THROUGH THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
Here are six summertime tips to keep you moving and motivated during the hottest month of the year. Limit your outdoor workouts, get on a summer schedule, follow the 15-minute rule, hydrate yourself, dress for hot weather, and get the right amount of sleep!
LIMIT OUTDOOR WORKOUTS
As the temperatures rise it is a great opportunity to focus on weightlifting, group fitness classes, swimming, and other indoor activities. I use the summers to focus on strength training, since I can take advantage of the cool air-conditioned comfort of the local gym or at an indoor cycling studio. I limit exercise to early morning or late evening in a studio in order to avoid the harsh rays from the mid-afternoon. It’s a good idea to alter our workouts with varied training cycles, and the weather gives us the perfect opportunity to shake up our regular exercise routine.
GET ON A SUMMER SCHEDULE
Summer ok can mess with our regular schedules. School is out, kids are home, vacations are planned, and hotdogs are on the grill. Our best defense against summer slacking is establishing a summertime routine. Take the dogs for a walk every morning or get your workouts in after lunch every day. Our schedules may be a little more varied than during the winter months, so establishing exercise and healthy eating routines can keep us on track.
FOLLOW THE 15-MINUTE RULE
When you really don’t feel like you have the energy for a workout, follow the 15-minute rule. Commit to doing a 15-minute workout. The hardest part of most workouts is getting started. After 15 minutes, you can stop if you want, but most likely once you get going, you’ll want to keep going. Even if you stop at 15 minutes, it is better than not working out at all. 15 minutes every day is still 1.75 hours of workouts for the week; not too shabby.
HYDRATE EARLY AND OFTEN
Whether your workouts are indoors or out, hydrate early and often. Dehydration can make us feel lethargic and fatigued. Drink up to eight glasses of water a day— Add more if you are working out and are spending time outside in the heat. No, a cold brew doesn’t count. Ha!
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
Avoid cotton clothing and socks in the hot weather. Cotton absorbs water (aka sweat) and may cause blisters, rashes and embarrassing sweat stains. Stick to technical fabrics that wick moisture away from the body. When out in the sun wear light colored, loose fitting clothing and of course, plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin. Nothing kills motivation like blisters and or sunburn.
If you’re getting up early to beat the heat, make sure you are going to bed earlier as well. Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health, so you’re not doing yourself any favors if you get up 2 hours earlier to run and lose two hours of precious sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night to ensure proper recovery from those summertime workouts. When you’re properly recovered, you’ll feel more inclined to get in that next workout!
By SHARON REID
CycleStar @ CycleBar Fort Lauderdale