In this tropical climate we are currently experiencing, searching for workout motivation is like looking for a needle in a haystack. If you haven’t already complained about the heat at least 20 times today are you even British? “There’s no air,” “I’m sweating cobs,” “It’s very close,” “It’s stuffy isn’t it?” It would be quite easy to hang up your trainers, fold away your leggings and shove your sports bras to the back of your underwear drawer for the entirety of summer. However, whilst summer bodies may not be made in summer (so they say) they can be ruined in summer! Summer spells self-indulgence with lazy days spent sunbathing, cocktails by the jug load and barbecue food on tap. Exercising regularly is important anyway so we can’t just take a summer break from working out. We just have to approach exercise at this time of year differently. Here is my survival guide for working out in summer…
Getting Motivated Over Summer
So we’ve already covered that motivation is hard when it’s hot. The key here is to focus on your goals for after the summer holidays. I’m sure you’ve all seen the memes doing the rounds at the moment along the lines of “my summer body isn’t ready, but my winter body is good to go!” The problem is it’s easy to think “why bother, I’ve missed the boat” if you aren’t where you want to be with your holiday around the corner. You have to get past this and remember you should be getting fit for life not just for summer. Think about what you want to achieve in the second half of the year, what goals do you want to reach by Christmas?
Dress for Success
Summer is not a time to be dressing self-consciously. It never fails to surprise me when someone comes to one of my classes covered up in a big jumper…and keeps it on for the whole class! There really is no need to swelter in silence for fearing of showing a little skin. There certainly is no need to be embarrassed about how you look at an exercise class when everybody is red, sweaty and concentrating on what they are doing. With less clothes there is less of a barrier for sweat evaporation which helps cool you down. I’m not saying you have to wear a leotard, but perhaps not a long sleeve top. Try and dress in something that will help keep you cool. The more comfortable you feel the more you’ll be able to put into your workout.
Forget your Personal Bests
Working out in the heat puts extra strain on your body so this is not a time to be trying to smash targets. We have become obsessed with fitness tracker stats but we shouldn’t expect the same results from ourselves in temperatures we are not used to. Holding yourself to the same standards you did in spring is not only setting yourself up for failure it is setting yourself up for heat exhaustion. Pay careful attention to your body when exercising in summer. Recognise any side affects you haven’t experienced before and know when to stop. Dizziness, faintness, shortness of breath, weakness or nausea are all warning signs.
Water is your New Best Friend
Don’t wait to get thirsty! By then you may already be dehydrated. Even mild dehydration can sap your energy and leave you feeling tired and weak. Water should be drank before, during and after your workout. You need to be hydrated from the get go to give your body the best chance to perform whilst exercising. Water is not only important for hydration but for cooling off. A cold shower before a workout can help you stay cool during the workout! A cold wet towel or a water mist spray can also be a god send during a very hot session.
Don’t Forget the Obvious
Working out earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler is a no-brainer. Eating (the right stuff of course!) before exercise is encouraged but remember to opt for meals and snacks that aren’t dry as these will just make you thirsty! Remember, sweating is good for the body as it opens the pores and releases toxins and any form of exercise and movement is good for you no matter how little. As with all things it’s all about balance. Don’t use the warm weather as an excuse to skip exercise but equally don’t push yourself to a point that will make you ill.