Guest Post from Breanne Fleat from Protein Promo
With summer in the air, it’s time to start thinking about vacation plans, beach days, warm nights under the stars, and family picnics–but it’s important not to lose track of your fitness goals while you’re at it. While summer is often a busy time, and the heat can make it difficult to keep your motivation up, there are a ton of things you can do to use summer to your advantage and really boost your fitness efforts while enjoying your summer to the max. Follow these twenty tips for a summer full of fitness and fun.
- Stay hydrated It’s so obvious, but it’s also so easy to fall into the trap of not getting enough water in the summer months, especially when you’re working out. It you’re sweating a lot–and you will be–then you’re not just losing water, you’re losing salt, and that needs to be replaced. Try adding a tiny amount of regular table salt to your drinking water–not so much you can taste it, though, or you’ll end up dehydrating yourself more.
- Take your workout outdoors Summer is the perfect time to get away from the four walls of the gym and check out the world outside. Choose shady locations so you don’t overheat and make sure you have access to fresh, cool water.
- Try a cold shower Before your workout! Studies have shown that cooling your body down before you start to work out helps you get the maximum benefit out of your efforts, and summer is the perfect time to try it out. If you’re not quite ready to jump into a totally cold shower, try putting an ice pack on the back of your neck before you start instead.
- Take advantage of seasonal produce Summer is an amazing time of the year for whole foods and clean eating, and summer farmer’s markets are an amazing source of healthy, nutritious, fresh foods that will fuel your body without compromising your health. Take some time out to try new things–you might discover a new favorite!
- Carry snacks with you When you’re watching your carb intake it can be hard to find suitable meals if you eat out or on-the-go a lot, and this goes double in the summer, when you might be travelling or otherwise find yourself too busy to stop and eat something healthy. Pre-prepare some high protein/high fat snacks when you’ve got a spare moment (Protein Promo has a fantastic list of Keto friendly & high protein snacks on their blog) and take them with you, so you won’t fall prey to bad summer eating habits.
- Take up a new sport or outdoor activity Now is the perfect time to try something new, especially if you’re going on holidays this summer. All exercise is good exercise, and if you can work a new physical activity into your summer routine while still having fun, you won’t get down about the need to work out–and you’ll be able to see how much your fitness efforts so far have paid off!
- Brush up on your no-equipment workout techniques On vacation or with the kids home from school, it can be tough to find time to head to the gym. That’s where body weight exercises come in handy. Aside from the obvious push-ups and sit-ups, look into other ways to move your body with no special equipment–there are a ton of resources for this, you can even have a go on the park equipment while the kids enjoy their playtime.
- Ditch the car, ride your bike Summer is the perfect time to bike to more places. Maybe you always mean to ride to work, but cold mornings make the whole idea unappealing. Maybe you can just ride your bike to the supermarket every now and then on a nice day. Be sure to pace yourself and not do this on the hottest days, though, or you could do yourself more harm than good.
- Rethink your workout clothes While spandex compression garments make a ton of sense in the winter, they’re not so great in the summer. Instead, pick up some cotton leggings or shorts, which will wick sweat away from your body in the summer heat. Compression garments could easily lead to overheating, so it’s best to go without them on hot days.
- Use the heat to your advantage Working out in the summer can enhance your running, cycling. It is a great way to boost your training especially when it comes to endurance sports. Keep in mind that It’s vital to take the right precautions when working out in hot-weather.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself It’s harder to work out in the summer, and it’s important to accept that. You may not be able to keep up the pace or the amount of work you’re used to, but that’s okay. Not only does the increased heat mean that the difficulty level is about the same, even if you do less, but it’s really, genuinely okay to step back your efforts a little. The world will not end if you take an extra rest day.
- Take your workout into the pool Instead of sweltering under the hot sun, try out swimming as a low-impact but still excellent exercise option. Swimming is unique in that it takes pressure off your joints while still giving your muscles the full benefit of a workout. Plus, the opportunity to take a dip will motivate you on the hottest of days!
- Obey your hunger During the summer months our hunger naturally drops, take advantage of this by eating more fresh produce. Tune into what your body is telling you and eat only when hungry. Use this time as a way to break mindless eating.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen. This isn’t strictly a fitness tip, but if you’re going to be working out outside this summer, don’t forget to use sunscreen–and pick a sports one, so it’ll be sweat-resistant. Not only does sunburn increase your risk of skin cancer and heat stroke, but it makes your future workouts that much harder when it hurts to move.
- Try HIIT to save time Summer is a busy time of year for many people, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your fitness. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a fast way to work out–in as little as a handful of minutes at a time–and can be done just about anywhere. You might even discover it suits you better in general, and you’ll have the summer rush to thank for finding that out.
- Run on the beach Running on sand is amazing for your lower body muscle tone, because it requires your legs to work harder to stay balanced. While running on the beach in the winter is unpleasant at best, summer mornings or evenings make an excellent time to enjoy the beach while getting your body moving.
- Keep track of your goals It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the summer months, and you can lose track of what you’re aiming at. Keep your goals in mind, and keep track of your progress toward them. This helps with motivation, too–if you can see that you’re getting somewhere, you’re more likely to continue, no matter how adverse the conditions are.
- Start earlier, or workout later Heat is a serious concern in the summer, but the longer days mean that you’ve got more time to get your workout in. Consider getting up a little earlier and working out first thing in the morning, before the heat of the day sets in, or move your workout to the end of your day, when it’s started to cool down again. Don’t workout outside in the middle of the day, when the sun’s hottest, unless you really want to pass out.
Listen to your body If you start feeling dizzy, nauseous, or otherwise unwell, stop and rest. Heat stroke and serious dehydration are real risks in the summer, and it’s way worse for your overall health to fall victim to them than it is to skip a workout. There’s no point in making yourself sick for the sake of going for a run, so don’t take risks with your health, and if your body warns you that it can’t cope, listen to it
Most importantly, enjoy your vacations, your breaks, and the chance to see some sunshine this summer. Fitness is important, but so is life–if you’re living a fun, fulfilled life, fitness will come much, much easier. Happy summer!
Breanne is a protein-baking enthusiast, with a huge obsession with all forms of nut butter. When out of the kitchen, Breanne works full time at Protein Promo managing social media & content.
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