There is no excuse more prevalent than dealing with extreme weather conditions to thwart your plans for physical activity.

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Henry David Thoreau

“But it’s too HOT to exercise!”


In the northern hemisphere, today marks the summer solstice, the first day of summer. Here in Northern California, the heat was a predictable 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius).

For my southern hemisphere friends who are enjoying enduring COLD temps now, the same principles of using temperature as an excuse not to exercise still apply. See links near the end of this post.

Today I am sharing excerpts from my upcoming work-in-progress book No Excuses Fitness as they relate to exercising in hot or cold weather, from my chapter on external barriers.

How often do we make the time to get some well-needed exercise or physical activity only to be thwarted by some external barrier?

External obstacles or barriers generally include geographical, environmental and structural. Those geographical barriers include weather and climate, changing seasons and outdoor temperatures.

For example, how can weather impact your exercise plans? Perhaps you plan to go for a jog on your lunch break and find the temperature is simply going to be too hot. For some this is a barrier that stands in the way. Is there an indoor place in which you can work out? How about a swimming pool where you can join a water exercise class or engage in lap swimming?

Do you live in a part of the country where the possibility of extreme weather conditions prevents you from simply walking outdoors?

No Excuses Fitness Copyright 2019-2020 © Terri Webster Schrandt
Women Walking for exercise
Image by Unsplash

According to Fitbit, taking 10,000 steps “adds up to about five miles each day for most people, which includes about 30 minutes of daily exercise—satisfying the CDC’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.”

Working your exercise regimen around seasonal weather and extreme temperatures is do-able with some pre-planning.

Local Recreation and Park Facilities and Programs

Knowing what your local parks and community recreation center or local swimming pool offers can potentially provide you with plenty of ideas for exercising in warm temperatures.

If your summer evenings are free and it is cooler to exercise, consider these options:

  • Many recreation and exercise programs are offered after work hours during the week and on weekends.
  • Consider trying a short-duration exercise program with a beginning and end date.
  • Some communities have private swim or racquet clubs with a variety of fitness amenities that you can join for a limited time if you don’t want to commit to a year-long membership.
  • On warm summer nights, trade your walking or jogging clothes for your bathing suit and join your local swimming pool’s water aerobics class.
  • For more cardio, lap swimming is also a great workout. If you don’t want to get your hair or face wet, use a kickboard and work out your legs, or perform the breaststroke or sidestroke.

(Image by Unsplash)

  • Even if your swimming skills are underdeveloped, don a pair of water shoes and walk back and forth in the shallow end. These are surprisingly effective alternatives to lap swimming and will keep you cool.

Friends and Family

Longer summer evenings mean more time for evening fitness activities with your family. After dinner, get everyone moving during a brisk evening walk. If you have dogs, they will appreciate walking in the cooler evening temps, too.

I walk with one of my friends from the gym one day a week for an hour. We meet at her workplace and walk in the neighborhood, as she graciously walks one of my dogs.

For Morning People

If evenings don’t work, try waking up earlier in the morning with the earlier sunrise. An early morning walk, run, or another type of exercise can really kick-start your day.

For myself, I prefer physical activity in the mornings. In Sacramento, we usually have cooler mornings than evenings. If the temperature will be above 95 degrees on a given day, I’ll take the dogs for a 20-minute walk, come back home, eat breakfast then head to the gym.

If I am home on a weekend, I will get up early, grab my inflatable SUP and take the short 15-minute drive to the lake and get a stand-up paddle session in before the heat intensifies and the crowds arrive.

When I worked full time the last 5 years before I retired, I adjusted my work schedule to arrive at 9am and did my gym workout at 6:15am, giving me enough time to shower, eat breakfast and get to my workplace.

Once you’ve adjusted to early-morning workouts, add another day or two to the routine. You may decide that you really like it and be motivated to continue.

What is Stopping You?

Don’t let hot weather prevent you from getting your exercise each day. Life can get in the way and disrupt our routines, but don’t let a couple of setbacks be a barrier to regular exercise. Unfortunately, it seems easier to abandon our exercise plans when faced with extreme weather and temperature.

And of course, be safe! If the weather conditions are dangerous or if the air quality is poor, stay indoors.

It is important to remember that you only need 30 minutes of physical activity a day to reap countless health benefits. Three 10-minute sessions briskly walking outdoors on a hot day still works.

For alternatives to your favorite exercise, taking a walk is always better than not going at all, whether you are wearing your shorts to stay cool or your scarf or hat to stay warm.

For those interested in cold weather fitness tips check out these posts from Sue at Sizzling Toward Sixty and 7 Tips For Exercising in Cold Weather.

Join me next month for my discussion on safely bouncing back from injuries and surgery.

69 thoughts on “No Excuses #Fitness for Extreme Weather

  1. Guilty as charged! Walking outside is my favourite form of exercise, but we’ve had rain, rain and more rain. Of course, I do have an indoor workout routine, but that’s fairly boring so it often gets sloughed off. Trying to learn better self-discipline. 😛 Thanks for the tips!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Terri, the heat and humidity of South Florida forces me to change my fitness habits during the summer. Tennis is the activity most curtailed, but I still manage at least one game per week. I found a great product called DripDrop that has been a godsend for preventing dehydration. Without that, I would be restricted to indoor activities only.

    We take on a lot of indoor projects during the summer also. It keeps us moving, out of the heat and productive all at the same time!

