Ask the Health Coach: How Can I Work Out Safely in the Heat?

It's going to be a scorcher today. Our health coach explains how to exercise safely in hot conditions.

Dear Maura,

Is there any way to prep the body for heat? Other than water consumption, what is needed for hydration?

~Kristie G. (via Twitter)


Dear Kristie,

This question is so timely with how freakin’ hot it’s been this summer. And it’s something I think about all the time since I teach at a hot yoga studio in Manayunk (shout out to Hotbox Yoga!). So here are some simple tips to stay hydrated all summer long, and keep you working on your fitness!

1. Of course, drink lots of water. I’ve mentioned this in quite a few post, but aim for half your weight in ounces of water per day. Specifically, drink 16 to 20 ounces of water one to two hours before your workout. And rehydrate with the same amount post-workout with water or another electrolyte-replenishing beverage like fresh-squeezed juice, a green smoothie or plain coconut water.

2. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, salty foods and sugary, carbonated drinks that ultimately dehydrate you. (It should go without saying that if you have a hangover, you aren’t properly hydrated. Just wanted to make sure we were clear on that! Moving on.)

3. Eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies throughout the day, especially those with a high water content like watermelon, cucumber, and lettuce greens.

4. Remember: It’s okay to sweat. This is your body’s way of cooling off. Generally speaking, if you aren’t sweating, you’re probably dehydrated. Another way to monitor hydration is urine color: the lighter your pee, the more hydrated you are.

5. And finally, if you’re new to exercising in the heat, give your body a good two weeks to get acclimated to the conditions. In other words, ease into it! If you think you or someone you are with may be suffering from heat stroke (symptoms such as cramping, nausea or fainting), this is no joke—call 911 immediately. Please. And thank you!

As always, thanks for the questions and happy sweating!

>> If you have a question for Maura,  email it or tweet it at us; your question could be answered in a future column. Find more of Maura’s advice here.


Maura Manzo is a yoga teacher and health coach specializing in integrating diet, health and wellness. She supports others in becoming their best possible selves. Maura is available for private instruction and coaching, as well as on-site corporate classes and speaking engagements. She is co-creator of the Beyond Asana 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training and the Art of Letting Go: Maya Tulum Mexican Yoga Vacation. Learn more about her teaching schedule, coaching practice and yoga trainings at