How to work out in the sweltering heat

Outdoor boot camps, yoga classes on the pier, and training runs must go on, heatwave or no! How to do them safely, as the city reaches its sticky summer peak.

workouts in the summer heat As the sun beats down and the mercury rises, working out seems like a sure path to passing out.

How can you get your workout on safely and effectively, even as summer in the city reaches its sticky peak? Rekindling your love affair with a refrigerated gym or fitness studio is one way, of course. But what about all those outdoor boot camps, yoga classes on the pier, and training runs you’ve been doing?

We turned to three fitness professionals with lots of sweaty experience for their advice. Here’s what they had to say:

Holly Rilinger Holly Rilinger, Training Camp founder and Flywheel instructor

Make a hydration plan: Make sure you drink at least 20 ounces of water a few hours before exercise, 8 ounces within the hour before it, then plan to sip water every 10 minutes during training.

Try to work out early in the morning or later in the day when temperatures are not as severe.

Bring the pace down a notch. No need to go for personal bests in extreme heat. Get out there. Work intensely but work smart. Listen to your body. If you feel light headed or overheated, slow it down and recover.

Hollis Lewis Hollis Lewis, YogaWorks instructor, currently leading YogaWorks’ summer series on Pier 46

Try to “become” a pose, instead of “doing” it. By “doing” a pose, you can over work the body and drive up the blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to the body overheating.

Let someone know how you’re feeling, either the instructor or another student.

If you’re outdoors in the sun, seek shade. A cool wet towel on your forehead and neck can also help.

If you’re in a studio, find a cool place to sit outside of the class, because temperatures in a closed space can soar.


terence gerchberg Terence Gerchberg, running coach, former Amazing Race contestant, Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp trainer

Consider a salty snack. Your body uses perspiration to cool itself, so you’ll likely sweat more. One way to help you retain water and regulate your body temperature is with sodium. Drive your sodium intake up a little with a snack like pretzels.

Use ice on your pressure points. It will drop your core temperature if you put some ice on the back of your neck or let water run on the inside of your wrists and behind the ears.

Wear light-colored clothing! New Yorkers love to wear black, but you’re making yourself a conduit for heat in the sun. —Lisa Elaine Held

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