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Keep active in the heat

Glorious sunshine. Long warm days. Holidays and ice cream aplenty.

The summer can be a wonderful time. But one thing we’re having to get used to is more frequent, longer lasting, and hotter weather.

Being active when it’s hot can be dangerous, and you should take extra care when exercising or spending any time outdoors. However, if you’re able to be, you should try and find ways to keep your body moving, even if it is less than usual.

These are our top tips for keeping active when it’s hot…


Keep hydrated

This is probably the most important thing you can do when exercising in warm weather. Many people underestimate how much water they need, and that can quickly lead to becoming unwell. When it’s particularly warm, you should be aiming to drink around 3 litres of water per day, which should be spaced throughout the day to avoid overhydration.

Watch out for signs of dehydration, including:

  • Headache
  • Thirst
  • Dark yellow and strong smelling urine
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Feeling tired
  • Dry mouth or lips
  • Sweating less than usual
  • Urinating fewer than four times per day


If you struggle to drink enough water, you can top up with ice lollies, ice cream, yoghurts and soups.



Change your routine

If you’re someone who normally goes out for a lunchtime stroll, it’s worth considering changing the time you go out to a cooler point in the day. Exercising in the early morning or later in the evening will help you avoid the blazing sun, and help you keep a little cooler. The hottest part of the day is between 12pm and 3pm, and you should avoid going out at all during that time.


Dress for the weather

It may seem obvious, but make sure your clothes match the weather. Light-coloured, loose clothing, ideally  made from natural materials like cotton will help keep you cool, but make sure you’re prepared with hats, good sunglasses and a high factor sunscreen if you’re venturing out, even for a short while.



Listen to your body

When it’s particularly warm, you may feel more tired than usual, or struggle a little more with your physical activity. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest when you need it, and don’t push yourself as hard as you might otherwise. Remember, every minute matters! So reduce the length of time you’re active, or take it a little easier. The important thing is that you stay well.

Move indoors

We’re seeing more and more extreme heatwaves now, so there will be times when going outdoors at all is not advised. But there are still ways to keep active! Visit an air conditioned indoor leisure centre, go swimming, or try a low impact exercise video at home. We’ve got lots available for free!

Activity videos


Talk to your doctor

If you have any concerns about being active in warm weather, speak to a healthcare professional. Certain medications like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics can mean you have an increased response to the heat, so it’s always best to check before you start a new exercise routine or change what you’re doing.



Images used courtesy of the Centre for Ageing Better and Sport England