Staying active in the summer heat can be a challenge. But with longer days, increased recreational opportunities and a little preparation, you can maintain an active lifestyle, stay fit and enjoy a host of balmy-weather activities with family and friends. Here are some tips:
Avoid midday heat.
If your regular exercise routine has you heading outside, stay out of the sun and humidity during the hottest part of the day, typically between noon and 3 p.m. Try early morning, late afternoon or evening exercise if you’re going to be outdoors.
In the summer’s heat, you need to make sure you drink plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel very thirsty. Drink water before, during and after exercise. Carry a water bottle with you and rehydrate with sports drinks to replace electrolytes lost during exercise.
Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics that wick away moisture from your body as you sweat. Wear a sun hat, visor or cap to protect your head and face. Use a sports-type sunscreen that is sweat-resistant. Wear supportive footwear to help you avoid injury during your activities.
If you can’t stand the heat or the humidity, don’t let it stop you from exercising. There are many creative ways to stay active during the summer months, including joining a mall walking group, heading to the nearest community pool or aqua aerobics class or joining a gym to use weight machines or to take fitness classes in a comfortable, air-conditioned setting.
Work out at home.
Turn your living room into a fitness center with DVDs or videos of your favorite fitness activities, from yoga to dance classes to weight training. Invite a friend or two over, push the furniture out of the way and have some fun.
Throw on your swimsuit and go kayaking, canoeing or stand-up paddle boarding on your nearest lake or waterway to help strengthen your back, abs and arms. Look for tree-shaded paddling trails to help keep cool or jump in for a dip while you’re enjoying the scenery. Be sure to wear proper sun protection like a hat and sun block and bring plenty of water to drink.
Riding a bike gives you a low-impact way to explore your neighborhood, a park, even a downtown area. Make sure your bike is adjusted properly for your height to avoid problems with your lower back and knees. Wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road or stay in bike lines. If you ride early in the morning or at dusk, wear light colored, reflective clothing.
Splashing around in the community pool, the old swimming hole or your favorite park lake is not only a great way to keep cool, it’s a low impact way to stay fit. Lap swimming and recreational swimming uses all the major muscle groups and is easy on your joints. Resistance from the water can give you a cardio boost and help tone your body.
Hike your favorite nature trail at a nearby park. Walk from one end of the mall to the next. Go up and down stairs to add extra leg toning. Stroll around the neighborhood and say hello to old friends and get the benefits of a social outing, fresh air and some exercise.
Take advantage of pleasant summer days and try a new activity to help you stay fit.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.