You’re looking out the window, and the hot summer air is so heavy you can practically see it. You’re thinking: “It’s too hot to exercise. Obviously, I need to wait until fall.” Then, going on with your day, you reach into the freezer for your favorite summertime snack: full fat ice cream. “Hmmph.”
Sound familiar? It turns out the summer is not a time for us to give up exercise, since we love to spend our days filling up on bbq and delicious summer treats (all while sporting our unforgiving, skin-tight swimsuit)! But, have no fear! I’ve got a new round of tips from our resident marathoner and athletic wizard, Stephanie! She even gives us advice on how to keep our little ones active and healthy!!! Here’s our latest interview:
Andrea: Do you find it’s possible to still train hard outdoors in the summer? If so, how do you make that work? Are there health concerns to be aware of?
Stephanie: It is definitely still possible to train hard outdoors in the summer. In fact, it is when I do the most miles. It just takes a lot of planning. I usually wake up super early in the morning to get my workouts in before the sun heats things up. I always carry hydration with me (H2O or Nuun – electrolyte hydration tablets amzn.to/1DYTUSc). There isn’t much you can do about the humidity, but I think of summer as the poor (wo)man’s altitude training. Once fall weather rolls in, you feel pretty fit because you’ve trained through summer’s elements.
Obviously, it is important to listen to your own body. If the heat or humidity is too much, make changes to your training. Pay attention to signs of dehydration. You can decrease intensity until your body becomes acclimated to the summer weather and then work your way back up to where you were initially. And, of course, hydrate before, during, and after your workout. Introduce electrolytes to maintain proper hydration for your activities.
Andrea: What’s your favorite thing about working out in the summer?
Stephanie: ….diving into the pool after a run! It is the best way to cool off after sweating it out on the roads.
Andrea: Any tips on how to engage little ones in physical activity during the summer?
Stephanie: Be a model for physical activity. My daughter has been going on runs with me since she was an infant. I’ve been pushing her in the jogging stroller ever since she was cleared by her pediatrician to hit the roads. She thinks everyone’s mom runs 10 miles before work in the morning. Because of this, she is definitely more physically active herself. She loves to play outside, swim in the pool, and even run strides with me around the cul-de-sac.
I also sign my daughter up for classes. She takes gymnastics and dance year round. She also takes swimming and soccer over the summer. These are all classes that get her moving and teach her lifelong skills. She doesn’t even know that it is exercise because it is just fun for her!
And there you have it! Encouragement for us all to keep it moving this summer :) Just remember: balance is the key to happiness (mainly because it allows us to eat ice cream).