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When the sun comes out it makes us feel good, which often brings a desire to get fitter and so here we offer some tips for a summer body workout. Of course if you’re lucky enough to live in a place where the sun is always shining and it’s always warm, then you may see things a little differently.
After the cold dark nights of winter merge into a warmer spring, then to a hotter summer, it’s no wonder the sunshine makes us feel good. When the sun shines things seem more positive, maybe helped along by the energy emitted from the rays, but it just feels great to be able to get outdoors without having to wrap up.
With this, often comes a desire to get fit for the summer. Other than the “feelgood” sunshine can bring to us, perhaps we’re also aware that we’ll be wearing less clothes and need to lose a few of the extra pounds we put on during the winter. There is a tendency to eat more during the winter months so maybe that is a factor.
Prepare for Your Summer Body Workout
If you exercise regularly you most likely won’t need to do much preparation as your summer workout routine won’t vary much from what you’ve been doing all winter. Having said that, because there’s a change in the climate, there are some things you need to consider.
Sometimes during winter our working out can tail off a little. There are different reasons why this is the case, but the cold is often a big factor. It’s natural to want to do less when it’s cold, we want to curl up and stay warm! It’s a bit like animals that hibernate during the winter, when they wake up they won’t be in tip top shape for a while.
If you’re starting a new summer body workout after taking it easy through the winter months you need to take things steadily. Before you do anything, perhaps it’s best to seek professional advice or talk to your doctor. There’s no point in putting yourself at risk just because the sun is out and you have a desire to get fit.
Gently Does it
Slowly but surely is the best advice. Yes of course you should push the barriers and stretch yourself a little, but don’t overdo it otherwise you may not be able to workout at all. Because the weather is warmer you need to be aware of your body reacting to the heat. You will get hotter and don’t want to overheat.
It’s a good idea to get up earlier in the day if you can. If your lifestyle allows you to get up, say an hour earlier, you’ll be amazed at what a difference it will make to your day. Early in the morning is a great time to exercise because it’s cooler than it is later in the day, although it can still be quite hot at night.
If you normally workout in the morning, doing it earlier during summer can make a big difference. As its cooler then, there’s less chance of overheating. You’ll be amazed at the difference this can make.
One of the other bonuses of getting up an hour earlier than normal other than your summer workout plan, is that the day will be longer for you, or at least, your waking hours will be. That extra time can make a huge difference in how you plan your day and you’ll probably be glad of it. You’ll probably come to wonder how you managed to get everything done when you were sleeping later!
Getting up earlier will mean it’s likely you’ll be getting less sleep. You might want to consider going to bed a little earlier, but as long as you’re getting 7 to 8 hours sleep it should be ok. Some people say they need less sleep than that, but doctors do advise trying to get at least the recommended minimum. This is something you can discuss with your doctor if you’re changing your daily routine.
Things to Remember
When it gets hotter you’ll obviously sweat more, particularly during summer workouts. One way to try and reduce this is to have a shower before you begin your exercising. Of course we’re talking about a cool shower, it doesn’t have to be cold but if it’s cool your body temperature will go down a little and you can begin the workout without being too hot. A cautionary note about this, you don’t want to make your body heat go down too much or too quickly, don’t go to extremes.
Your intake of water will go up as you sweat more so make sure you have some close by. It’s so important to keep your body hydrated while exercising. Any increase in temperature will increase the need to hydrate more. You’ll know how important hydration is when exercising so bear this in mind as the weather gets hotter.
Another consequence of hotter weather is that your body will need to work harder to achieve what you want. This will put more pressure on your heart so it’s a good idea to keep a check on it. A good heart rate monitor can help with this and it’s a good idea to incorporate this into your routine of tracking your steps, distance etc.
Adapt Your Workout Routine
Once the weather is better, there’s more reason to take your exercising outside if you don’t already do so. Not only your general routine but what about taking up some other activities? There are plenty that you might not already do, it might be rowing, canoeing or even kayaking.
Water sports such as these are obviously better to do in the summer when the weather is better but they’re also very good in helping you to get fit. Rowing is said to be one of the best complete body exercising there is. Remember that these activities are very demanding so if you add any to your usual routine it’s best to get professional advice.
We have to give a mention to walking as it isn’t a particularly demanding exercise but can be a good addition to what you already do. Going for a walk when the sun shines can be really enjoyable and sociable too, it shouldn’t put too much extra strain on you either.
Know the Risks
If you’re thoughtful and take precautions there shouldn’t be any problems. If you’re out in direct sunlight, protect yourself by applying sun cream. Make sure your head is protected too. If you have thin hair you might need to wear a hat to keep the sun out. This might cause a problem though. We lose a lot of heat through our head and wearing a hat will slow this down which could lead to overheating. Something similar to a bike helmet which has deep vents to let air through might be an option.
We’ve already mentioned how important it is to stay hydrated, but make sure you keep a look out for dehydration. If you’re feeling thirsty, that can be the first sign. Heat exhaustion can also be a problem, look out for heavy sweating, dizziness and headaches. Heat stroke can be dangerous so take note of feeling extremely hot, nausea and a throbbing headache.
If you suffer any symptoms which make you feel ill, stop immediately and seek help. There’s some good advice on the heart.org website. Any risks are obvious really and all it needs from you is to recognise the dangers and avoid them!
Getting fit during the warmer weather is something which makes you feel better and can also have an effect on your diet as we tend to eat more healthily when we have a fitness plan. Summer is the time for salads and cutting down on stodgy foods, so together with a summer body workout you should look, feel and appear better in the sunshine!