The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Beat the Heat and Stay Active!

Posted in
Live well

Thursday, Jul 23, 2015

Summer is upon us. And here in Texas, that means you stay indoors – a lot. This can be a problem because when you hide inside you’re closer to the fridge and the Laz-E-Boy. Calorie balance can get really out of whack during the summer with vacations, patriotic holidays, and longer daylight hours. Here are ways you can get up and/or get out during the hot months. Remember, when it’s hot outside, your body needs more water. Make sure you stay well-hydrated whether you choose to move indoors or outdoors.

Indoor at Home Pop in a favorite physical activity video or DVD and start moving. Get a couple so that you can change up your activities to prevent boredom or overuse injuries. Be sure to pick ones that meet your interests, goals, and fitness level.

Or click on your TV for an assortment of physical activity programs.

Home exercise equipment is an option for some people. Be sure to do your research before you sink a lot of money into equipment. The Consumer Reports website is a good place to get unbiased reviews and information. You can get basic info from the site before you have to subscribe, but the small yearly fee is well worth it.

Indoor Away from Home

  • Fitness centers are an obvious option but can be expensive. You may be able to negotiate a summer membership to keep costs down.
  • Shopping malls offer cool temps, a safe environment, and stimulating sights (well, if you’re a shopper which I am not). Try to take a route that bypasses the food court so your trip to the mall burns more calories than you eat!
  • Indoor climbing walls are fun for people of all ages and fitness levels.
  • Office buildings are not just for working. Take regular breaks to stretch, climb stairs, and move around during your workday.
  • Skating and laser tag are ways to get moving without thinking much about what you are doing.
  • The dance studio is a great place to pick up some new steps and burn calories.

Bicycling is a good way to beat the heat – well, sort of. You feel cooler when riding because of the breeze and the evaporation of your sweat. But it can be deceptive because your body is generating a lot of heat as the muscles work. So wear light-colored clothing and a helmet and be sure to drink lots of fluid to prevent dehydration. A good rule of thumb is to consume at least 8-12 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes or so.

Water and splash parks and community pools are for the whole family, so don’t plan on sitting on the sidelines while your kids have all the fun.

Register for our Personal Training Education (live or online) to learn safe and effective exercise programs for training clients or for individuals seeking to maintain personal health.