Exercising outdoors has some great benefits – increased energy levels, improved mood and reduced tension. So an outdoors summer workout is a great way to feel great while getting fit.
Summer workout options
For people who like a bit of variety in their workout, the summer offers some great opportunities to try new activities.
If you have never been to a boot camp, now might be the time to try. Find your nearest local boot camp class and enjoy some heart-pounding exercises in the social environment of a boot camp.
This is also a great time to try activities such as roller-blading or skate-boarding. It’s a good idea to practice in your own back yard or somewhere quiet before you take to the public park spaces and pavements but these are great ways to work your muscles, improve your balance and get around quickly.
Cycling, running or walking to work – or at least some of the way – is a great way to add some activity to your daily life. It also leaves you feeling more alert as you start your day.
Make it social
Get a group of family or friends together for a game of frisbee/football/volleyball in the local park. An hour of sporting activity will burn calories, improve fitness levels and be a great social occasion or team bonding event at the same time.
The summer months also offer a great opportunity to get in or on the water. Open water swimming is the ultimate challenge for swimming aficionados – there really is nothing quite like the feeling of freedom as you swim in the open air, be it a lake, a river or the sea. This is also a good time to try kayaking or surfing – both sports that are much more fun to learn when the sun is shining.
Beware the dangers of too much sun
However, heat and excessive sunshine does throw up its own issues. Before you set off on your 10k run or your summer workout boot camp, remember to take a few precautions to ensure you stay safe in the sun.
In hot weather your heart continues to pump blood to your muscles but is also working overtime to send blood to your skin to help the body cool itself. While not immediately dangerous, staying in an overheated state for too long can increase risk of dehydration and heat-related illnesses.
To avoid any problems as you do your summer workout, follow these guidelines:
Time your workout.
Early morning or evening is the best time to schedule your summer workout, it is cooler than the midmorning or afternoon, meaning you can exercise at a higher intensity for longer.
Take it inside.
If you have a high intensity workout scheduled and the temperatures are high, look to take the session into the gym. If that is not an option, cut the intensity or cut the time spent exercising.
Taking a time out is not a sign of weakness, rather it is a way for your body temperature to cool down and allow you to exercise for longer. Take a break or do some stretching in the shade between sets.
Look out for..
Feeling dizzy, fatigue or sick.
A headache or loss of control of movements.
If you feel any of these symptoms, stop exercising, take a drink and move out of the sun.
Remember, stay hydrated, don’t love-heat and, above all, have fun with your summer workout.