Exercising in the Heat: 9 Tips for Safe Summer Workouts

Hello, summer, and hello, sizzling hot days! Anyone who has gone for a run in the heat and humidity knows it’s harder to perform and go the extra distance. As remarkable as our body is at regulating a core temperature, hot weather requires a little more work on our part to ensure we stay properly cooled off when exercising outside during the summer months. 

Explore these heat safety, summer fitness tips so you don’t have to sideline your workout routine or fitness goals when the heat is high.


To stay cool, it’s helpful to be aware of how the body is affected by exercising in the heat. When we increase our activity in average temperatures, our body’s natural cooling systems kick in to help regulate our perfect core temperature in a process called thermoregulation. Thermoregulation is how your body maintains your core temperature and keeps it in a safe range.

Sweating and increased blood flow serve as indicators of your body’s thermoregulation. These responses lead to higher heart rates during exercise, surpassing what you would typically experience in more moderate settings and weather conditions.

As we move, the body sends more blood to circulate through the skin and away from the muscles, increasing heart rate and perspiration levels. Increased blood flow closer to the skin allows heat to escape the body more effectively. 

But when exercising in above-average temperatures and humidity, the body’s natural cooling systems need your help to maintain the hydration and electrolyte levels they require to work properly. These levels are critical in areas of high humidity, which prevent sweat from readily evaporating, raising your body temperature even higher. 

Your body diverts oxygen-rich blood from your muscles to the skin to help lower your body’s temperature while training in the heat. This forces your muscles to work with less oxygen, which can make workouts seem much more challenging. On the bright side, that can be used to your advantage. 

By allowing your body to acclimate to the decreased oxygen, you can actually improve your performance. It’s the same reason why so many endurance athletes exercise and train in high altitudes!


Slowly ramping up your workout intensity so your body can adjust is always a good idea when exercising in the heat. For those participating in activities that require prolonged exposure outside, like marathons, outdoor basketball, or long-distance biking events, it’s important to acclimate your body to help prevent your risk of heat-related illnesses.

Acclimatization is how your body adapts to sustained exposure to high environmental temperatures. According to the CDC, for heat acclimatization to be achieved, daily exposure in hot environments for at least an hour and a half per day is recommended. Complete acclimatization occurs within 7 to 14 days with a gradual increase in exertion.

Some of the physiological benefits associated with acclimatization, promoting improved performance of our body’s inherent cooling mechanisms, include:

  • Earlier onset sweating
  • Decreased sodium concentration in sweat
  • Lower resting core temperature
  • Expansion of plasma volume
  • Increased cutaneous blood flow
  • Lower resting heart rate
  • Increased expression of heat shock proteins
  • Increased resting stroke volume
  • Earlier release of aldosterone, which helps regulate salt and water, affects blood pressure

Heat acclimatization has also been shown to increase your performance, making it a crucial step in maintaining your fitness during the summer months.

Remember: everybody is unique. If you’re training for a high-intensity event requiring prolonged heat exposure, the expert Personal Trainers at EōS are here to help you understand heat safety and achieve your fitness goals.


It’s simple logic that higher temperatures lead to increased perspiration, which puts you at a higher risk of dehydration. In turn, staying hydrated will maintain your muscle agility, performance levels, and mental clarity that the heat would otherwise compromise. 

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 4-6 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes while exercising. But don’t stop there! Be sure to consume fluids pre and post-workout, especially while exercising in the heat. A good recommendation is to drink 16-24 ounces of water one to two hours before your workout, and the same amount post-workout for every pound lost during exercise.

Water is best for staying hydrated while exercising in the heat, but sports drinks that contain electrolytes are a great way to preserve hydration if you’re exercising more intensely and sweating over an extended period.

The two main electrolytes you’ll want to see on your sports drink label are sodium and potassium because of their ability to rehydrate and replenish your body. EōS carries N2G’s BCAA Recovery in Lemonade or Watermelon flavor to help improve recovery after your workout. Explore the complete range of flavors that EōS offers to elevate your recovery process after every workout session.

If you’re looking for an alternative to sports drinks, you can focus on eating a balanced diet. Aim for a 1:2 or 1:4 ratio of protein to carbs in your post-workout meal to replenish your muscle stores. 


