How to Stay Active When It’s Too Hot to Work Out

July 8, 2019

Arkansans love to take advantage of the natural beauty of our state--the mountains, lakes and rivers. But there are a few months every year when it’s just too hot and humid for vigorous outdoor activity.

Heat exhaustion kills thousands of people every year. This means that enjoying our beautiful state can be dangerous to your health. When the heat keeps us indoors, we often become less active. That can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Here are some ways to remain active this summer without exposing yourself to dangerous temperatures.

Find ways to exercise indoors without joining a gym

Gym memberships and group classes are expensive, but there are many other ways to work out indoors.

  • Walk in place, do HIIT (high intensity interval training) or lift light weights. Just move!
  • Find yoga or Pilates instructors on YouTube and follow along.
  • Take a dance class. Recruit your spouse or a friend to join you.
  • Gather the whole family and go bowling.
  • Play racquetball at a community center or YMCA.
  • Visit a rock-climbing facility and pretend you’re actually outdoors!

Get creative with your outdoor workout

  • Buy lighter workout gear and a water bottle you can carry with you.
  • Exercise in the morning or evening, when it’s cooler. Don’t exercise outside if it’s 90 degrees or above.
  • Make sure to wear reflective clothing if exercising in the dark. 

Try activities that might not feel like “exercise” 

  • Go for a bike ride and let the wind cool you off as you burn calories.
  • Jump in the water; go swimming or wash your car.
  • Do some light yard work, gardening or outdoor projects.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion

Don’t push it. Athletes often think that because they move constantly, their bodies can tolerate more heat. That’s not true.

  • The most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness and/or confusion.
  • If you stop sweating, it’s a sign that your body is too hot, and has given up on trying to cool you. Sit down in a cool spot immediately and drink water.

Get more tips on How to Exercise at Home.