Five Summer Fitness Tips
There you are.
You’ve just seen some of the best athletes in the world succumb to the heat at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Well, some of the best tennis players anyway. And you’re thinking “If they can’t stay upright and hydrated on their salary, I sure can’t on mine.”
And you’d be right if you plan to bash away at your fitness goals outdoors in conditions that can be agreeable one day, highly argumentative the next.
So how do you make sure your fitness regime doesn’t suffer a tennis brat-style meltdown this summer?
Tip One: Be geographically flexible
If it’s 36 degrees outside when you’re bouncing on the doorstep ready for your 8 kilometre run, jump in the car instead. An air conditioned run on a treadmill at your local gym might not offer the same scenic route, but at least you’ll get to the end of it pushing stop, not a nurse call button.
Tip Two: Watch the clock
If you have to train outdoors, choose your training times carefully. Obviously, it’s cooler first thing in the morning and last thing at night, so the last thing you want to do is train outside those times. Reconfigure your summer days to accommodate cooler training times and you won’t burst a boiler by autumn.
Tip Three: Stay close to water
As humans, we’re mostly water at the best of times, but when it gets hot, we become equally impressive human fountains. Sweating is basically our body trying to act like an air conditioning unit, only our cooling unit pumps out sweat rather than hot air. It’s not pretty and it tends to be from every available pore.
Replenish lost fluid regularly with water, not sports drinks. Water is by far your best rehydration tool for regular use. Save the sports drinks for those rare occasions you allow yourself to get seriously depleted.
Tip Four: Balance your diet
A summer training diet should be different to a winter diet simply because it’s hot. And when it’s hot, our appetite can wane. So go for leaner, lighter meals and try to choose foods with a high water content – lean chicken, avocado and watermelon. There’s more than one way to stay hydrated and healthy before and after exercise.
Tip Five: Dress for summer success
Again, if you’re training outdoors, make sure you wear loose, light coloured clothing – the lighter the better to reflect heat – and ideally cotton to help evaporate sweat. And don’t forget to slap on loads of sunscreen regularly as sweat washes it away.
Go for anything over SPF30 or even as high as SPF45. And remember, cloudy days aren’t a chance to go light on the sun protection. In fact, you can get just as burnt when the sun is nowhere to be seen.
For more healthy living tips, take a read through all of our Health articles in our blog.