Summer is approaching, and the weather is a reminder it's getting hot.
I was in Merced visiting my family over Mother's Day weekend, and I was definitely reminded of how hot it gets, especially early in the morning.
I love hot weather; I would prefer it over being cold any day even when working out. Here are some tips on how to beat the heat while staying fit, healthy and active.
The No. 1 rule, whether it's hot or cold, is to make sure you drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. If your body is not adequately hydrated, it can lead to overheating or even heat exhaustion.
Make sure you have a water bottle with you at all times throughout the summer. This is a great time to get into the habit of carrying a bottle of water with you year-round. Add lemon or fresh fruit juice for flavor.
If you like to workout outside, start earlier in the morning. Try to rearrange your schedule and workout time so you can start and finish before it starts to really heat up, or exercise later in the evening. This is important to implement now, so you can't use the excuse: "It's too hot to workout at my normal time." Make simple schedule adjustments this week, so you will be ahead of the game before summer hits.
Summertime is often about spending time with the kids, taking them to the park and pool. While they are swimming, you can get in some exercise by taking extra laps. Tread water, dive for pull toys, and "run" back and forth in the shallow end to get your body moving.
Park benches can be used for much more than sitting and watching your kids play. You can do tap squats, pushups, tricep dips, incline mountain climbers, step-ups or single-leg squats.
I baby-sit my client's twin boys every now and then, and it doesn't take much time while watching them at the park to do three sets of 10 pushups and 10 tricep dips to get the upper body working. Try just incorporating those two exercises the next time you are at the park.
When it's hot, the best thing to eat is something cold. Popsicles are always tasty and refreshing after being outside for a while. However, a lot of them are high in sugar and aren't made solely from fruit juices. But you can make your own easily enough.
Squeeze oranges and other fresh fruit, or buy fresh-squeezed juice with no added sugar, then add raw, unsweetened coconut shavings and put the mixture into a freezer mold. They are healthy and won't make you feel guilty about having a cool-down treat. They're also a much better alternative for the kids.
This summer, use these tips to make sure your fitness and health goals don't melt away in the sun's intense heat. Keep focused and hydrated, and seize any moment to workout.
Don't forget about your goals and all the healthy habits you have adopted leading up to this point so you can have a safe and fit summer.
Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach, and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.