Advice on Working out in the Heat

Author Bio: Jemma Thomas is a PT and founder of Jemma’s Health Hub, the online fitness community for women –

Jemma Thomas

Summer is here! And we’re finally allowed that little bit more freedom to enjoy exercising outside with our work out buddies or teams.

Both the prospect of freedom and warmer days might encourage you to get out there and get training BUT working out in the heat does come with some downsides which you can most certainly prepare for!

Drink Water

First and foremost, drink lots of water. This might sound obvious but it’s so easy to come in from a super hard work out, have a quick swig of water, jump in the shower and then act as normal. Don’t! Make sure you consciously stop yourself before you get in that shower, drink a full glass of water so that you are no longer thirsty at all and continue to drink lots during the day – both before and after exercising! However, don’t drink too much as you can over hydrate yourself!

Avoid dehydrating drinks

Avoid drinks that may dehydrate you – yes that means alcohol and caffeine I’m afraid. You might want to reward yourself with a nice summer cocktail or a glass of wine but please don’t have too much. Your body will already be dehydrated

Exercise in moderation

Don’t do too much. So many people are susceptible to sunstroke, particularly the fairer haired among us so please don’t feel tempted to do too much or push yourself too hard.

Eat well

Advice on Working out in the Heat

While you’re probably balancing your exercise routine with a healthy diet, don’t be afraid to eat plenty of sugars and salts on a super hot day where you’re feeling weak and dehydrated. Things like fruit juices, sports drinks, milk and broth are ideal. Fruit and vegetables during exercise provide lots of electrolytes for the body and contain lots of water, salt and vitamins. However, some sports drinks are great but often are filled with calories so choose wisely!

Look out for your partner

Keep an eye on your exercise partner. Even if you’re feeling on top form after an hour or so of working out in the sunshine, we’re all different and your work out buddy might not be. In the UK we are not really used to having the hot sun shining down on us for hours at a time and your body may be very surprised by this, combined with the extra effort you’re doing in exercise! If you see them looking pale and peaky – or sunburnt, make sure you give them plenty of time to rest, food and drink to rehydrate themselves, and get them in the shade!

Wear light clothing

Make sure you wear light, breathable clothing for your exercise – and a hat. This will keep the sun off your head and face. And when I say light, I mean in weight and in colour. Dark colours attract the sun even more which you really don’t need!

Limit your time in the sun

Don’t be in the sun for too long. Make sure you balance this with plenty of time in the shade so choose your work out location wisely!

Wear sunscreen

As Baz Luhrmann said, “Wear sunscreen”. Your whole body gets affected by sunburn, not just the patch of skin that gets burnt so no matter how long you’re going out in the sun for, wear sunscreen! Factor 30+, particularly for children.

Take a cold shower BEFORE and AFTER your work out

Having a cold shower before your work out will get your body temperature nice and low so you’re ready for the heat you’re about to experience! And if you’re super hot once you’re done jump back into the cold!

If it’s too hot, work out indoors!

Don’t exercise outside, just for the sake of being outside. And be flexible with your activities. If it’s very hot don’t do a 5k run, maybe got for a fast walk instead in some shady trees, or a swim if you have a pool nearby.

Work out in the early mornings or in the evenings

Avoid the hottest times of the day – from 12pm until 3pm. Work out in the mornings or in the evenings if you can. Or if it’s too hot, work out indoors with some air conditioning to cool you down.

Membership to Jemma’s Health Hub is £29 per month and for that you receive three or four workouts a week taking place on facebook live at 6.30am. (Monday – leg day, Wednesday – arm day, Friday – cardio day, and kettlebells thrown in for good measure!). However, if you can’t make the 6.30am wake up call, you can log in and do it when it suits you.  You also receive a downloadable ‘How To’ guide including over 35 wholesome recipes to try out, as well as a downloadable ‘tick chart’ for you to print up every 4 weeks and stick to the fridge so you can see your progress. But, most importantly, it gives you an amazing support network and an instructor who will be there for you, helping you feel supported and mentally stronger as time goes on.    

For more information visit / @jemmas_health_hub (Instagram)

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