10 Ways to Exercise Despite the Heat


It’s swimsuit season, and now more than ever you need to have a regular exercise routine. The heat, however, poses a huge obstacle if you’re trying to maintain that beach body that you’ve busted your butt since January to achieve. Fortunately, with a little imagination, you can find lots of ways to beat the heat and keep exercising all summer long.

1. Swim

No need to do laps – just get in the water and move around. It’s a no-impact, high-resistance workout that engages all major muscle groups and keeps you from overheating no matter how hard you work.

2. Take a hike

Woodlands are the perfect antidote to concrete heat islands. You’ll notice an appreciable difference in temperature even with a five-minute detour off of your jogging path.

3. Make it a hobby

Would you rather cycle for an hour, or take your bicycle on a tour of the Saturday farmers’ markets in search of the perfect Georgia peaches? Would you rather walk the track a hundred times, or spend an afternoon walking around town taking avant-garde pictures of sidewalk cracks? It’s the same physical activity, but it’s more enjoyable because it’s not “exercise”.

4. Switch to anaerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise is essential for keeping the pounds off, but anaerobic exercise (like weight-lifting, gentle yoga, and Pilates) will strengthen and tone your muscles, which will in turn boost your metabolism and help you stay svelte without the sweat.

5. Go for a (very) early morning jog

Take advantage of the summer sunrise and go for a 5 AM run. You’ll experience the coolest temperatures of the day, no traffic, a beautiful sunrise, and – this is the best part – you’ll have time to take a morning nap before starting your day for real.

6. Mix errands and exercise

Yeah, you’ve heard it before, but that’s because it works. Park far away. Take the most circuitous route possible through the store. Do deep squats while unloading your bags one item at a time. The calorie expenditures throughout the day will really add up, and you’ll hardly notice the extra effort.

7. Find a partner

Any spouse, friend, or child will do. Beating the heat is as much a mental activity as a physical one, and companions can boost each others’ willpower and monitor each other for heat stroke.

8. Stay home

There are hundreds of thousands of enjoyable exercise options at home. Play a dance game on your gaming console, or just turn the music up and jam while you vacuum.

9. Have fun

Pick up a team sport like ultimate Frisbee or volleyball. Even the most casual, laid-back game with the laziest bunch of people you can scare up will burn more calories than sweating it out on the sofa, and when your brain is occupied with socializing, it won’t have time for complaining.

10. Take it easy

Do whatever you’re used to doing – just do it at half speed. Throw “no pain, no gain” out the window. It’s impossible to race against yourself and win, so give it a break until Labor Day.

Chances are you simply won’t be able to maintain the same level of exercise throughout the summer as you do the rest of the year. If you’re exercising for health, it’s silly to put your health at risk to continue doing so in extremely adverse conditions. Stick with light summer salads, stay away from frozen margaritas, and keep moving as best you can until the heat finally breaks.