In the dog days of summer, the thought of stepping outside for a run or hike in the heat and humidity can be enough to keep you stuck inside the gym doing the same boring treadmill workout everyday – or worse, parked in front of your AC unit at home. But just because the weather says 88 degrees, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a little QT with nature or a chance to change up your workout plan. In fact, a study at the University of Oregon showed that athletes who worked out in 100 degree heat for an hour on 10 consecutive days showed more improvement than athletes who worked out at a comfortable 55 degrees. Try one of these outdoor workouts for summer to help you beat the heat (or at least tolerate it).
First things first, with any outdoor workout in summer, be sure to consume plenty of water and replenish your electrolytes, wear sunscreen, and take frequent breaks if you’re feeling tired. You can work around the heat, but be safe and don’t overdo it.
Take Your Workout to the Beach
Sure, it’s still hot at the beach, but anytime you’re feeling overheated, you can just take a “water break” – in the water! If running is your jam, a beach run on the sand uses more muscles and burns more calories than running on a hard surface. If you’re more into circuits, there are plenty of other exercises you can try like this strength circuit. Heck, you can even enjoy a beautiful cool morning on the beach with the company of your yoga mat! Try going early or later in the day to beat the crowds.
HIIT the Pool
An obvious option, sure, but a swim is always a great way to get in some cardio while staying cool. You can even alternate a few laps in the pool with some out-of-the-pool body weight strength moves for a fun HIIT workout.
If laps aren’t your thing, or you don’t have a large enough pool for it, you can try some in-pool strength exercises like reverse crunches on the side of the pool which add resistance without heavy impact on your joints. Here are some ideas to get you started.
While you could just take your yoga mat outdoors and call it “hot yoga,” there’s an alternative for those who prefer to keep it cool. Find a shady spot in a park and lay out your yoga mat. Bring along a battery-powered fan like this one to create your own breeze. Along with that, pack a spray bottle of water with a couple drops of peppermint oil, or if you’re feeling a little fancy, pop a few wet washcloths with a drop of peppermint oil into the freezer for a few hours before you go. Stick them into an insulated bag like a cooler or lunchbag and pull them out when you need some refreshment.
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