Indoor Exercise: 5 Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer
It may be too hot to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn into a couch potato until the arrival of autumn temperatures. Fortunately, there are plenty ways to remain active while sheltering from the heat. Whether you move your regular routine to an indoor setting or try a new activity all together, mixing things up can help you break out of your comfort zone without breaking too much of a sweat. Here are some of our best ideas to keep you cool while you’re working out:
Swimming is a quintessential summer pastime, but sun-sensitive people might want to opt for indoor laps. Indoor pools (also called natatoriums) are a great alternative. A perk of swimming indoors is that your sessions won’t be disrupted by rain or bad weather. You can swim year-round with the added benefit of not having to slather yourself in sunscreen.
Indoor playgrounds and other specialty parks are popular with both kids and adults, making them a perfect option to get the whole family moving. Laser tag is great choice for a group outing and can be a whole body workout complete with running, ducking, jumping and even rolling if you get into the spirit. Golf simulator venues might be the right fit if you’re looking to hone your skills in traditional sports like golf, basketball, baseball or soccer – some facilities even offer sillier games like zombie dodgeball to engage imaginative children and kids at heart. If you’re looking for more of an adrenaline rush, check out rock climbing gyms, trampoline parks or “ninja style” gyms that test your body’s limits.
Roller-skating is not only fun but it’s also a great workout! Get your fix of nostalgia while improving your balance, core stability, lower body strength and cardiovascular endurance. Skating engages your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and core. New to roller-skating? Search for a skate school that holds classes for all levels. For a DIY approach, traditional skating rinks offer open skate sessions for all ages.
If you decide to purchase skates, be sure to select a high-quality pair that allows you to adjust the wheels for a smooth ride. Consider also investing in knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards.
Group fitness classes are not only a great way to exercise inside, they also offer a social aspect if you’re looking to meet new people or decompress from a day of Zoom meetings. Another benefit is the wide variety. Fitness classes are kind of like ice cream: There’s a flavor for everyone. If you don’t love cycling, try something new like boxing, cardio dancing or barre. If zen is more your thing, try a yoga or Pilates class. Learning a new skill can be motivating – plus, trying lots of different class types can help to keep you mentally and physically engaged. Stick to beginner levels and honor your physical limits if you’re new to the group class setting.
For indoor exercise, your local gym is always an option. Many gyms offer free trials so you can test-drive the facility before committing to a membership. If you’re burnt out on the gym, try mixing up your routine by using new equipment; a personal trainer can help you learn the ins and out of unfamiliar machines and exercises. Something as simple as a good playlist and set of headphones can reinvigorate your workout.
Exercise is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. That’s why Ochsner Concierge Health connects you with a certified exercise physiologist to help you set and achieve your fitness goals. Learn more about our holistic approach to healthcare at Ochsner.org/ConciergeHealth.
If you must exercise outdoors in the high heat of summer, please use caution. Try planning your workout for the early morning or the evening when temperatures are cooler and the sun isn’t at full force.
Familiarize yourself with the signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Look out for symptoms including nausea and vomiting, rapid breathing, flushed skin, headache, elevated heart rate, high body temperature, clammy skin and erratic behavior or an altered mental state. Seek immediate medical attention if you believe you are suffering from heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
Most importantly, whether you’re exercising outside or indoors, make sure to stay well hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day – including before during and after your workout – is important to keep your body working at its best.