What to Wear During Hot Summer Workouts in the Sun

When it’s sunny and hot and you still want to tackle an outdoor workout, here are extra precautions you can take to stay safe.

Hot summer workouts in the sun can be fun. You’ve got the warm weather, sun shining and blue skies; what’s not to love? But when you’re planning to tackle an outdoor summer workout, you need to take extra precautions to stay cool, stay hydrated, and defend yourself against the sun’s UV rays.

During hot summer workouts in the sun, wear light, sweat-wicking clothes to keep cool and use sport-specific sunscreen for the best sun protection. Also, ensure you drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout and keep an eye out for symptoms of heat-related illnesses to stay safe.

What to Wear During Hot Summer Workouts in the Sun

Here’s a rundown of what to wear during during your workouts in the sun, from your fabric choice to sunscreen type:


What you wear during hot summer workouts can make a big difference in how you feel. Your aim would be to keep as cool as possible which is why your workout clothes should be breathable and loose. Ideally, choose swear-wicking or moisture-wicking fabric as this assists in keeping you dry when you sweat—and if you’re working out in the hot summer sun, you’ll probably be sweating a lot. Sweating-wicking fabric will prevent your clothes from sticking to your skin, keeping you as dry and comfortable as possible, while simultaneously adding to its breathability. As the capillaries in the fabric allow for sweat to be drawn away from the skin, it enables more air to come through.

The color of your workout gear can also make an impact. Ideally, try to wear lighter colors. Dark colors absorb heat while lighter ones reflect the heat, to help keep cool.


Wear a hat to keep your face and depending on the type of hat you wear, the back of your neck, covered from the sun. Likewise, with your clothes, the material of your hat will make an impact on how cool you keep in the hot weather.

Wearing a visor instead of a cap or hat that covers your scalp can mean that your head will become less heated, however, that also means less sun protection. If you want to cover your head with a cap or brimmed hat, then find one with a thin, moisture-wicking fabric. This will keep your head dry and draw the sweat away. The thin fabric will keep it lightweight and cool. There are hats with a neck back flap that covers the back of your neck from the sun, adding an extra layer of protection.


Sun protection is best if you’re covered so as well as a hat as well as sunglasses with UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) protection. Wraparound sunglasses protect your eyes not just from the front but also from the edges. It wraps the contour of your face to cut down on glares, which make them ideal for outdoor summer workouts.


Sunscreen is pivotal for sun protection. Don’t just choose any sunscreen though. Find one that’ll give you the best protection from UV rays as you do your hot summer workouts in the sun.

SPF is an important number to consider. Ensure that the one you choose is at least SPF 30. The higher the number, the better, especially if you have the tendency to burn quickly. Also, look for one with broad spectrum protection. This will defend you against both UVB rays and UVA rays.

Choose a sunscreen that’s specifically designed for sports as it will be water-resistant and hence, sweatproof. While you’ll still need to reapply your sunscreen, at least your sweat won’t make it wash off even earlier and you reduce the risk of having the unpleasant experience of having it run and stinging your eyes.

Reapply your sport-specific sunscreen every 2 hours or as needed, paying particular attention to exposed body parts, and don’t forget places like behind your ears!

Extra Sun Safety Tips for Hot Summer Workouts

Stay Hydrated

During hot summer workouts in the sun, you need to ensure that you’re drinking plenty of water. You’re going to be sweating out more water than usual, which means that you’re going to have to replenish your water faster.

Ideally, drink water before your workout so that you are already hydrated and replenish during and after your training.
If you’re wondering whether your body is hydrated or not, look for signs of dehydration like changes to the color of your urine. If it’s on the dark yellow side, then you need to drink more. If it’s a much lighter yellow, then you’re likely to be hydrated.

Choose Your Workout Hours Wisely

The hottest part of the day is typically from noon to 3 pm, though this may change depending on the day and weather. It’s best to avoid doing your hot summer workout during this time as it may be too hot. Early morning, when it’s still warm but the sun isn’t too high in the sky, is a great time to do your outdoor session or even early in the evening when the sun is setting. The air will still be warm but at least you won’t have the sun beating directly down on you.

If you can’t avoid the hottest time of the day, then try to find a space with shade to escape the sun.

Be Aware of Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses

It’s wise to be aware of symptoms of heat-related illnesses. Taking precautions such as working out in the shade and staying hydrated is important but it’s also vital to check in with yourself about how you’re feeling every now and again. There are multiple heat-related illnesses that you may experience such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

Stop exercising immediately if you’re feeling unwell or dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous and fatigued. If you have vision problems or headaches or low blood pressure, you need to also stop training. If this happens, drink lots of water and do what you can to lower your body temperature by getting out of the sun and seeking shade.

Pay Attention To Your Body

Choosing what to wear during hot summer workouts can make or break your workout. Wear lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric for your workout gear and a hat that will keep you cool and dry. Ensure your sunscreen is a sport-specific one with at least SPF 30 and most importantly, listen to your body. If you’re feeling unwell, dizzy or lightheaded, stop exercising, lower your body temperature and drink plenty of water.



Welcome to the guidebook to your healthiest life. Aaptiv delivers the highest quality fitness and health information from personal trainers and industry experts. Subscribe now for a weekly dose of inspiration and education.

I would like to receive weekly fitness articles and inspiration from Aaptiv Magazine.

Please click the checkbox to subscribe.