Written By: Katarina Brancov CPT with Prescription Fitness (CLE, OH)
1. DRINK MORE WATER
dehydration increases as heat increases
Stay Hydrated! Make sure you are drinking actual water throughout your day, not just coffee, soda, juice, alcoholic beverages, etc. Just like dehydration increases as the heat does, so does alcohol consumption for most people. An easy way to track your water consumption is by buying your own personal water bottle that you can keep on hand with you wherever you are. If you don’t like the taste of water, you can add flavor by including fruit slices such as lemon. Limit your alcohol intake to the weekend if you can so you can keep those major gains from your training. Water is extremely important for your health, I mean, our bodies are made of majority water! Drinking enough water aids your body’s natural detoxification process and hydration is thought by medical professionals to play a major role in disease prevention and fighting stubborn fat.
2. GO OUT BEFORE THE SUN
avoid heat & humidity by going out before 10am
Start your day right! Take a stroll around the block and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of your neighborhood. If you go outside in the morning before the sun peaks during its prime time of 10am-4pm, you can better avoid the heat and humidity that rises as the day goes on. If you would rather go in the evening after work, wait until the air cools down a bit so you have no excuse but to move! Let’s be real, you’ll be wishing you did when it snows six months from now! Whether you enjoy walking, jogging, running, or biking, the temperature will certainly feel a lot more comfortable for doing physical activity if you go before the sun peaks or after the sun sets. Plus, if you have to walk a furry friend, they will also appreciate more comfortable temperatures.
3. KEEP APPLYING SUNSCREEN
don’t underestimate Cleveland sun in the summertime
Just because we live in the Midwest doesn’t mean we can be lazy about taking care of our skin! Although it is definitely good to get the vitamin D we have been so desperately lacking during the winter months, it is important to note the frequency of our unprotected exposure to the sun. It is recommended by dermatologists that a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is used for sun protection. During exposure, you will need to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. If sweating or swimming as you most certainly will this summer, be sure to reapply sunscreen directly after for best protection. It is important to note that when you are out in the sun it is best to wear clothing that protects as much skin as possible, like a wide-brimmed hat. Don’t forget to also protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light!
4. PARK YOUR CAR FARTHER AWAY
take any & every opportunity to move; whenever, wherever!
Instead of driving around in circles dueling to the death with other drivers for the closest parking spot near your destination, make an intentional choice to park farther away than you normally would. See what comes up for you. Were you counting down the steps until you reach the entrance? Were you thinking about the extra time you were losing by walking more? It is easy to realize how impatient we are in this fast-paced world when we are forced to do something so simple that is outside of our normal behavior. You will start to realize that this short walk is not a mere inconvenience, but really an opportunity to move your body and quiet your mind during the hustle and bustle of daily life. Get those steps in! This is an easy way to stay physically active while also applying the mental practice of cultivating discomfort for our personal growth.
5. GO TO METROPARKS NATURE TRAILS
18 reservations to choose from with 23,000 acres to explore!
Going outdoors is vital for your physical and mental health, and studies have demonstrated how the immersion of oneself in nature has profound healing effects on both the mind and the body. During the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we often forget to connect back to our roots, that is literally and metaphorically, Mother Earth. Not only does being in nature lower stress, depression, anxiety, and fatigue, it also boosts your immunity, mood, energy, focus, and creativity! If you want to beat the worst heat and humidity of the day this summer, try going in the morning before the sun peaks from 10am-4pm or in the evening before the sun sets. A hike in nature will have you outside moving your body while taking advantage of both the summer weather and the opportunity to catch up with a friend or family member as you go for miles.
6. USE YOUR LEGS FOR TRANSPORTATION
choose a bike instead of a car or stairs instead of an elevator/escalator!
People who are able-bodied don’t always realize the blessing it is to be able to move freely. If you view exercise as more of a chore or even punishment, I call you to celebrate what your body *can* do instead of treating physical exercise like it is something that you *have* to do. Ditch the stress of finding a parking spot and leave your car at home for once! Try traveling to your next destination by walking or riding your bike instead of driving. Try taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator because it is easier. Every step counts! When you start looking for ways to be more active every day, you will be surprised how much more you can accomplish during your day. You can incorporate this simple tip to stay fit this summer and use this practice to be more mindful of your ecological footprint. Better for you and the earth!
Be thankful for the body you have…perspective is everything.