Hot weather can make it harder to stay fit in the summer.
Beat the heat by choosing cooler workouts, such as indoors or in the water.
Stay safe by watching weather conditions, hydrating, and paying attention to your body’s signals.
Lark can help you stay motivated and fit 24/7 when you use the app.
No matter where you live, summer heat waves are sure to hit hard. Hot weather can make it harder to exercise, making you feel tired or putting you at risk for dehydration. Still, there are ways that you can get or stay active and safe, and keep up your motivation this summer, assuming your healthcare provider has cleared you for activity. Here are five summer workouts to try, plus five tips for staying safe.
1. Go Swimming
Hitting the pool or the beach for a water workout can give your heart and your whole body a good workout. Many community pools have hours reserved for lap swimmers.
You don’t have to be a champion swimmer to get a good workout in the water. Water aerobics is a great option if you’re not comfortable swimming laps, or it’s too boring for your personality.
Lots of pools offer water aerobics classes for all levels of fitness and water comfort. You can get a full body workout and improve range of motion.
2. Try Other Water Sports
There are other ways to get in a water workout besides swimming and water aerobics. Here are a few options, including some that don’t require you to go into the water fully.
You can do these in the ocean, a lake, or a river, but don’t despair if you don’t live near a natural body of water. Many cities have parks with lakes that were designed for recreational use. They may rent equipment, such as pedal boats or canoes, by the hour or the day. For your safety, follow any posted rules, wear a life jacket, and be aware of changes to conditions due to weather. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
3. Walk in Malls
Where can you go for air conditioning, access to nearly unlimited parking spots, and available restrooms? Indoor shopping malls can be some of the best destinations for summer exercisers. Mall buildings open early, usually before most of their stores open, and many malls even have official walking hours for lap walkers. Walk steadily or try some intervals, such as speeding up a flight of stairs and then slowing down for a few seconds while you glance at an attractive display in a window.
4. Hit the Gym
Another indoors workout destination is a gym. If it’s not air-conditioned, bring your own portable fan; many are rechargeable and are designed to clip onto the equipment you’re using. Take your walk onto a treadmill instead of outdoors in the blazing heat, or take advantage of specialized equipment such as an elliptical trainer, bike, rower, or stair climber for an aerobic workout.
There’s no problem staying home if it’s too hot to leave your house. Just pop in a workout DVD, use a fitness app, or find a workout video online. The variety of workouts that are available is nearly unlimited. Aerobic workouts include dance, walking, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), kickboxing, and so much more. You can also look for resistance training workouts. Try these tips for finding household items that can give you a workout if you don’t have access to
gym-quality weights and machines.
Be sure to look for workouts from a certified trainer or another trusted source. Your health plan may provide free access to paid subscriptions or other workout services.
Staying Safe in the Summer
Working out in the summer can mean that you need to take precautions to stay safe. Here are a few reminders.
Stay in the shade when you can. The temperature in the shade can be 20 or more degrees cooler than it is in the sun. A tree-lined park,street, or a hiking path with trees can be a good option.
Wear sunscreen. A broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 can help protect your skin.
Hydrate. Sip on water throughout the day, and have a cup or two within an hour of your workout. Drink 8 ounces per 15 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity while you work out. You can also weigh yourself before and after your workout, and assume the difference is lost water. Replace it by drinking 16 ounces (1 bottle or 2 8-ounce cups) per pound you lost. Note that water is usually fine, you probably don’t need sports or electrolyte drinks unless you are doing more than an hour of intense activity.
Check the weather forecast. Know the heat index and know when to stay indoors. It’s also best to avoid going outside if there are thunderstorms.
Start slowly. You’re feeling warmed up already, unlike in winter when muscles may feel tighter to start. However, you’ll be sweating a lot and working harder, so pace yourself. Make an effort to start slowly and warm up for longer.
Get moving in the morning or evening. The temperature is coolest just after dawn in the early morning, and you can usually get some relief from the heat until about 9 or 10
a.m. Temperatures start to cool in the evening after sunset. You can stay cooler if you go in the early morning or late evening.
How Lark Can Help
You can stay active and safe in the summer by following these workout tips, listening to your body, and asking your healthcare provider for guidance as needed. Lark can help motivate you and provide support as you track your activity and get 24/7 coaching. Lark can help you make good choices every day to improve health and manage weight, and you can access Lark 24/7.
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Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.