Many people want to get more fit during the summer but find it hard to keep up with regular exercise in the heat. How can we stay cool and yet keep up the pace?
Summer is not the time to give up on exercise just because of the heat. Some people have no trouble sticking to their exercise routine no matter how hot it gets, but that’s not most people. There’s nothing to feel guilty about if you can’t take the heat, but it also does not mean that we forgo exercise until the weather gets cooler. The whole objective is to continue an active lifestyle for a lifetime, so we want to find ways to stay active throughout the year.
Where to Start Beating the Summer Heat
It’s best to let go of any expectations about exercise. There ought to be no rules about how, when, or where we should exercise and no rules about what type of exercise we should engage in. It doesn’t matter if running, walking, treadmills, or any other type of exercise is the latest rage. The important thing is that we move consistently. The body doesn’t care how we move – just that we move. It doesn’t even have to be considered exercise to be exercised. For example, playing with your kids or grandchildren in the pool may not be considered formal exercise, but, if kept at a steady pace, it can be.
Just because you walk the rest of the year doesn’t mean you have to walk in the summer. If you take such an all-or-nothing approach to exercise and you can’t take the heat of summer, you’ll probably do nothing when it’s hot. In addition, this type of thinking keeps you from being creative enough to find other activities that are good exercise and will keep you active all summer.
Six Steps to Finding the Right Exercise for Summer
Here are some steps to take in finding the right exercise for those “too hot” days:
- Make a list of places you can exercise that are cool enough for you. These may include shady areas, your house, the office, the mall, outside in the evening, and in water.
- Make a list of ways that you like to “move.” This list might include dancing, stepping, swimming, water aerobics, cleaning the house, jumping rope, gardening, using an exercise DVD, and so on.
- Review accurate information on how to exercise properly to get the results you wish to get. The objective here is to move at a pace that gets your heart rate up enough where your body needs to breathe deeply but not to the extent where you cannot have a conversation with someone while you’re exercising. We want to be breathing heavily but not to the point of pain.
- Decide which exercises on your list you would like to start with and how you will be able to make them “aerobic.”
- Set aside the time when you will engage in your summer exercise program. If you had a doctor’s appointment, you would make sure nothing interfered with that time. Your exercise time should be given the same priority. If anyone asks to see you during your exercise time, just say, “I’m sorry. I have a commitment then.”
- Nothing says that you have to do the same form of exercise all summer. The more you vary exercise, the more enjoyable it will be, and the more likely that you will want to continue it.
The summer heat doesn’t have to get in the way of your workouts as long as you know how to stay active and cool.