    Great advice. Looking forward to reading more about your recovery.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Great tips and ideas, Terri. These days, on top of rain and sleepless nights, we don’t get any hikes in, as we’ve been driving east for most of the day. Luckily, we have a dog now and are “obliged” to take walks. 🙂

    Have a fantastic summer and a quick recovery, so you can get back to your walking and fitness routines! Good to see you’re making progress with your book.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. When my sister visits England from Australia she always says how good it is being able to go for a walk at any time of the day – not having to wait until it cools down! Walking is the ultimate incorporate into your everyday life. You get where you need to go and exercise and fresh air at the same time.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Living in Maine gives me ample excuses for not working out due to weather conditions. But snowstorms give me shoveling activity and a treadmill gives me an inside walking option. I never use heat as an excuse because I love hot weather. But so many times when I have counseled patients about exercise they would tell me they’d get with the program when the weather improved only to tell me they couldn’t because it was too hot. No matter where you live you need a plan B for outside activity – preferably something you enjoy. I love the sound of your new book, Terri!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Excited to hear of your forthcoming book Terri. Living in tropical climates definitely has me making excuses for staying on board and relaxing with the air con blaring. These latitudes are best experienced from the crack of dawn to 9:30 AM and after the sun goes down. The things that get me working out is ‘keeping it fun’. We are getting ready to sail to Bonaire where we will spend a lot of time in the water snorkeling …it will keep us cool and feel far from a workout.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh, Bonaire is a windsurf/kiteboard mecca, Lisa! Many of our windsurf friends say it is the best place to learn! All that water activity you do and your active lifestyle on a boat gives you physical activity you didn’t know you needed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Terri, Many great recommendations/suggestions. I think the people that exercise will find a way, and the people that don’t will find an excuse. Exercise is like brushing teeth for me. Since I was a Dental Hygienist for over 25 years, this says a lot 🙂When working full time, walk/run at 4:45am for an hour. Saw deer, racoons, Northern Lights. A magical time of day. I look forward to hearing more about your book:)

    Liked by 4 people

  8. What an inspiring piece. I used to have a goal of 10K steps when I worked, and often did more than that. But now days, I have a goal of 7,200 steps and have days where reaching my goal is difficult. Have the best intentions to take a quick walk in the morning and a bedtime walk with PC but it doesn’t happen every day.

    Love your new signature with the goggles. Working on finalizing my Sunday Stills and Eye Candy photos for the month. Will get a post put together in the next week. Thanks for always inspiring me, in so many ways!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Aww, you are so sweet, Leslie! At least you have a step goal and that does a lot for external motivation. Even while recovering, I wear my Fitbit and manage to log 2000 steps a day on my knee scooter…crazy, huh? Looking forward to your photo post.


  9. Great post! Good luck on your book! I’ve been away from the blog-sphere for a bit (which I will blog about soon) but was happy to find this post during my ‘quick check’ this morning. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I laughed at this as Queensland is doing its thing today and the rain is torrential. I walk first thing in the morning most mornings – out the door by 6 am, earlier in the summer. It doesn’t give you time to come up with excuses when it’s cold, and it’s the only time of the day that it’s comfortable in the summer. We’ll walk when it’s drizzling or even light rain, but not when it’s bucketing down! Other than that, being prepared, removing the excuses & having the right clothes and shoes looked out is the key.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Thank you Terri for mentioning my post and linking through. If we really are serious about keeping healthy and active we can certainly find a way and the time. I’ve found some great yoga videos and workout videos that can be done in the comfort of your home. I’m looking forward to reading your book but you are right there really are No Excuses. Thanks for being part of #MLSTL and spreading the message of good health and activity. xx

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I love my Reformer Pilates classes and go 3 mornings a week – early – 6:30am class! This morning it was dark, cold and pouring rain but I just roll out of bed, get dressed and go. I don’t allow myself to think about it much. I always feel so great after class so it’s well worth it! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Good on you for the new book Terri, so impressive! I usually have to get my exercise in before lunch otherwise it’s too easy to put it off. I’ve been away in the warmth in Queensland and we’ve been very active with lots of bike riding in glorious weather. I will find it hard to get outside once I return home to the cold icy temps. #mlstl

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Wow! Another blogger writing a book (I’m so envious!) And some great tips here Terri. Fortunately we have very mild weather here in Western Australia – it does get very hot in the middle of a Summer’s day, and wet in Winter – so I tend to walk in the mornings and evenings and take an umbrella when it’s wet. If worse comes to worse we also have an elliptical machine to walk on, but I prefer fresh air and nature over indoor exercise every time
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Hi Terri, we seem to be constantly hampered by rain here in the UK, which is so dreary. I also have arthritis which does restrict me but i try to get out with our little dog everyday, getting my steps in.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Southern Hemisphere here and with no extremes of cold…no excuse other than pouring rain over the past few days. So, because I “now” have an Apple watch and am in recovery mode from cancer, I am endeavouring to get 6-7K steps a day. What’s a girl to do? Go to the local big shopping mall and walk from one end to the other having an occasional browse.

    Denyse #mlstl

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Hi Terry Living in Australia and in particular in Central Victoria, where we have extremes of heat and cold, the weather is always on my mind. Fortunately I’m able to get past the weather excuses but I know for many of my friends its either too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy etc. Your pist gives good information to coping with the extremes #MLSTL Sharing on SM

    Liked by 4 people

  18. I am not very good at exercising, Terri, and it is difficult to walk or cycle where I live as there is a lot of crime in South Africa. I always walk up the stairs at work so that is three flights about 10 times a day. Better than nothing.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. I’m grateful to have really amazing weather conditions all around the year, here in Bangalore, India! Still I have understood is that you need to be flexible and quick in deciding the next best option. Today I just posted about how I’ve changed my mindset about working out and the hustle life!
    It’s interesting to see so many people inclined towards good health and many more living with excuses.

    Liked by 5 people

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