Keep It Simple | 5 ways to maintain balance in the heat

Cathy Covey has some fun after training sisters Ariel and Allie Schwantes at The Inner Circle Gym.

Cathy Covey, my mother and owner of The Inner Circle Gym, knows what it’s like to work for a living. If it isn’t working behind her computer to ensure the growth of her business, it is working out on a gym floor with her clients, showing them a variety of movements for a full-body, intense workout.

However, when the heat decides to overstay its welcome, it feels really hard to keep up and stay balanced in your life. Covey, a fitness guru who has been in the industry for over 30 years, has offered a few tips to help you stay fit and hydrated when the heat throws you off your balance beam that you call life.

1. Understand the conditions

“In this time of the year, not only is it hot, but the air quality is really poor,” says Covey. So be aware of what the weather forecast predicts and the state ecology department says about the quality of what you are breathing. “If you are looking at a yellow dot, that means moderate, it probably isn’t a good idea to go huffing around the riverfront trail. Go up higher and do your work somewhere else.” To stay updated on the air quality, please check out the Washington State Department of Ecology here.

 2. Get up and get it done

“Get up and get your work done early,” says Covey. “Out of the heat.” If your schedule does not permit, take it down a few notches and focus on more mindful exercises, like yoga when the heat is at its highest. “Don’t be afraid to change it up.” Any movement is good movement.


The key to staying ahead of the heat is to stay hydrated. “Drink water before you’re thirsty,” says Covey. “If you aren’t drinking water, you won’t be able to sweat.” If you find flavored water more appetizing, add some natural flavor into it. Lemon, cucumber, or creating your own is a great alternative. Here is a DIY recipe called Sassy Water

 4. If you are in a pinch…

If you are a busy parent who feels they have no time in the day to get to a gym, do your own workout at home. “Pretend you’re in a prison and put yourself into a two-by-two space,” Covey says, “and do a full body workout.” If you want resistance, but don’t own weights, use soup cans or fill some milk jugs with water to get the push you want. (Covey provided an at home workout that you can find below.)

5. Have a backup plan

Don’t be so rigid that you don’t have a backup plan, Covey says. If you missed your run this morning, find stairs in a building to run or head to the gym and grab a quick workout in a cooler environment. “The heat is no excuse to miss a workout.”

Covey provided a quick, at home workout below.  

Please base your number of reps off your activity levels. (I.e. if you are just getting started, start smaller with 4-6 reps. If you have been active for a long time, bump the reps up to 8-12 reps.)

Five-minute warm up:

Air squats (5-10)

Lunge in place

Push ups



Burpees (modify to body)

Lateral (side) planks - 30 seconds each side

Unilateral shoulder presses with weight


Lunges or squat in place (add jump if you desire a burn)

Sit ups

Cool Down of your own choosing

Video of the workout. (Warm up and cool down not included.) It is matched up to the order of the work out. Also, each movement is specified before Covey demonstrates them.