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Optimize Your Warm Weather Workout

It’s fair to say that not everyone wants to be stuck inside the gym on a beautiful summer day. Yes, even the regulars! I think we’ve all come to terms with the fact that our warm, sunny days are limited here in Central New York. We need to take full advantage of them while they last.

Taking your workout outdoors allows you ample opportunity to soak up the sun and also add variety to your workout routine. With the right routine and strategy, you can optimize your warm weather
workouts and stay fit all summer long.

It’s time to turn the great outdoors into your personal home gym. This is a good time to be creative! You can use your backyard, a local park, community recreation center, beach, or lake.

We all know that one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off is to move more. Here are a few ways to actively enjoy the outdoors this summer:

• Walk with a friend or co-worker on your lunch break

• Go swimming at a community pool or beach

• Take up tennis

• Ride your bicycle

• Try canoeing or kayaking

• Take an outdoor boot camp class

• Join a beach volleyball league

• Do a sunrise yoga class

• Hire a personal trainer that’s willing to take your workouts outdoors

• Take a day trip to a nearby hiking spot

• Add in squats, lunges and push-ups while walking along the lake

Move More

The warm weather summertime brings makes it easier to be active outdoors. Plus, it’s fun! One of the simplest ways to get fit and stay fit is to move more, period. It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are “actively” staying busy.

Sit down and find a time that will fit seamlessly into your schedule. Remember if it’s important to you, you will make the time. Every little bit counts! Even parking further away from the grocery store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator will make a difference.

Make It Fun

Take the time to find a warm-weather activity that works for you and that you’ll actually enjoy.
Walking is a fun, pleasurable way to move more! Invest in a Fitbit and aim for 10,000 steps a day. If you are new to exercise and that is outside of your comfort zone, set a smaller goal and gradually increase the number of steps you take each day.

Quick Workouts for Your Busiest Days

Just getting out there and moving more is a great place to start, but if you’re not getting the results you are looking for you may need to kick it up a notch.

You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get a full-body workout. In fact, you can get an intense workout in as little as 20 minutes.

With high-intensity interval training (HIIT), sometimes alternately called burst training, you can get a full-body workout in less time. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves working at the very top end of your capacity for 45 to 60 seconds, then recovering for 3 minutes by walking or a slow jog, then returning to very high intensity for another 45 to 60 seconds. You can do it walking, running, biking, jumping rope, dancing, or even swimming.

With HIIT, you only need 15 to 20 minutes and minimal or no equipment to knock out a quick workout. If HIIT is new to you, but you’re committed to giving it a try, start slowly. Be prepared to sweat! HIIT should be intense, and a workout should leave you physically maxed out. What’s even better? You can do it outdoors – many parks have hills, for instance, that are perfect for burst training.

Stay Hydrated

This summer fitness tip is simple: drink more water. Overall, your body is about 65 percent water, so it makes sense that staying hydrated impacts everything from your body temperature to your mood. Dehydration can also impair performance and your health.

Recommended water intake depends on many factors including your age, activity level, and outdoor heat
levels. The U.S. National Research Council recommends 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses a day. Alternately, you can divide your body weight in half and drink that many ounces. (If you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 ounces of water daily.)

Listen to your body! Cramping, fatigue, and other symptoms when you sweat hard during an outdoor workout might mean you are depleting electrolytes. While they do provide some electrolytes, most commercial sports drinks contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other unhealthy ingredients.

Heat-Related Problems with Outdoor Workouts

Heat-related illnesses can create symptoms including fatigue, cramps, and edema. Without intervention, they can progress to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Athletes are especially susceptible to heat exhaustion. Some of the signs of heat-related problems include:

• Fast, weak pulse

• Nausea

• Cramping

• Dizziness

• Headaches

• Weakness

• Heavy panting

If you feel any of these symptoms, refrain from physical activity, rest, and seek medical attention if necessary. “Pushing through” these obstacles while you’re working out during summer heat can quickly become an invitation for injury or worse.

In Conclusion:

Taking your workouts outside is a great way to actively enjoy summer. When is the best time to work out? Whenever you can. That’s the best time. Find something that you enjoy doing, but also challenges you. Rather than have it feel like work, find the pleasure in working out!

Most importantly, enjoy all the beauty that summertime provides. Summer will be over before you know it. Make the most of it while it lasts. Good luck to you!

Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak
I have been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.