Pretty soon, the Christmas food coma will have passed, and we’ll all be psyching ourselves up to get stuck into exercise. It’s hard enough to get motivated to exercise at the best of times, let alone during the peak of the Aussie summer. If you’re determined to get moving (good on you!) but struggle with heat, fatigue or frequency, these 7 tips are made for you!
TIP # 1. Summerize your intervals
- To keep your fitness level up when temperatures soar, do your regular cardio at a slightly slower pace but add in 30-second speed bursts every three to five minutes. You’ll maintain your conditioning and burn more calories without having to go all-out the entire time
TIP # 2. Exercise smarter, not harder
- Work out during the cooler parts of the day— early in the morning or early in the evening. Decrease exercise intensity and duration at high temperatures or relative humidity.
- Change up the type of workout to fit the temps: On super hot and humid days, choose cooler cardio activities like biking in the wind or swimming in cold water.
- Exercise in cooler places: Either move inside or hit shady parks or a breezy shoreline.
- Exercise in the rain: It’s so exhilarating to feel a little sprinkle on your skin while out for a run or bike ride.
TIP # 3. Maintain Hydration
- When temperatures rise, staying hydrated before, during, and after exercise is critical. Did you know that the feeling of thirst comes around 2 hours after your body actually requires hydration? If you are feeling thirsty your body is well on its way to being significantly depleted and not functioning at its peak level of performance.
- Studies show that your body will sacrifice muscle function in order to regulate temperature, so thinking you can “tough it out” and work through thirst during a workout is not only potentially dangerous, it can actually undermine your fitness goals.
- Staying hydrated will help prevent symptoms such as dizziness, stomach cramps, and headaches which will cause you to stop exercising altogether.
- Water is not the only consideration, though. You also need to refuel with salts and electrolytes (Hydration beverages such as OVI Hydration are a great tasty option without added sugar)
TIP # 4. Maximise the enjoyment factor
- Pick exercise you enjoy that makes the most of the great outdoors. You’re more likely to stick at something that is mentally stimulating, scenic, or fun. Running along a pretty track, taking scenic walks, swimming, biking, hiking, rowing, or participating in outdoor group exercise are great for summer and yield positive results.
TIP # 5. Do shorter workouts
- Limit your workouts to 30-40 minutes. Though you may intuitively feel that more exercise is better, the truth is that after 30 or 40 minutes, the benefit diminihes. It’s better to work out at a higher intensity for a shorter amount of time.
- OR, split up your workouts: If you are struggling to keep going during the heat, or if you can only handle 10 minutes at a time, consider exercising twice in one day.
TIP # 6. Take a cold shower before working out
- A cold shower before you workout will help keep you cool. Leave your hair wet and pop it in a bun, so when you head outside you’ll be instantly refreshed. If you have access to a bubbler or tap, use them! Splash water on your face or a little on your head whenever you need a cooling boost.
TIP # 7. Refresh with essential oils
- Studies have shown that athletes who sniffed peppermint oil during their workout ran faster, had greater grip strength, and could do more push-ups than those who didn’t.
- Try dabbing a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil on the back of your neck and at your temples just before you start to exercise. Not only will this cool you down, it’ll also open up your nasal passages, so you can breathe easier when the air is humid.
If you have any tips or tricks for maximising your summer workouts, we’d love to hear them! Share in the comments below and earn Audrey Dollars for doing so!