In North America, the hottest time of the day during the summer months is between 10 am and 3 pm. Beat the heat and adjust your exercise routine to a time that falls outside this threshold. Besides the cooler temperatures, morning workouts can boost your energy throughout the day, improve mental focus and cognition, and help you sleep better in the evening.

Another heat safety tip? If the summer heat ramps up and you can’t adjust your schedule to complete your high-intensity workout, break up your routine into multiple smaller sessions throughout the day. This will allow your body time to rest, refuel, and still meet your fitness goals. Alternatively, consider exercising indoors to practice heat safety. EōS Fitness has plenty of cardio, strength training equipment, and Group Fitness Classes available to help you stay on track.


As the largest organ, your skin and subcutaneous tissues are designed to divert warm blood away from your core and keep you cool on the inside. Any damage to your skin or the underlying tissue prevents this natural air conditioner from working correctly.

Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 and one that is waterproof so that it doesn’t come off once you start sweating. Look for a sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on the label, as these are the most effective. Heat safety goes hand in hand with preventing sunburn since an increase in blood flow can cause burns to be more painful, and blisters to flare as you exercise in hot weather. Sunburn is one of the easiest ways to compromise your body’s self-cooling process. 

Be cautious in hot weather that’s also very humid. The additional moisture in the air makes it harder for your sweat to evaporate, which means your body will be working overtime to keep you cool. High humidity should be treated like high temperatures–they both increase your core temperature. Always check your local weather report to see what the heat index is and how high the humidity is before taking your workout outdoors.


This should be a no-brainer, but wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes while exercising in the heat is essential. Remember, the more skin you have exposed to the atmosphere, the easier it is for sweat to evaporate and your body to keep you cool. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Regarding materials, cotton is a lightweight and breathable material that can help absorb sweat and keep you dry. Sportswear fabrics designed to wick sweat away from the skin are a great and affordable option. 

Go for fabrics that won’t expose you to chaffing or rashes and that are light-colored. Lighter-colored clothing reflects the sun’s rays while dark colors tend to absorb them, increasing the heat you feel. With the proper attire, you can exercise outside without reducing your body’s ability to cool off. 


As previously mentioned, water is your best friend during summer outdoor activities, so why not make it the main event? On sweltering days, try hitting the pool. Swimming is a great, full-body workout that keeps your heart rate up but takes some of the stress off your body.

When it’s too hot outside or you’re trying to practice summer-safe workouts, indoor cycling is a great way to get your cardio in while maintaining your fitness goals. Cycling builds lean muscle mass, boosts your metabolism, and contributes to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. 


Listen to your body and if you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired, give yourself a break and hydrate!What can start as muscle cramps can extend to more severe and heat-related health conditions such as a heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or extreme dehydration, all of which can prevent you from reaching your fitness goals.

Signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses include: 

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Visual problems

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, the Mayo Clinic recommends immediately stepping out of the heat and stopping your activity. Cool down by placing cold, wet towels or ice packs on your neck, forehead, and under your arms, spray yourself with water, or sit in a tub filled with cold water. Seek medical attention if your symptoms continue.

Knowing the warning signs of heat-related illness will keep you safe this summer, but now you might be wondering: when is it too hot to exercise? Experts say that when the heat index is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you should use caution while exercising in the heat. Temperatures that high increase your risk of heat exhaustion and similar illnesses, so always check your local weather to see where the heat index is before adventuring outside for a workout.

It also helps to mind your cooling points–your pulse points–like your wrists and neck. Keep a cooling towel with you when exercising outside. You can wet it, wring it out, and then apply it to your wrists and neck for an easy way to cool off. More importantly, cooling your pulse points will net you full-body relief as the colder blood recirculates through your body. 


Finally, if you need more expert advice about exercising in the heat or heat safety endurance training this summer, you can opt to hire a Personal Trainer. Whether you’re training for a marathon, triathlon, or just want to get in better shape, there’s no need to derail your fitness goals just because of higher temperatures. 

Helping your body stay cool, hydrated, and fueled is key to making the most out of your summer workout. EōS is here to help you continue challenging yourself while staying healthy and safe this summer, so take advantage of a Complimentary 7-Day Pass to see what we’re about.

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