Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. With warmer temps and fresh air luring you outside, it's a good time to change up your fitness routine. Though sun and heat can be a factor in the summer, they don't have to spoil your workouts — in fact, you may learn to love fitness in the summer.
Hiking exercises almost every part of your body: legs, knees, ankles, arms, hips, butt, abdominals, shoulders and neck. “Not to mention you'll exercise your imagination and fuel your creativity as you explore the great outdoors,” says Alison Sweeney, who hosts The Biggest Loser.
Enjoy the motion of the ocean as you challenge your core strength and balance on a paddleboard. If you get too hot, jump in!
Fitness guru Robert Reames, nutritionist and official trainer for the Dr. Phil Show, says water activities are great because they keep you cool. “Whether it's a pool, lake or the ocean, there are some great activities you can do that involve your whole body,” Reames says. He suggests canoeing, swimming, snorkeling and kayaking.
Because sand is available near most water outlets, he says to take advantage of it. Sand can be a great resistance tool to add to your workout that is better than a treadmill or StairMaster, he notes. Try running or walking barefoot in the sand, or taking a beach yoga class.
Sweeney says warmer weather is the perfect time to be active with your children. Try outdoor games or sports together so you can spend time as a family and stay active.
Sweeney says that nutrition is important to ensure you're feeling your best on long, sun-filled days. She likes tossing a handful of blueberries in her water bottle for a flavorful drink.
Stay away from caffeine and artificially sweetened drinks, notes Sylwia Wiesenberg, founder of Tonique Fitness. She recommends blending chunks of fresh watermelon, lemon and mint, then adding a banana for potassium.
Another must-have for working out on a hot day? Breathable clothing. Snag a few pieces that can absorb moisture and dry quickly. Investing in a few airy pieces can help you stick with your outdoor workouts for longer and stay in better shape throughout the hotter months, Sweeney says.
Finally, purchasing the right sun protection is important. Sweeney says not to forget about a face lotion with SPF so you can moisturize your skin and protect it, too.
Keep in mind as you’re working out that sweating more from the heat doesn’t mean you are burning many more calories than normal. There are different schools of thought on whether you really burn more calories working out in the heat. According to this source, boosting your activity in the heat can increase your core temperature, but your body’s response to the temperature increase means it will not use significantly more calories.
The goal is to get out there and stay active, and is an advantage regardless of how many calories you torch. With so many activities to choose from — and options to help you stay cool and protected — there’s nothing left to do but put on some sunglasses!
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