Can't Stand the Heat? 5 Must-Know Tips for Outdoor Summer Workouts

By: StacyAtZeel

When Runner's World launched their Run Streak campaign for summer 2012, they did so with a purpose. Because while many of us spend all spring long getting our bodies beach ready, once warm weather strikes, it can be difficult to find the motivation to keep on working out.

Of course, you can head to the gym if you're looking to get your sweat on sans heat. But know that, just because the sun's a-shinin' doesn't mean you can't work out in the great outdoors. All it takes is a little mental determination and a few sound choices along the way.

Exercising outdoors this summer? (And based on the East Coast today, it's bound to be a hot one!) Bring along these five must-know tips for safe and effective warm weather workouts.

1. Hydrate. Most of us know to bring a bottle of H2O along when working out in heat. But did you know that it's important to hydrate before, during and after your workout too? Zeel Fitness Expert Christian Cruz says, "Drink plenty of water throughout the day before, during and post workout." She adds, "Feel free to pour water on yourself to cool off during or after a run too!"

2. Map it. Plan to work out near water fountains if you can, especially when running. Most major cities and even suburban neighborhoods equip their parks and paths with drinking fountains galore. Find out where they are, and make it your destination.

3. Dress properly. As an avid runner and former division I cross country athlete, Christian knows how to dress for the occasion. "Wear light, loose, dry-fit clothing, well-fitting socks to prevent blisters, sunglasses to protect your eyes and a hat or visor for more shade," she says. We're currently loving this Tempo Visor from Athleta, with an internal sweat-soaking band.

4. Freeze a water bottle. Freezing a water bottle can be a great way to ensure that you're well-equipped with a supply of cool water from start to finish. Just be sure to let it thaw a bit first, or else you'll end up with a block of ice and one very parched throat.

5. Know your body! Feel free to push yourself if you're feeling hydrated and strong, but remember to know your body and take a break if you're overcome with any sense of exhaustion. Getting dizzy? Stop! Your health always comes first.