If you're a Kansas native, you know that summer heat is no joke...and for some of us, it can make even the best exercise routine feel like cruel and unusual punishment. Here are some tips to keep your movement fresh this summer-- no heat stroke required.
Time It Right
If you're in the habit of spending time outdoors during the hottest parts of the day, consider moving your workout to a cooler time. Do you usually workout over the lunch hour? See if a friend would join you in the early morning, or try working out after work. Just be sure to pack a snack so you're not fatigued before you start! You could also try a nice evening walk once the sun starts to go down.
Change The Location
If you hate exercising in 95-degree weather, it's not wimpy to move your workout somewhere cooler! Maybe you've been walking at a park or around an outdoor track. Are there any indoor gyms nearby? Do you have a local mall you could walk at? Or, is there a workout video on YouTube you want to try in the comfort of your (air-conditioned) home? If you still prefer to be outside and your current outdoor run/walk/bicycle route is lacking shade, switch to a location that is more sheltered from the sun.
Try Something New
If your favorite workout isn't conducive to a new location, you could try mixing up what you do as well. Have you always wanted to try an exercise or dance class? The summer heat can be a great nudge to get moving in new ways. It can also be fun to take advantage of seasonal options like swimming. Getting a pool pass for you and your family is a refreshing way to keep the whole family moving. Summer nights are also perfect for hosting a campfire with yard games. Stay creative!
Take Care Of Yourself
If you're someone who likes to brave the heat, remember to take care of yourself by hydrating before, during, and after physical activity. Also, sunburns are a surefire way to taint your summer exercise experience, so be sure to regularly apply sunscreen. Most of all, listen to your body - if something doesn't feel right, don't push it. Know the signs of heatstroke and stop immediately if you're experiencing them. Also, know that it's okay to take some time off from your regularly scheduled exercise routine when the weather just isn't cooperating. There are plenty of ways to be active both indoors and out, but rest is also an important component of any routine, no matter what time of year it is! If you experience a lot of guilt or fear at the idea of taking a few days off from exercise, it might be time to look into your relationship with exercise.
Summer exercise can and should be enjoyable! By using a little creativity and flexibility, you can find ways to move that are enjoyable, sustainable, and fun for your whole family! For help incorporating enjoyable food and more movement, work with one of our Rethink Nutrition dietitians.
How to Stay Active in Warm Weather. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2019, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/getting-active/how-to-stay-active-in-warm-weather