The UK is set to be hit with a heatwave this week, with temperatures reaching up to 30°. During this time, it can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise and get outside. After all, if you’re already a sweaty mess from the weather, why would you want to make yourself sweatier and more dehydrated by working out?!
But as T3 found in how to workout in the heat safely, it’s possible to exercise during the heatwave as long as you’re staying hydrated, wearing loose clothing and working out indoors with the best fan on in the background. In general, you should be choosing workouts that are low intensity, focused on maintenance rather than progression, and where possible, indoors.
One of my favourite ways to workout in the summer and stay cool while doing so is yoga. There are many different routines available that are designed for hot summer days, and I’ve found a gentle 25 minute hatha yoga flow which is focused on helping you stay cool and active during the heatwave.
Try this 25 minute yoga routine for hot days
As mentioned in the Sacred Lotus Yoga Summer Yoga Flow video, the routine is designed for cooling down during hot days. The class is meant to be moved through slowly and with awareness to reconnect with the body and breath. All poses featured in the routine are beginner friendly and low intensity, ideal for hot temperatures.
Step 1: Start in hero pose and focus on inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Reach your arms above your head and take hold of your right wrist with your left arm. Stretch up before leaning to the left side to deepen the stretch. Repeat on the other side. Bring the palms together and bend forward with arms outstretched before reaching backwards with your arms above your head. Repeat this a few times.
Step 2: Move into child's pose and take a moment in this position to relax. Reach your arms behind your back before moving into the rabbit pose with your head to the floor and your arms stretched out above you. Return to child’s pose before moving into a tabletop position. Round the back into cat pose before rolling back into child’s pose. Repeat a few times.
Step 3: Still on your hands and knees, fold back into a puppy pose and rest for a few breaths. Move into a sphinx position before lifting your left leg into a half frog to stretch your hips and glutes. Repeat on the other side. Bring your legs together and lie down fully on your mat with your arms supporting your head like a pillow.
Step 4: Return to sphinx pose with your arms extended. Thread your right arm through your left and bring your right shoulder down to the mat. Move your left arm down the length of your body and lift your right leg up into half frog pose. Hold before returning to a neutral position. Stretch your right arm out on the other side of your body before moving to lie on your right side. From here, you can stretch your left leg out in front of you, stack it atop your right leg or put it behind your right leg for different stretch variations. Hold before returning to neutral and repeating on the left side.
Step 5: Return to a neutral position and push yourself up into a tabletop position before widening your legs and folding back into child’s pose. Hold and then push yourself up while bringing your knees together into hero pose. Bring your left arm behind you and your right hand on your left knee. Repeat on the other side before returning to hero and relaxing with your palms facing up.
Tips for practicing yoga in the heat
While yoga can be beneficial for keeping you cool while the weather is roasting, it’s important that you’re practicing it properly. Depending on the flow, yoga can get sweaty and you don’t want to be too hot when it’s already hot enough outside. To practice yoga safely in the heat, follow these tips:
First, pick the right yoga mat. Choose a material that’s sweat wicking, retains its grip when wet and doesn’t smell if it absorbs too much liquid. As mentioned in T3’s best yoga mat guide, look for a mat with a polyurethane top layer as this provides the best grip that’s slip-free and handles sweat well, like the Liforme Yoga Mat.
To keep your sweating to a minimum and to remove any sweat stains, use a yoga towel. If you’re doing a particularly sweaty session, you can place your yoga towel over your mat to absorb the moisture or use it to dry yourself. While working out, stay hydrated as much as possible by drinking plenty of water before, during and after your session. As you workout, you should wear loose clothing to keep yourself cool and comfortable.
Finally, choose low intensity routines and poses. Training in the heat can be beneficial for some but to avoid heat stroke or harming your health, you shouldn’t do anything too strenuous and you should probably steer clear of hot yoga.