Keep Your Workout Cool
By Cindy Lafond
That is great for lounging by the pool, but for staying active, the change in climate can be a challenge. However, you can still keep up your wellness routine. Summer can be a great time to try new things, or you can tweak your favorite activities to make sure you stay safe outdoors. Here are a few tips for summer fitness:
- Get Going Early: Because the days are longer, this allows for more opportunities to head outside for your workouts. Daily temperatures are typically hottest between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm when the sun is at its highest. Schedule workouts for early morning, or in the cooler evening hours, if possible. Other options include shortening the overall duration of your workout, or splitting it into two times. This may help from overheating or being in the sun too long.
- Stay Hydrated: Begin your outdoor exercise or any outdoor activity well hydrated. Drink two cups of water before exercise, then you will want a half cup for every 15 minutes of exercise. When your workout is completed, it’s important to follow up with another 8 to 24 ounces of water.
- Bring Snacks: If you are traveling for a workout make sure to pack plenty of water and healthy snacks. Great snack choices could include fruits such as grapes, watermelon, and cantaloupe because they consist of healthy carbs and are high in water content.
- Protect Your Skin: Even during the summer months, it is important to layer your clothing so that you can add or remove layers depending on changes in temperature, type of exercise, and time of day. Lighter color and reflective fabrics help to reflect heat. Moisture wicking shirts and lightweight, breathable clothing can help reduce overheating and exhaustion in the warmer weather by pulling the moisture from your skin and making you feel cooler. All outdoor workouts should include sunscreen or protective clothing such as hats to help avoid sunburns and other sun related injuries.
- Workout Indoors: When the thermometer really spikes, the best option may be indoors, particularly for those older exercisers or those with health concerns. If you usually run or bike outdoors, summer is a great time to keep cool by going indoors.
- Go Swimming: Eliminate sweat altogether with a swim. Swimming is a fantastic comprehensive activity because it addresses a person’s mobility, flexibility, and physical strength all in one workout. Swimming is an aerobic exercise that expands your lung capacity and can improve blood pressure.
- Listen to your body: Look for signs of fatigue, lack of sweat, dry skin, dizziness, joint pain or muscle cramps, as these can all be signs of dehydration and overheating. If any of these occur, stop exercise immediately.
- Consult the experts: Whether you are starting a new routine or ramping up your workout schedule, always check with your doctor first. They are a valuable resource in your daily health and well-being. Once you have the medical guidance, consult with a fitness expert or personal trainer. They can give you the workout plan that keeps you safe and helps you meet your fitness goals.
- Go to your local YMCA for summer fun: Staying safe in hot weather in New Hampshire is easy by taking a few extra precautions and limiting outdoor activity in extreme heat. By becoming a member of The Granite YMCA, you will be able to move your workouts indoors and stay healthy all while in the comfort of air-conditioned facilities. Add Yoga to your routine, or pick up a swimming class as cross training. YMCA locations include Manchester, Goffstown, Londonderry, Portsmouth and Rochester. The Y offers free Kid Zone services to members while they workout, so bring your kids along and let them enjoy some fun activities at the YMCA too. Check out the class schedules and group fitness for more fun options and ideas on how to stay healthy in hot weather. If you join the Y through June 24, you will receive 50% off the join fee.
Summer can be tough, but with a little change in routine, you can survive the toughest temperatures and be ready for fall as the weather cools down! For more information, please visit www.graniteymca.org.
Cindy Lafond, Association Director of Healthy Living has worked at the Granite YMCA since 1994 in many capacities. She started as a volunteer teaching group exercise moved on to become the Wellness Director, and slowly moved up the ladder from Association Health & Wellness Director, Senior Director, Branch Executive and finally to her dream job for the past 2 years as the Association Director of Healthy Living. This job allows her to work with many people, ages and organizations to provide wellness throughout our community and state. After 32 years of wellness experience, Cindy holds numerous certifications in group exercise, LIVESTRONG at the Y, Cancer Exercise and Fitness Specialist, 500-hour Yoga instructor and this list will continue to grow as she pursues new and exciting ways to help individuals reach their wellness potential.