Exercising outdoors benefits our mental wellbeing in a multitude of ways – from improving immediate moods to reducing stress, boosting self-esteem, amplifying mindfulness, promoting better sleep and much more. The summer months are an opportune time for many of us to tap into these perks at a high frequency! It’s also critical to safeguard our skin from the sun’s rough UV rays as well as the heat. Here are some expert recommendations to consider when taking your fitness outdoors this season.


  • Water is the supreme form of hydration. Make it more enticing to increase your water intake by adding fresh lime, lemon or even watermelon to your water bottle this summer!

Block the sun’s rays.

  • Use sunscreen. It’s especially important to apply sunscreen to your face, head and neck.
  • Purchase broad-spectrum, SPF 30 sunscreen. The sun protection factor (SPF) number on your sunscreen means it provides many times the length of protection by healthy skin.
  • Rub in sufficient sunscreen (1 ounce or two tablespoons) 30 minutes before heading outdoors.
  • Reapply roughly every two hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., or right after swimming or sweating.
  • When shopping for sunscreen, search for sport or water-resistant varieties.
  • Heat can damage sunscreen; wrap your sunscreen in a towel to preserve its protective properties.
  • Clean your skin before sleep to prevent clogged pores and skin dehydration.
  • Follow the marked expiration date or write your purchase date on the bottle. Sunscreen is good for three years, even if opened.
  • Toss any sunscreen if its contents have separated, if it has changed color or if it has a different odor.
  • Remember your lips! Try an SPF lip balm this season. 
  • Use a sweatband to protect your eyes when sunscreen begins to drip!
  • Wear protective clothing with UV-blocking properties.

Prevent heat exhaustion.

  • Exercise early in the morning, or at dusk to seek the cooler hours of the day.
  • Create your shade. Use tents or umbrellas, or seek a route in the shade to block sun rays while exercising.
  • Do your cool-down stretching in the shade after exercise.
  • Cool down your pulse points. Place an ice pack, hot-water bottle (filled and placed in the freezer), or homemade cold compress on your wrists, neck (front and back), elbows, ankles and behind your knees.
  • Try eating light with a cooling summer salad. Eating light is another method we might overlook when trying to keep cool during the hot months. Salads are easier to digest, will prevent a sluggish feeling, and can help keep us hydrated in the heat.
  • Or try some fun outdoor water activities to keep cool! Check out our feature at MotivateHealth.com for more ideas – Fun Ways to Keep Cool on Hot Days!


“5 Safety Considerations for Outdoor Summer Exercises,” American Sport and Fitness Association, americansportandfitness.com/blog accessed on June 10, 2024.

“Sun Safe,” Motivate Health, motivatehealth.com, June 13, 2023.

“Fun Ways to Keep Cool on Hot Days,” Motivate Health, motivatehealth.com, June 24, 2021.