The days are longer. The sun is out. The weather is warm. It must be summer.
Summer is the perfect time of year to get outdoors, enjoy the weather, and get in shape. In fact, many plan their entire year around summer vacations, activities, and workouts.
However, as the summer progresses and the heat intensifies, how do you find the energy and motivation to work out? How do you stay safe while working out and beat the heat?
Read on to learn these six cool fitness ideas to do this summer that are not only safe and effective, but also help you beat the heat.
1. Working Out During Vacation – Even if you’ve been disciplined and have stuck with your summer workout routine, there’s nothing like a vacation away to throw you off your game. And after all, what’s a vacation without eating?
The intake of excess calories and lack of physical activity can inevitably lead to weight gain during a vacation, if you aren’t careful. However, if you make time to stay active during your vacation, you will be able to stay in shape while also enjoy your vacation.
We don’t mean you should get up before the sun rises and hit the ground running (pun intended) every morning while on vacation (unless you are truly an avid athlete!) However, in addition to continuing to be mindful of what, when, and how often you are eating, there are some things you can do to stay active during your vacation.
For example, going for a morning jog along the beach, engaging in beach yoga, surfing, going for a hike or even regular walking and sightseeing are all great ways to burn calories while also enjoying your vacation.
2. Stay Hydrated – Never underestimate the importance of staying hydrated, especially during the hot summer days. Although you might feel fine going for an afternoon run on a 90-degree (F) day, the fact is you are likely sweating profusely.
When our bodies sweat, we are releasing moisture via our sweat glands, which naturally helps cool down the body. This natural “cool-down” process requires sufficient fluid levels in the body. Without sufficient fluid in the body, bodily functions begin to break down.
We begin to feel physically ill with symptoms such as feeling faint, headaches, and/ or nausea. The cognitive process is also interrupted. Lengthy periods of dehydration can be incredibly dangerous, and even lead to death. All in all, if you are going for an afternoon jog or a hike on a hot day, be sure to bring a bottle of water or two along with you.
3. Get in a Workout AND Get Things Done! Hate spending a beautiful summer day inside at the gym? There are plenty of outdoor activities you can do right in your own backyard that not only burn calories but that are also different forms of strength training—and also boost productivity! Need to get some things done around the house or the yard? You’re in luck.
Some of the things that you probably need to get done around your house are also great forms of exercise.
Some of these activities include mowing the lawn (don’t you dare get on a riding lawn mower!), raking leaves or even digging holes for your new plants or shrubs. In fact, some of these activities can burn up to 500 calories per hour!
4. Protect Your Skin! Regardless of your outdoor activity, whether you are going for a walk, run, hike or stroll along the beach to help you stay fit, don’t forget to protect your skin! Sun damage to your skin is incredibly unhealthy and can lead to skin cancer. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 87,000 new cases of melanoma, which is caused by the sun will be diagnosed in the United States in 2017. So, the next time you head outside for a workout or another outdoor activity, don’t forget these essential items:
- A hat or visor
- UV-protective sunglasses
- Wear bright colors and lightweight clothing, which help reflect the sunlight
- Wear sweat bands around your wrist and/or forehead to help absorb sweat
There are plenty of things you can do to protect your skin and your eyes while enjoying an outdoor workout. Feel the burn without the sunburn!
5. Don’t Forget to Cool Down! After an intense or lengthy workout on a hot day, you may think that the best way to replenish your body is to drink water. Although it is incredibly important to stay hydrated, which we already explored above, it’s also important to do a proper cool down.
This will help reduce stress in the muscles and allow for muscle repair. Your cool-down process should also involve a good stretch. Not only does it feel great, it’s also important for your muscles and joints.
Stretching has proven to help reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which can lead to muscle cramping, stiffness, and soreness.
Take care of your body by cooling down after your workout today so you feel ready to workout tomorrow!
6. Swimming! What is a common favorite activity to do in the summer? Swimming! Whether it is in a pool, a lake or at the beach, swimming is not only fun and refreshing, it’s also an excellent aerobic activity! In fact, according to the American Council on Exercise, swimming is actually a better form of exercise than some land exercises. While swimming, your heart beats an estimated 17 times less per minute when compared with working out on solid ground.
Swimming is also a great exercise alternative for individuals who suffer with knee, ankle, and/ or hip pain and struggle with other solid-ground exercises, such as running or jogging. This is another reason why swimming and water aerobics are also used as therapeutic purposes.
Shape Up and Cool Down This Summer
All in all, summer is a great time to get outside, enjoy the warm weather, soak up some Vitamin D and get in shape. However, it’s also important to keep safety in mind. Doing little things such as staying hydrated, protecting your skin, and pacing yourself during hot weather can help you beat the heat and stay healthy while you are also staying in shape.