Summer is in full force and trying to stay motivated when it’s so hot can be trying. Here are some tips to help beat the heat and stay on track.
- Workout in the morning. A morning workout routine will ramp your body full of endorphins to help jump-start the day. Avoid exercising outside from the hours of 10 am to 2 pm when the sun is directly overhead. Mid-day heat can kill your energy levels and can increase the risk of heat stroke or dehydration. If you wait until the sun goes down, the effects of the day will wear on you and you’re more likely to set-up shop on the couch then put on your sneakers and start moving.
- Stay hydrated. The importance of drinking water should be a regular part of your day, but it is especially important during the summer months. Extreme temperatures cause our bodies to lose water faster. If we are exercising in the heat, we are losing water at an alarming rate. We should drink even if we don’t feel thirsty in the summer to prevent the risk of dehydration. Add cucumber, berries, or mint to enhance the water’s flavor and add bonus nutrients.
- Wear sunscreen, even if you’re only outside a short time. Aging skin is an accumulation of years of sun damage. Your skin is at risk even when you’re walking from your car to work. Protect your largest organ and wear at least a 30 SPF on exposed skin. If you’re working or playing outside make sure to reapply every four hours. One bad sunburn can increase your chance of melanoma and skin cancer. Your skin will thank you years from now when it still has a youthful glow.
- Shop at the farmer’s market. Clean eating is so easy when you have access to local produce and summer is a great time of year to find an abundance of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Plus you’ll be supporting the community and avoiding most of the pesticides and chemicals used in grocery store produce.
- Take advantage of the grill. BBQ’s are a great way to get together and be outside. After you’ve visited the farmer’s market, take your purchased produce, create a simple marinade (marinating meats have shown to cut down on the compounds produced), and grill any of your fruits and veggies for a delicious way to increase your antioxidants while avoiding those unhealthy compounds. If you go for meat, cut down on your grill time by using skewers. You can have a complete meal on one stick.
- If you’re lucky enough to be by a large body of water, take a dip, or cool off in the pool. Swimming is a fantastic cardio exercise you can do without all the sweating. Swimming can improve muscle definition, build up bone mass and reduce inflammation. It’s also a good stress reliever. Just remember while you’re outside to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, and wear a hat and sunglasses if reading a book poolside.
- Planning a vacation? Book a room with fitness amenities so you don’t slack off. Because it’s summer they’ll be plenty of fun fitness activities you can partake in while you’re enjoying your time off. Rent a bike and cruise around town or get in a game of golf. And, don’t forget the water activities! You can surf, kayak, paddle board, scuba dive, etc. You’ll get your heart pumping while being in nature, which is always good for your brain.
Summer is a great time of year with BBQ, cocktails and time off. It can also be an easy time of year to get off track. But with these tips you can avoid getting burned and enjoy the festivities while sticking to your healthy lifestyle.