7 ways to keep fit this summer

BY JO-HANNA TAYLOR

Sunday, July 14, 2019

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THE heat is on and it's shaping up to be a sweaty and scorching summer.

During the summer months, it can be a little harder to start or stay motivated on a fitness journey because there are usually many activities and travel opportunities that cause individuals to press the pause button on their fitness journey.

It is important to remember that whether it is July or December, the benefits of exercise do not change. We have to stay consistent and keep moving. Let's look at seven ways to keep fit in the summer months.

1. Plan your workout week

Summer months are usually filled with reasons you shouldn't workout — from extra time with the children to summer parties and the sweltering heat, et cetera, there are many reasons you should throw in the towel.

Be realistic about the time you have. Some days can only be five to 10-minute workout days, while others can be your usual marathons. Slot it in your week.

Even if you are on vacation, pack some sneakers. The most important thing is that you keep moving because everything adds up.

2. Lock in on the discounts

Take advantage of the summer discounts that gyms and studios provide.

They usually give great discounts because summer months generally have low turnout.

3. Explore the outdoors

There are a lot of mental benefits to switching things up and doing more outdoor activities.

Swimming with the children, summer hikes, running in the cooler times of the day, et cetera, are great examples of having fun and keeping active.

Data from a study published in Environmental Science and Technology in 2010 showed moving outdoors reduces anger and depression and improves mood.

4. Stay hydrated

This is vital for maintaining a well-balanced diet, as it helps you feel fuller longer and helps with your energy levels. Staying hydrated during exercise is also important as it helps to maintain your physical and mental performance.

Numerous studies confirm that staying hydrated delays fatigue and heat stress. Eat your water-rich fruits and vegetables as well (melon, cucumber, carrot, et cetera), as they act as natural electrolytes and can replace valuable electrolytes lost.

5. Drink responsibly

Be careful of the empty calories in juices, alcohol and other sugary drinks.

Having alcohol in heat can also worsen dehydration, so have water between your alcoholic beverages and drink in moderation.

6. Listen to your body in this heat

The moment you feel faint or sick during a workout, stop immediately and find a shadier, cooler place with water and a juicy fruit nearby.

Heat exhaustion and heat- stroke are very serious.

7. Use sunblock

This is still a fitness tip as the skin is our largest organ and it absorbs the sun's energy; small increases in the body temperature can affect physical and mental performance.

It is important to apply UVA/UVB with titanium or zinc oxide and reapply every two hours, even if it claims to be “long-lasting”.

Sunburn increases hyperpigmentation, premature skin ageing and skin cancer.

Don't let the summer months pass you by without taking time to check on your health and fitness. Live this summer to the fullest by caring for yourself and feeling great, moving your body in any way you can.

Jo-Hanna Taylor is an internationally certified America Council on Exercise personal trainer, group fitness instructor, Power Vinyasa 200YT Yoga Instructor, and a wellness coordinator.


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