Lunden Souza: Don't let the heat break your routine

June 29, 2013 

It is summer time and the weather is definitely making us aware of that.

Everyone is different and some may find it hard to be motivated to stay fit and healthy in the heat of the summer, while others find the same challenges in the cooler months.

Summer heat can impede workout efforts and all the barbecues and cold beers can hinder efforts towards a healthy and clean diet. This week I have some ways for you to embrace the summer season and move full force through your health and fitness journey.

Swimming is a really great, low impact and refreshing workout.

It's effective exercise that you can do without feeling like you are going to pass out from the heat like running outdoors can.

You can swim laps, you can run in shallow water for more resistance, and more advanced types can do "ins and outs." I remember we used to do these in swimmer and water polo season when I was in high school. When you do ins and outs, you swim to one end of the pool, use your upper body and core to push yourself out of the pool and then dive or jump back in and swim to the other side.

You can even do some push-ups when you get out of the pool before you dive back in for that next lap.

You will be amazed at how challenging this can be and it can even be fun to do with your friends, family or even kids. If you don't have a pool, find a public one or ask a friend or neighbor if you can use theirs.

Healthy, fresh smoothie

One of my favorite things about summertime, especially in the Central Valley, is all of the fresh produce.

Peaches and nectarines are in prime season right now and so delicious. Make a refreshing smoothie by blending 1 peach or nectarine, 1 banana, 1/2 cup frozen mango, 1/2 tablespoon of raw organic honey, 1 tbsp of chia seeds, water and ice. You can even add 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder for a revitalizing post-workout drink.

Peaches and nectarines taste amazing on a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast with some raw organic honey and a dash of cinnamon. Sometimes I will go to the farmers market and buy a bunch of peaches and nectarines that are really ripe and ready to eat.

Instead of letting them go bad I just cut them up and freeze them to throw in smoothies or even just eat by themselves when I need a cool and energizing snack.

Seasons come and go, but health and fitness efforts just can't. It does not matter what season it is or what the weather is like because that is beyond our control.

What we can control is what we do to embrace the season, whatever it is, and how we adapt our life styles and efforts to be healthier and fitter individuals.

Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach, and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at lifelikelunden@gmail.com.

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