From making the most of beautiful scenery to getting your daily dose of vitamin D, there are many benefits of outdoor exercise. However, exercising in the hot summer sun can put extra stress on your body and lead to heat-related medical issues if you’re not careful. As temperatures start to soar, it’s important to take extra precautions to stay safe and protect yourself from the heat.    

If you’re keen to take your exercise routine outdoors this summer, a little preparation can go a long way. Here are 7 tips for maintaining a safe and enjoyable workout in hot weather.  

1. Check the weather forecast

Before you lace up your trainers and head out the door, take a look at the weather forecast for the day. If high temperatures or humidity are expected, dial down your workout accordingly. On hot, humid days, your heart rate increases as your body work harder to cool itself down and evaporate sweat away, which can turn an otherwise easy workout into a seriously intense one. While you might be tempted to push yourself and power through, it’s better to play it safe and take breaks when the sun is blazing. 

If temperatures hit 26 degrees celsius or higher (particularly if high humidity is also a concern), you should use extreme caution when exercising outdoors. This is especially true if your body is not used to it or you have a medical condition. At these temperatures, fatigue, heat stroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion are all possible. Your best bet? Stay indoors or head to an air-conditioned gym to get your fitness fix instead. 

2. Wear appropriate clothing 

Help keep your body as cool as possible by dressing in lightweight, breathable clothing. Opt for light colours to reflect the sun and choose cotton or technical fabrics that wick away sweat. If the sun is shining brightly, consider wearing a hat and sunglasses to keep your face and eyes well protected from the strong summer rays.  

3. Don’t forget the sunscreen 

Avoid the dreaded sunburn by applying sunscreen around 20 minutes before you head outside. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and look for one that’s water-resistant so it doesn’t come off once you start sweating. Remember, you can still get sunburnt in a swimming pool or on a cloudy day, so be sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours to stay protected. 

4. Stay Hydrated 

Exercising in the sun means you’ll be sweating more than usual, so be sure to drink water before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration. Feeling thirsty could be a sign that you’re already dehydrated, so don’t wait until the end of your workout to chug water; instead, sip at regular intervals to keep those fluid levels up. If long-distance running is your thing, try taking a wearable water container to ensure you have the necessary fluids to sustain your efforts. Aim to drink at least half a litre of water for every hour you’re out exercising in the heat.  

It can also be an idea to consider a sports drink too, particularly if you’re planning to exercise for a longer period. This will help you to replenish important electrolytes and fluids lost due to sweating. 

5. Avoid the mid-day sun

If possible, schedule your workout for early morning or late evening when the weather is cooler. Not only do temperatures typically peak between 10am – 4pm, but that’s also when the sun’s rays are most intense.  

Our outdoor Battlebox classes are scheduled at cooler times of the day so you can enjoy outdoor exercise safely. Battlebox classes are suitable for participants of all abilities and levels of fitness. Why not join us for a fun and challenging full-body workout? 

6. Hit the water

There’s nothing more refreshing than going for an outdoor swim on a hot summer’s day. Not only is swimming a great low-impact, full-body workout for people of all ages, but the cold water can help prevent you from overheating. Make the most of the sunny weather by heading to the beach or swimming at one of our spacious outdoor pools.  

7. Take it indoors

When in doubt, it might be best to keep your exercise indoors. There’s no need to risk injury or illness on excessively hot days so make sure you’re sensible and you listen to your body. Our gyms, tennis courts and fitness studios are air-conditioned so you can stay cool and comfortable all summer long. 

Make it a summer to remember at David Lloyd Clubs 

Take a dip in the pool, play a game of tennis, relax in our Spa Gardens — enjoy that holiday feeling all summer long at David Lloyd Clubs. No matter the weather, we have plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces to help you recharge, socialise and stay healthy. Find out how a David Lloyd Clubs membership is your ticket to an unforgettable summer.