It’s summer, it’s hot, but don’t let that be an excuse to skip your workout! Keep that lean and toned look with these 8 summer fitness tips!
1. Find shady spots. Exercising in the shade gets you out of that direct sun which drains your energy resources. Avoid working out on the asphalt and concrete which absorb the heat making you hotter too. A cool, grassy spot under a tree may even provide you with a little breeze and the sound of rustling leaves. Going for a run? Scout out locations that get a lot of shade in the morning or evening and time your workout accordingly.
2. Adjust your body temperature. Try incorporating a cold shower before your workout. Just this year, a German study found that a pre-exercise cooldown improves performance in the heat — this could be because the cold shower lowers your heart rate as well as core and skin temperatures. Not up for an ice bath? Opt for just cooling your neck or head with an ice pack.
3. Increase your flexibility. “When your body temperature is up, you can go deeper into a pose,” says Edward Vilga, author of Yoga for Suits and a yoga instructor from New York City. Tight hamstrings? Stand and bend forward from the waist and touch your toes or the ground. Hold for 10 breaths. Remember to relax and send that breath down to the tight muscles to relax them. Fold closer with each exhale. Already flexible? Add the extra water element of Stand-Up Paddleboard to your yoga practice.
4. Mix work with play. Water sports is a great way to work out while you play. Going for swim can burn 714 calories while working both your upper and lower body (based on 60 minutes for 150-pound man). Kayaking can burn 340 calories and water skiing can burn up to 396 calories (based on 60 minutes for 150-pound man). Or you can try Stand-Up Paddle board and burn up to 430 calories just leisurely paddling for an hour (estimate based on an average of three people of different sizes (165-200lbs) & 1 hour of paddling). Not going near a body of water? Try washing the car for 30 minutes to burn about 100 calories for a 140-pound woman; or get in some gardening to burn 128 calories. In just ten minutes, you can burn off extra calories too; mowing the lawn burns 176 calories, walking the dog, throwing a frisbee, or playing tag with the kids all burn about 100 calories each.
5. Protect yourself. Remember adequate sun protection is key. Wear sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and hydrate more than you think you need to. You’d be surprised at how much water you need when you exert yourself in warm weather. The American Council on Exercise has suggested the following basic guidelines for drinking water before, during, and after exercise:
- Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising.
- Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm-up.
- Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
- Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise.
If you really want to get exact, measure how much fluid you lose during exercise to get a more specific measurement of how much water to drink (16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound of body weight lost).
6. Incorporate short high-speed intervals. The hot summer weather can put added stress on your body. Do your cardio at a slower pace but add in short 30-second speed bursts every 5 minutes or so. This will help keep up your endurance levels without constant exertion that can lead to heat-related illnesses.
7. Check your heart rate frequently. This is an advantage of wearable technology. Make sure your heart rate stays in the range it should. No heart rate monitor? Stop for a moment and try reciting the pledge of allegiance. You’ll know you’re exercising hard enough when you must take a quick breath every three to six words (if you’re worried about getting funny looks, say it very quietly to yourself).
8. Choose fruit. Fruits like grapes and melons are more than 80% water and will help you stay hydrated and give you energy. Fresh fruit smoothies with a scoop of protein powder, Rx Greens, and/or Intra Edg3 Intra-workout powder are always an excellent choice to boost your nutrient levels, hydrate, and give your body a little extra endurance power.