How to effectively exercise in the heat, according to a fitness expert

Yes, you can exercise in the heat safely and properly, so no need to throw in the literal and figurative towel

friends who are stretching in park before they exercise in the heat
(Image credit: The Good Brigade/Getty Images)

You've mastered the Cupid Shuffle. Burpees are effortless. But when you exercise in the heat, even your go-to routines can feel challenging. 

Before you throw in the literal and figurative towel, ditch the Hot Girl Walk and vow to do away with TikTok exercise tips until the winter, rest assured there are ways to get in the proper workout, even when the temperatures are hotter than usual.

"When the weather picks up, it doesn’t have to interfere with your fitness routine, but you should take some steps to make sure you’re exercising safely in the sunshine," says Emma Goodman-Horne, fitness expert at Goodnick (opens in new tab).

Emma Goodman-Horne

Emma Goodman-Horne is a fitness expert at Goodnick (opens in new tab). A self-described fitness junkie for life, Emma has been named the Fit&Well Trainer of the Year.

A post shared by Emma Goodman-Horne (@emergy100) (opens in new tab)

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Allow her tips to help you effectively—and safely—master those runs and outdoor yoga classes in July and August.

How to exercise in the heat

1. Choose the right type of workout

While you might feel inclined to opt for something vigorous at the gym, keep in mind that you'll need to tone it down without the AC. Think about a proactive exercise, but one that won't overwhelm you too much while outdoors. 

"Pilates is a great workout to improve your body endurance and stamina whilst also toning your body muscles," Goodman-Horne says. "During summer it’s a great way to provide a sense of calmness and a chance to cool down from the heat."

Who doesn't love and appreciate a little TLC?

Additionally, she's all in favor of a good run, provided that you take it during the right time of the day. (More on that below.)

"From simple walking to running, cardio increases the overall calorie burn of the day. If you don’t want to perform cardio inside your home or the gym, take a step tracker and aim for 10k steps daily," she says.

2. Choose the right time of day

 The best time to exercise, a long-debated topic, is subjective, but when the sun is shining and the temperatures are skyrocketing, you'll have to prepare accordingly.

"Try to exercise in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the stronger midday heat and humidity," Goodman-Horne says of summer fitness schedules. "Try to find shady areas and take the time to rest, hydrate and cool down."

3. Choose the proper workout gear

We all have our picks for the best workout clothes—our Lulus, Girlfriend Collective tanks, Nike shorts. Fitness junkies even question if they should work out in tight or loose-fitting clothes. For the sake of summer, you might want to do away with the black leggings. (We know, we know.)

"Choose workout clothes that are breathable, lightweight and light-colored to help control the temperature of your body," Goodman-Horne says. 

woman lacing up her shoes before an outdoor workout

(Image credit: Getty Images/Westend61)

4. Carry the proper accessories

We're not just talking about that water bottle. (Again, more on that below.) A small towel or sweat band goes a long way, especially when you are looking to dampen your forehead or neck. 

5. Hydrate and eat properly

"Water is great for boosting your metabolism and keeping hunger at bay. To make hydration more enticing, purchase an infuser water bottle and fill them with fresh fruits such as berries oranges and lemons," Goodman-Horne suggests. 

If you need a little convincing, check out our Chilly water bottle review—not only are they effective and provide a swig of H20 in between push-ups, but they're adorable to boot!

One more thing: "Reduce your sugar intake on a hotter day and stick to consuming fresh food with no added preservatives to keep your energy levels high."

6. Know your limits

Overexercising does not mean you're on the fast track to a healthy lifestyle, quite the opposite, in fact (too much exercise can actually make you put on weight!). Listen to your body and know to take a seat when you need it. Pushing through can lead to more harm than good.

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara. 


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)