1. Timing is key
"It's important to plan your outdoor activities around the position of the sun. Extreme heat can wear you down, so it's best not to be running at high intensities between 11am-2pm when the sun is at its peak," says Sharon Zarabi RD, CDN, CPT, a registered dietician and fitness expert at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City.
2. Use your backyard
Depending on where you live, you will have different opportunities to explore the environment around you. Take advantage of being outdoors; go for a hike in nearby mountains or take a dip in a popular swimming locale. You can also use your environment to find relief from the heat—think shaded areas and paths to jog, walk or bike while the sun is at its hottest.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Always make sure to keep tabs on your water intake while working out. When you sweat, you lose water and electrolytes—minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium—which are essential to your body functioning properly.
"There's nothing that will quench your thirst better than the traditional H20, but you can jazz it up with fresh fruit—citrus varieties are best and add a bit of tang!" says Zarabi.
Depending on your needs and goals, you can reach for an electrolyte-enhanced beverage, but be careful: These drinks will often contain extra calories and added sugar.
4. Change intensity
Use the heat to change your workout routine.
"On cooler days, perform high intensity workouts like interval training, boot camps and runs. On warmer days, go for low intensity activities like Pilates or yoga," says Zarabi.
You can also utilize the heat to get more out of your workout; for example, hot yoga fueled by the sun—just apply sunscreen!
5. Wear wicking clothing
Workout clothing has come a long way, so there's no reason you need to be weighed down by a soaked-through t-shirt anymore. Look for breathable and wicking clothing to help keep your body cool.
"Excessive heat from heavy fabrics can exacerbate heat stroke and lead to dehydration.
Keep it light and flexible," recommends Zarabi.
6. Head indoors if you have to
Humans invented air conditioning for a reason! Don't let the heat deter you from getting in your workout and hitting your goals. If it's sweltering outside, head for the gym or an indoor pool. While the summer can be a great time to experience the outdoors, the heat shouldn't be reason to not stay fit and healthy.