Adapting Your Workouts to Florida's Scorching Heat

June 06, 2024
A woman in a grey tank top and cropped workout pants is sitting on a bench with her head in her hands, overwhelmed by the hot temperature outside.


When you think of summer in Florida, the sweltering heat is impossible to ignore. The Sunshine State is where beach days and sunscreen are the norm, with endless sunshine creating postcard-perfect scenes. However, this intense heat can challenge even the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts. To keep up with your workouts without melting into a puddle, Jennifer L. MacEwan, manager of BayCare Carillon Fitness Center, has a few tips to conquer the Florida heat.

1. The Early Bird Wins: 
Beat the Florida heat by taking advantage of the cooler, early morning hours for your workouts. The early riser gets in a workout and is rewarded with a serene sunrise to kick-start the day. Avoid midday workouts when the sun is at its peak and when temperatures can be the most intense.

2. H2O on the Go: 
In a state where temperatures can soar well above 90° F with high humidity levels, staying hydrated is essential. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout, and consider tossing in some electrolytes to regulate and control the balance of fluids in your body. 

3. Dress to Impress the Heat: 
Opt for light, moisture-wicking fabrics in light colors that reflect the sun's harmful rays rather than absorb them. Bonus points for sporting a hat to shield your head from the sun!

4. Seek Shade: 
When the heat becomes too overwhelming, look for shaded areas to exercise. Parks with trees, covered walkways or outdoor exercise stations can offer relief from direct sunlight.

5. Diversify Your Workout Routine: 
Don't let the heat box you in when you’re looking for ways to exercise! Florida is renowned for its beaches and waterways. Take advantage of this by incorporating water-based activities into your routine. Swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, and even aqua aerobics can provide an effective workout while keeping you cool.

6. Pacing is Everything: 
Your workout isn't a race against the sun. It's important to adjust the intensity and duration of your workouts to correspond with the heat and current temperature. “High-intensity exercises might be better suited for indoor settings during the hottest parts of the day,” MacEwan explains. “Opt for shorter, more frequent sessions instead of prolonged workouts to prevent overheating.” 

7. Listen to Your Body, Not the Thermometer: 
Your body knows best. Pay close attention to how your body is responding to the heat. MacEwan says signs of heat-related illnesses, such as dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, or excessive sweating, should not be ignored. If you start to feel unwell, it's important to stop exercising, find a cool place, and rehydrate immediately.

With the right approach and precautions, it's possible to adapt your workouts to Florida's hot and humid conditions while staying safe and healthy. By prioritizing hydration, adjusting your workout times, dressing appropriately, and listening to your body, you can continue to stay active and enjoy the benefits of exercise while minimizing the risks associated with extreme heat.

To learn more about various exercise options or to find out more about personal training at BayCare, visit one of our three fitness center locations.



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