer to workout. You must also pay close attention to the heat index and humidity level. Humidity is no joke and can make a workout much harder on your body.
Avoid peak daylight hours.
When the sun is up midday through the heat of the afternoon, avoid working out in the direct sunlight. The intense heat of the sun will increase your body temperature rapidly and cause dehydration and fatigue.
Drink more fluids than you think are necessary.
Hydration is key when working out in the heat. You’re sweating even more than normal and draining your body of essential nutrients. You should drink 8-10 ounces of water 15-30 minutes BEFORE your workout and then 8 ounces for every 15 minutes DURING your workout.
It’s also important to replenish your electrolytes and salt levels after sweating a lot. While Gatorade or Powerade is an option, I personally love Nuun. It’s a little tablet that you put in your water and has less calories and sugar than a traditional sports drink. You can find it at the grocery store in the water aisle near the Crystal Light drink packets, or you can snag it on Amazon! I personally have it on Subscribe and Save for every few months and get a great 20% discount!
Wear appropriate clothing.
Be sure to wear lightweight clothes that are sweat wicking and won’t cling to your body. They need to be breathable so you can get adequate air to help cool your body down.
Listen to your body.
I cannot stress this enough. You know your body the best. Listen to it, don’t ignore it. If you’re feeling light headed, take a break. If you need to slow down, do it. Don’t worry about getting it done faster or setting a personal record. This isn’t the time! Take adequate rest and drink plenty of water. Most importantly, be aware of warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, take a look at this chart from the CDC and know the warning signs.
If you’re planning to workout outside whether it’s a run or a garage workout, make sure you have the right equipment to keep you cool and hydrated. I compiled a list of my favorite must have summer fitness essentials that I use during the hot summer months.
Like I mentioned above, there are some summers that I have to run and train through the summer heat, and the gear I listed are some of my life savers. You’ll find a great handheld water bottle as well as other gear that keeps you cool and hydrated.
Beat the Heat Summer Workout
I knocked out this workout this week inside with my sweet, sweet air conditioning. Obviously, it can be done anywhere. Well, anywhere that you can easily cart your kettlebell around! There is only one exercise in this workout with a kettlebell. The purpose is to get your heart rate up with a total body exercise. If you don’t have a kettlebell, don’t fret! I’ve got some other options listed below the workout for you to try.
Don’t have a kettlebell? Grab one of your heaviest weights or two dumbbells if you don’t have heavy ones, and do some pendulum swings. Here’s an example of pendulum swings in one of my previous workout videos!
If you’re currently working out in a weight free space, replace the kettlebell swings with 2-3 minutes of stationary cardio. Think high knees, mountain climbers, plank jacks, tuck jumps, star jacks, speed skaters, etc. The idea to is get your heartrate up!
Speaking of Kettlebells…
If you’re looking for one to keep at home, which I highly recommend, it looks like a lot of the fitness equipment that went out of stock at the start on quarantine is coming back in. Here are a few great options in different weights for you to consider.
Amazon Basics – 10, 12, 15, 18, 25 or 50lb
I can honestly say these Kettlebells are perfect for a home gym. They’re great for beginnings as they’re smaller in size and have a wide range on weight options. I personally have the 15 and 25lb weights at my house and they’re perfect for the workouts I create.
Amazon Basics Cast Iron – 10, 15, 40 or 60lbs
If you’re looking for a solid cast iron option that comes in slightly higher weight increments, these are also a great option.
For more information on Kettlebells, different exercises (images included) you can do with them and other workouts I’ve created, check out this All About Kettlebells post!
Be safe. Be smart. Beat the Heat.
I really want to stress the importance of being safe while working out in the heat. Though not always, it can be dangerous and you need to pay attention to your body!
Follow these and other safety tips and know the warning signs for heat related illness to be on the safe side, so you can get your workout done!