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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

Tips for Exercising in the Summer Heat

A week from today marks the official beginning of Summer but in many places, including where I am, it’s felt like Summer for quite some time. After a brutal winter, relief from subzero temperatures is welcome, but can make it difficult to do anything outside without turning into a pile of sweat. It might be beautiful for laying in the sand or eating, but the hot—often times humid air—isn’t ideal for exercising outdoors. I’m a runner who hates the treadmill, so I continue to exercise outdoors throughout the summer and have picked up some tips on how to make it easier along the way.

Time of Day

Try to exercise early in the morning when you first get up or at night after the sun goes down. The temperatures are cooler these hours and—although the difference on the thermometer might not be significant—a few degrees can make a big difference when you’re running around, indulging in outdoor yoga (yes, I’m describing yoga as indulging), or doing some strength training. If you absolutely must exercise during the daytime hours, these next tips are extra important to pay attention to.

Wear the Right Clothes

Those clothes that are labeled “HeatGear” or are said to be made specifically for hot temperatures aren’t all marketing speak—they really do help to cool you down. They’re designed to wick moisture from your body to help you feel less sweaty than you might truly be. These types of clothes can be expensive (I only buy them on sale) so if you don’t want to spend that much money on them, try to wear clothes that allow you to breathe. Thick cotton or polyester t-shirts are only going to make you feel hotter than you are, so you will want to stay away from them.

Sunscreen

This is extremely important, especially if you are exercising midday. Even if you’re planning on doing what you consider a “short workout” outside, you have to be sure to have adequate SPF covering whatever parts of your body that aren’t covered by clothes. If you sweat a lot, be sure to choose a sun screen that is labeled “Sport” or specifically mentions the words “sweat proof.” If you’re going on a long run (1 or more hours), I would also consider stopping to reapply (especially on your face) depending on where you live and how strong the sun is that day.

Water

This is a confession: all other times of the year, I tend to slack off about bringing water along for my runs. I’m still running relatively short distances so if I properly hydrate before and after I can get away with it. But during the summer, I always carry water with me. With the increased amount of sweat your body will be losing it’s very easy to get dehydrated. Not only will this hamper your workout (you’ll lose energy, start cramping, and won’t be able to work as hard) but it can be dangerous. Get that water crankin’!

Don’t Push It

It’s super common to really want to push yourself and workout as hard as you possibly can. I mean, if you’re going to take the time to go workout why would you want to phone it in? You should be careful during the summer not to push beyond your capabilities and do damage to yourself, though, because you could start to feel light-headed or even pass out. If you tend to alternate between working out indoors and outside, I would save the pushing yourself for the days that you have air conditioning there to have your back.

Listen To Yourself

This works in tandem with not pushing yourself. Be sure to really pay attention to your body and what it’s telling you. If you know yourself, you will probably be able to tell the difference between “I just don’t feel like it” and “I physically can’t do this.” Maybe in the winter months you are able to ignore the latter and do it anyway but in the summer—don’t! It’s common to notice runs taking longer when it’s hot out or becoming more exhausted during yoga than normal. It might not satisfy your Type A personality (who? ME?) but it’s better than completely wiping yourself out.

Do you have any tips for exercising during the Summer?

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