Are you trying to beat the heat? COVID-19 has made a lot of things complicated, and cardio is no exception. If you’re used to hiding from the scorching summer weather in an air-conditioned gym, adjusting to exercising outdoors can be challenging and even dangerous.

When the heat and humidity are high, your system has to work harder to regulate and maintain a safe body temperature. It does this by producing sweat. But this isn’t always enough during vigorous outdoor activities such as jogging, biking, or pulse-pounding sports such as tennis. If your body begins to boil, you run the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

If you want to stay fit this summer, learn to ride the heat wave. But you can still turn up the heat on your workout without suffering the side effects of sizzling weather. Here’s how:

Work around the warmth. The summer sun tends to be the toastiest midday, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. So try to schedule your workout around this time frame. And remember to stay loaded up on liquids to avoid dangerous dehydration.

If you can’t arrange your aerobics around this time, consider moving your sweat session indoors with the following total body cardio routine. For best results, repeat the entire circuit three times.

High knees

● Start by standing with the feet hip-width apart. Briskly drive the knees, one at a time, up toward the torso. When doing so, keep the shoulders back, core engaged, and gaze forward, and pump the arms. Practice this exercise for 60 seconds.

Ashley Greenblatt demonstrates the high-knees move.
Courtesy of Ashley B. Greenblatt
Ashley Greenblatt demonstrates the high-knees move.

Standing scissors

● Stand tall with the feet shoulder-width apart.

● Jump and land with the right foot crossed over the left. Jump again to bring the feet back to the starting stance. Finally jump and bring the left foot in front of the right. Push off and land lightly on the balls of your feet to encourage a fast pace and less impact on the joints. Repeat for 60 seconds.

Stay on the balls of your feet as you alternate scissoring one foot across the other.
Courtesy of Ashley B. Greenblatt
Stay on the balls of your feet as you alternate scissoring one foot across the other.

Sumo squats

● Position the feet wide with the toes facing out. The knees and the toes should be pointing in the same direction.

● With your body weight in your heels, lower the body until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. You should feel a deep inner-thigh stretch. Hold for two counts then push through the heels to stand. Squeeze the glutes. Repeat 10 times. To make this movement harder, add a hop at the top of the squat.

Make the sumo squat more challenging by adding a hop.
Courtesy of Ashley B. Greenblatt
Make the sumo squat more challenging by adding a hop.

Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more about her virtual training program, go to ashleyblakefitness.com.