I don’t know about you, but sometimes when it is way too hot, my motivation to workout goes out the window.
I know that when it gets super hot during the summer, I tend to just want to walk to the patio and have some beers with my friends. And don’t get me wrong, this is a valid way to exercise! Some people need social time more than they need exercise. Walking to the patio may be just what you need that day for your mental and physical health.
Today, I’m going to provide some ideas for workouts you can do in the stinking hot weather or ways to incorporate some form of movement when it’s just too hot to safely do your usual workout.
Ain’t nothing wrong with staying indoors. If you had a run or a bike ride planned, move it indoors.
You can vary the difficulty on an indoor bike or a treadmill. Try a spin class where you’re pushed for 45 minutes to an hour at varying intensities. Try a treadmill workout where you find ways to push yourself harder than you could outside, but have the benefits of air conditioning and a water bottle close by!
Possible workout ideas-
- Sprints on the treadmill: Warm-up for 5-8 minutes (either walking or a jog). Step onto the sides of the treadmill so you can rest while you set the treadmill to a fast speed. I like to put mine at level 9 or 10 (6:40 minute/mile to 6:00 minute/mile). This will vary on your fitness level, how you’re feeling that day, and how long you plan on sprinting. I like to sprint for 20 seconds and jump off to the side for a 40 second break. Follow this tabata-style method for 10 repetitions, or however many suit your needs!
- Hills on the treadmill: If you don’t want to select the hill interval option on your treadmill, you can manually choose the amount of incline you’d like. If you plan on doing 20 minutes of cardio, try a run/walk at a high inline like 12 or 15. Another option is to do intervals of hills by changing the incline every 1 or 2 minutes. Doing the latter will take up more brain space and may require more focus if you change the incline and the speed.
- Deadmill: This one is a toughy! Turn the treadmill off for this one. Place your hands on the handles in front of you. This is important, as you’ll be using your arms in front (and not to your sides) to push using your legs. Keep your arms strong and try to move the running belt without turning it on. You’re using your legs to move the belt. This isn’t great for the treadmill, so many gyms will have some treadmills set aside that are used solely for this purpose.
Don’t forget indoor gyms are also wonderful for weightlifting, I just won’t be going into any workout routines for the gym, because those will depend on your fitness goals and how much time you’re willing to set aside.
Workout at night
If you have to go outside, doing it at night or before the sun rises are probably your best bet!
I personally have trouble waking up early enough so that it isn’t already hot, but I like being up late. I don’t mind going for a run or walk around 9pm, but you also need to keep in mind the safety of your area.
Another option would be to find an outdoor class, like a BootCamp before the sunrises, or an evening yoga class in the park. These kinds of classes usually aren’t planned during the hottest hours of the day in the dead of summer.
If you do plan to run in the evening, make sure to wear some reflective gear. I personally love this running vest by Noxgear that goes on sale around twice a year. Here is a list of great reflective gear options that can be used year-round!
Go for a swim
This one is pretty self-explanitory! You have a few options here. Either swim outdoors, indoors, or take a nice cold shower!
A cold shower can be used to stimulate your brain and wake you up, or it can be used as a mood booster. Take advantage of your community pool for a lane swim or join a water polo team. There are even classes that take place in the pool! Lastly, and the hardest, would be to go for a swim in open water. Only do this if you have experience or have a life jacket handy! Many of my friends have practiced swimming in open water for their triathlon training, but make sure your wet suit is suitable for the cold temperatures.
Lighten it up
Go light. Realistically, you aren’t going to experience super hot weather every day.
You can lighten any workout by changing the number of repetitions or sets, lightening the load of weight, decreasing the length of the workout, or changing the frequency of your workouts.
- Instead of running your scheduled 10km, consider walking it to get the distance in but not overwhelm your nervous system.
- Instead of your 45-minute heavy weight-lifting session, consider a 20-minute HIIT workout in your room with a YouTube video.
- Practice some yoga moves, pilates, or even try out a beginner Animal Flow class.
Get some chores done
Get two things done at once. If you want to workout and burn some calories, but have other things to do, consider whipping out your rubber gloves and getting to work!
When I’m at home and know I need to clean, I’ll get in a mood where I want to do everything in one shot.
- Take my clothes to the laundromat down the street from me. Carrying two to three bags of clothes and bedding can be heavy. Don’t forget the detergent!
- For those of you who have a car and haven’t washed it in a while, this is your time to pull out the hose and the sponges. Get your kids involved if you want! You can even detail the inside and throw out all the garbage that may have accumulated over the weeks, months… or years?
- Tend to the garden. If you have one, this is a great time to get down on your hands and knees and prune your garden, remove some weeds, and plant some beautiful new flowers or plants.
Summer is always a tough time for me to get out because I live for the spring and fall. I just love that transition period in between the frigid winters and the humid summers. That being said, I know I need to maintain some form of movement. I try to remind myself to enjoy the workouts, no matter how short or light just so I can stay active.
All of this to say: You actually don’t need to workout at all. Have you ever considered just taking the day off and enjoying the fact that you can let your body completely rest? Let yourself sleep in if you need it. Eat that cookie, that muffin, or that slice of pizza. Because guess what? That’s why we move. That’s why we stay fit and eat well 80% of the time. So you can find some balance in your hectic life.