Summer is a blast and it’s a great time to get out and take your workout outside. Unfortunately, it also gets pretty hot some days, putting a damper on your motivation and your training. Of course, you know that you should stay hydrated during the summer months, paying special attention to drinking even more water, but there are some other amazing ways to get your summer workout supercharged and keep your body moving.
1. Find New Routes
One of the biggest things that stall your walk or running is the same old boring route. There are several resources that you can use to find a new one, however. Use the route mapping tool at the USA Track & Field website to plot out a new running course. This bare bones tool will let you calculate distance so you can find out exactly how far you need to go to walk or run those two miles. You can also use their database to look at routes that other users have already added to the system. There is no registration required or cost to use the site.
2. Pace Yourself
Keep in mind that because summer is hotter, your body has to work harder to do the same things. So pace yourself accordingly. If you’re used to a 10-minute mile, take it down to a 12-minute mile. Use a heart-rate monitor to keep track of how hard you’re actually working. Remember the old adage that your max heart rate should be calculated according to this formula: 220 – (your age). Then you should be working at your target heart rate zone which is usually 50-70 percent of moderate activity or 70-85 percent if you’re working hard.
Additionally, throw in interval training while you decrease the intensity of your normal cardio. This means you should keep your pace slower, but every five minutes, push yourself to your max heart rate for 30 seconds. This interval training not only makes your cardio better, it also helps you keep from feeling like you’re slacking off.
3. Keep Cool
Did you know that your aromatherapy oils are good for more than just making your house smell amazing and helping you relax? Use a carrier oil to dilute your essential oil before applying it to your skin, however. We can’t stress this enough. Never ever apply undiluted essential oils to your skin. You can get a rash at best, or suffer a major allergic reaction at worst.
Common carrier oils that you can use to dilute your essential oil include almond oil, avocado, jojoba, olive oil, or sesame seed. You also want to look for cold-pressed oils to maximize the health benefits. To dilute properly, use one-fluid-ounce of a carrier oil with 12 drops of your peppermint essential oil. Shake well and then apply as needed.
To cool down before your workout outside, put a few drops of diluted peppermint oil on the back of your neck and at your temples. This will open your nasal passages and give you a little boost of energy. There was even research that found that smelling peppermint oil before or during a workout increased how much you could do.
4. Cover Your Noggin (and the rest of you)
Nothing derails your workout quite like sunburn will. Even if it’s cloudy, you need to be sure you’re wearing sun protection, especially if you’re going to be outside during the peak hours. Ditch the sunscreens that feel heavy or oily and opt for one that is designed for sports. These are specially formulated to resist wearing away when you sweat and won’t leave you feeling like you just took a bath in Crisco.
Wear a mesh hat or open visor to shade your eyes and still let your head dissipate the heat. If you’re going a little sparse up there, make sure to apply sunscreen to your scalp as well. If you like to bike, get a helmet that has special deep vents to allow for greater airflow.
T-shirts are also most people’s go-to top for exercising but consider that depending on when you’re out in the sun, they may still let through UV rays that will damage your skin. A typical t-shirt has an SPF of about 7, and when it gets wet, that drops to 3. The more worn out your shirt is? The lower the SPF it will have. So invest in a t-shirt that has SPF weave built in to keep you protected and safe. The same goes for your legs as well.
Just because it is summer doesn’t mean you have to suffer or confine yourself to a treadmill or the gym. Getting outside and getting fresh air and the sun will not only increase your Vitamin D, it will also improve your mood. Just make sure to keep yourself safe and protected to avoid unnecessary downtimes.