Attention surfers and sunbathers: Are you trying to achieve – or maintain – a trim physique now that we’re in the thick of beach blanket season? Kudos. Keep up the great work. But also keep in mind these summer months are fleeting, and the true test will be adhering to that healthy lifestyle even after the sand and the sun cease their siren call.
It’s also incredibly important during these dog-days of summer in which temps tend to skyrocket, to take stock of the sweltering heat and adjust your exercise routine accordingly. Here are 7 additional summer fitness tips from your Ellicott City personal training professionals.
- Make small, consistent changes. For those who are just embarking on a healthier lifestyle – this is integral. Subscribing to drastic, overnight overhauls to one’s diet or exercise regimen, or nonsensical programs that promise “instant results,” is a surefire path to disappointment. Instead, make healthy choices that work for you, at this precise moment, and stick to them – gradually building upon your progress. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
- Get rid of that scale (at least temporarily). Of course, there will come a time in which a weigh-in becomes mandatory, if only to accurately assess your progress and reevaluate your goals. That being said, obsessive monitoring can be a frustrating waste of your precious time. Instead, keep a food journal, log the miles you’ve tallied on the exercise bike or the track. While we’re at it – if you find that you are comparing yourself to others and their successes – stop immediately. You’re your own person, with your own body type, your own talents and your own limits. Ignoring – or worse, betraying – that can be hazardous. To thine own self be true is the key, and truer words were never spoken.
- Take a cold shower before your workout. No, not because of all of the scantly-clad colleagues you’ll encounter at the gym. But because studies have shown that a cool down immediately prior to exercise can reduce your heart rate and lower your core body and skin temps, which results in a more effective workout. An ice pack administered to the neck and/or head can have a similar effect.
- Balance cardio and strength-training. Getting the blood pumping is equally as important as building lean muscle. At FitnessTogether’s Ellicott City personal training studio, our program uses both, in tandem, to facilitate quality results.
- Keep an eye on the sky (and the thermometer). When working out outdoors in between studio sessions, check the weather forecast to target cooler times of the day (generally early in the morning or later in the evening). When possible, choose shaded areas to exercise in and/or run. Remember, concrete and asphalt will attract and amplify the heat. Opt for gravel or dirt areas if you have a choice. And wear light clothing, which reflects the sun, instead of dark or black attire, which soaks it up.
- Mix things up. Variety is the spice of life, and fitness. Alternate between weight lifting, running, walking, CrossFit, and more. Boredom is a direct route to slacking off.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water. Drink it every day. Drink it often. During exercise – 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes is suggested. Use a heart rate monitor to keep speed and intensity in check, and avoid dehydration, heatstroke and heat exhaustion.
Fitness Together Ellicott City personal training professionals are ready to help you realize your summer potential, and to keep perfecting it throughout the year. Call us today at (410) 750-2228.