Five Summer Fitness Tips Everyone Should Know
Spring has sprung and summer is right around the corner.
From long days at the beach to weekend hikes in the mountains, summer provides you with lots of opportunities to shake up your workout routine and find fun new ways to stay active.
Before you hit the trail or head to the pool, be sure to keep these five summer fitness tips in mind. They’ll help you stay safe and enjoy the sun without getting burned or overheated.
1. Protect Your Skin
One of the best summer fitness tips you should keep in mind is to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. It’s fun to take your workouts outside and soak up some extra vitamin D, but too much sun exposure increases your risk of sunburns, wrinkles, and skin cancer.
Invest in a good sunscreen to keep the sun’s rays at bay. Below are some guidelines to keep in mind when looking for the right one for you and your family:
Look for a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15, although 30 or above is preferable
Look for “broad spectrum” sunscreens that protect against UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays are more commonly known as the cancer-causing rays, but UVA rays also contribute to skin cancer and age the skin
Make sure your sunscreen is water and sweat resistant
Don’t forget to keep these additional tips in mind when applying your sunscreen. It doesn’t matter how powerful it is if you’re not applying it properly:
Apply sunscreen fifteen minutes before going out in the sun
Use more than you think you need
Re-apply it every two hours (at least)
Even if you’re using a good sunscreen, it’s still important to limit your sun exposure. Try to run and walk on shaded trails whenever possible and wear protective accessories like hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves.
2. Invest in New Workout Gear
As you’re preparing for warmer weather and starting to plan your outdoor workouts, don’t forget to change up your workout attire.
Whether you’re going to be running outside or playing beach volleyball, it’s important to invest in clothes that are breathable, lightweight, and moisture-wicking. These clothes will help pull moisture away from the skin to keep you feeling cool and dry while spending time outside.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, you might also want to invest in some shirts that offer additional UV protection to help you avoid burns. Don’t forget to wear a hat, too, to protect your face and scalp.
3. Shorten Your Workouts
Summer isn’t the best season for chasing PRs or trying to dramatically increase your mileage.
Rather than trying to tough it out in the heat, consider shortening the duration of your workouts and increasing the intensity. You’ll spend less time dealing with the heat but will still reap the same calorie-burning benefits. You’ll also be able to relax and spend more time with your loved ones -- isn’t that what summer’s all about?
4. Drink Water Throughout the Day
It’s very easy to get dehydrated during the summer months, especially if you’re doing lots of running, hiking, or playing sports outside.
Be sure to drink water before, during and after your workout, and be on the lookout for common signs of dehydration -- dizziness, headaches, stomach cramps, and nausea. If any of these symptoms present themselves, stop what you’re doing and get some water immediately.
5. Support Your Joints
The summer is the perfect time to try out forms of exercise you don’t normally do, such as hiking or trail running. While it’s great to switch up your routine, don’t ignore pain or injuries just because you want to try something new.
If you have an old knee or ankle injury, for example, walking on an uneven trail could put additional stress on your joints. To prevent flare-ups, consider wearing an orthotic aid, like a knee brace -- one made with compression material ensures proper support and will help keep your joint properly aligned.
These five summer fitness tips will help you soak up the sun without sacrificing your exercise goals. Protect your skin, support your joints, and remember to stay hydrated and you’ll be all set for a fun, active summer!