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Fit For Summer: Simple Strategies to Keep Your Exercise Routine on Track


Strategies for staying fit during summer

Summer days are notorious for enduring record-high temperatures and extended dry spells. Busy schedules, especially for families who have planned vacations and kids participating in extracurricular activities, can keep us constantly on the move. Maintaining a new health routine during the summer can be challenging. Hot days might push you to exercise early in the morning or late in the evening, and outdoor events and travel can complicate a new fitness routine. To take care of your health during busy summer months, it’s important to have alternate plans to support your wellness routine. Knowing the answers to your “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” and “How,” will greatly help you stay fit and well for the summer. Here, we will discuss some simple strategies that can help to keep you fit and on track with your exercise routine this summer.




Know Your “When”


When it comes to exercising outdoors, summer is most likely going to influence the time of day you choose to workout. It’s important to consider high temperatures, humidity, and sun exposure. Whether you choose to walk, run, bike, or swim, engaging in outdoor activities is best early in the morning (between 6:00 AM- 8:00 AM) or later in the afternoon/ evening (between 5:00 PM-7:00 PM). These times can help you stay comfortable and avoid overheating while exercising.


Drink Up!   

     

Staying hydrated during the summer is crucial for regulating body temperature, supporting physical performance, maintaining mental clarity, balancing kidney function, and more. Body fluid is lost quickly through sweat during exercise and outdoor activities, particularly when you are exposed to high temperatures and sunlight. Here are a few tips to help you stay hydrated:


It's important to stay hydrated during hot, summer months
  1. Drink water before, during, and after any activity (i.e. exercise, yard work).

  2. Eat hydrating fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, watermelon, and cucumbers.

  3. Keep a reusable water bottle with you (preferably double-wall insulated to keep your water cold). My favorite great and cost effective option is this particular bottle. (Side note: to prevent those bottles from rolling all over your car when you travel, I HIGHLY recommend this convenient expanding car cup holder).

  4. Reduce drinks containing sugar, caffeine, and alcohol as they can increase urine output, contributing to dehydration.

  5. Replenish lost with natural foods and juice, especially if you sweat easily or endure rigorous physical activity.



Choose Cooler Workout Venues


Avoiding excessive heat and staying comfortable is key. Some great exercise options to help keep you cool include:


·        Indoor gyms

·        Home workouts

·        Swimming or water aerobics

·        Shaded parks

·        Adding extra fans


Switch Up Your Activities


Walking your dog can be considered a form of exercise.

Summer heat can hinder motivation to exercise. If you’re feeling too hot or too tired to move, you’re less likely to stay committed. Exercise should be fun. If you’re not enjoying your current routine, try switching it up. You’re more likely going to stick with an exercise if you actually like it. Summer offers a multitude of unique exercise opportunities. Here are some alternative ideas you may want to consider this summer:


·        Swimming/ water aerobics

·        Paddle-boarding/ Kayaking

·        Yoga/ Pilates

·        Trail walking or hiking

·        Tai Chi

·        Disc Golf

·        Dancing

·        Bicycling

·        Rope Jumping

·        Walking your neighborhood

·        Rock climbing


You may want to consider joining an adult sports league. It not only provides great exercise, but is excellent for making new friends. Social media groups, Meetup.com, and your local YMCA are some great resources to consider. Also, an ‘old-fashioned’ Google-search can be helpful.


Be Comfortable, Be Aware, and Maintain Accountability


Wherever you choose to exercise, it is important to dress comfortably. Wear lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking clothes. Protect your skin with sunscreen and y our eyes with sunglasses when outdoors.


Listen to your body. If you’re feeling fatigued or overheated, take a break! According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2,302 fatalities occurred in the U.S. in 2023 due to heat-related causes. With increasing climate concerns each year, heat-related deaths have definitely been on the rise. Common signs of heat exhaustion include: dizziness, headache, excessive sweating, nausea, fatigue, muscle cramps, and cool, moist skin with goose bumps.


Accountability is something that can help with consistency and safety during high-heat activities. An accountability partner, like a friend or family member, is another excellent way to stay safe and motivated.


Accountability partner for exercise
Having an accountability buddy, such as a close friend, can help you maintain consistency when it's hard to get motivated.


Maintaining a fitness routine during the summer doesn’t have to be hard. However you choose to move, it’s important to remember the time of day you want to exercise, to stay hydrated and as cool as possible, that movement should be fun, and that you’re keeping your body comfortable. When you implement these elements into your fitness routine, you’ll have a cooler, more enjoyable, and healthier summer!




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