Even if you have a gym membership, now is the perfect time to take your workout outdoors. Even so, heat can get the best of you, even when you have dreams of killing it in your next outdoor workout. Instead of having to cut your sweat session short, make sure you have this checklist in mind before you go out and work out.
1. Go when it's cooler: Don't wait for high noon to hit to venture out on a run. Go early, or schedule a pre-dinner jog to stay safe and hydrated.
2. Drink early (and often): Before a hot-weather workout, you've got to get ready to sweat. Drink 15 to 20 ounces of water an hour or two before your workout so you're not filled with liquid when you start out—that can lead to uncomfortable cramps that can also put a damper on your workout. Bring along a water bottle or FuelBelt, and sip six to eight ounces of water every 15 minutes if you're sweating a lot.
3. Protect yourself: Staying out of the sun doesn't exactly work when you've got a six-miler ahead of you. Minimize damage by always slathering on sunscreen (check out the safest sunscreen picks here) and wearing a hat or visor as well as sunglasses that don't slip off when you move. You can also look for well-ventilated gear with UPF to further deflect those hot rays.
4. Cool off: Speaking of gear, you should become very familiar with the word "sweat-wicking." Showing up in old, all-cotton clothes when temps are high can leave you a sopping mess just minutes into your workout. Go for technical gear, from your shirt to your socks—and don't worry, you don't have to spend a lot to fill your wardrobe with technical gear that works. This affordable summer workout gear does what you need and doesn't cost too much.
5. Think electrolytes: Now's the time to eat salty foods or take a swig of your sports drink. If you sweat a lot during a hard workout, it's important to replenish those electrolytes fast. Take along a sports drink or other electrolyte replenisher (like Nuun rehydration tabs in water) if your workout is going to last more than an hour outdoors.
6. Know when to stop: Pushing though pain and fatigue is part of challenging your body and seeing results, but you should also know when it's smarter and safer to stop. If you feel extra thirsty, dizzy, weak, or have heart palpitations, you may be dehydrated and need to stop.
7. Switch it up: Dreading your next hot-weather run? Try something cooler instead. Cycling is a good option when you want a cardio workout and it's hot outside; it feels breezier than running on the hot pavement. Or opt for a swim at the local pool to get your cardio and cool off at the same time.