Summertime Shine (From Sweat)

8 Jul
Sure, it's windowless and depressing. It's also got AC, so deal with it.

Sure, it’s windowless and depressing. It’s also got AC, so deal with it.

Editor’s note: I’ve said many times that I’m a bum, and this is proof positive. I waited an extra day to post. Sorry, peeps.

Like many of you, the long weekend was a welcome respite from the dragging days of summer. I try to lead by example, so I had every intention of going for a couple of runs this weekend. But my bed was just too damn comfortable and it was too damn hot.

Working out in the heat is never ideal. Your body temperature is already at flu-like levels, and you’re exerting yourself (hopefully) to a near breaking point. Basically, you’re beating yourself up. Add outside factors like 90-plus temps and 85% humidity under sunny skies and you’ve got a recipe for exhaustion.

As always, there are ways to beat the heat and still beat your body into fitness submission.

1. Hydrate. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: water is best your best friend in any weather circumstance. It’s definitely your life force when you’re heading for an outdoor workout. Remember Game 1 of the NBA Finals this summer? Of course you do. I wrote a lovely post about it. That’s what happens when you don’t hydrate. Don’t be LeBron. Be better than Lebron.

Don't let this happen to you (on an international stage)

Don’t let this happen to you (on an international stage)

2. Keep your activity light. The reason I prefer running is because I’m cheap. It costs the $140 a year I spend on shoes. That’s slightly less than my annual Netflix and Spotify subscriptions combined. But I have conditions for running, and one of which is that the temperature cannot be above 80 degrees. I refuse. During the summer, the Weather Channel app is my friend. Not running, however, doesn’t mean I can’t walk. Second to my love of water is my love of walking. It was so hot here over Fourth of July weekend, I just grabbed my water bottle and took my dog for a nice long walk by the river. Unfortunately, it was so hot that he couldn’t get comfortable. We were both sweating buckets by the end, but at least we tried.

3. Early bird burns the calories. If you must run outside, get up early. Crack of dawn is your best bet because it should be cool enough so you don’t tire out so quickly. But be careful. Tell someone you’re going that early. The crowds are thin at daybreak, leaving great opportunity for muggers. On the absolute rare occasion I go that early, I’ll text a friend that I left.

4. Gym time. So it’s so hot that the sidewalks are steaming. You’ve gotten a weather alert on your phone that people are advised to stay indoors and use the AC. You know what place great air conditioning? The gym. Sure, it can be depressing to to be cooped up on a summer day, but it’s only an hour or two of your day. After that you’re set to enjoy the sunshine.

5. Take a dip. Swimming is so much fun. And it’s an excellent way to get a total body workout. You’ll work muscles you haven’t worked in a while, especially if you’re like me and not a frequent swimmer. For my natural ladies, I know it can be worrisome to keep your hair right after a swim. I’ll have a post coming shortly about that. But in the meantime, get your two-strand twists going, invest in a good swim cap and do some laps in the pool. Your arm and thigh muscles will thank you for it.

6. Spin out. Summertime offers better opportunities for you to just hop on your bike and go. You don’t even have set aside special bike time the way you do workouts. You can bike to work, to school, to the gym, to a friend’s house. And it fits one of my main criteria: it’s cheap! You buy the bike and pay the regular maintenance for chains, brakes and tires (much like a car, but cheaper). Plus, it’s also a great way to get some sun and fresh air.

What do you like to do to keep up your fitness routine during the summer? How do you plan on taking advantage of the sunshine?

top photo credit: HealthGauge via photopin cc

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