Follow a few tips to beat the summer heat

Paula Reece

We wait all year, it seems, for summer to arrive. Now it’s finally here. When most of us think of summer, we think about outdoor fun and a chance to kick back. Although this year might seem different because of the pandemic, summer still offers many opportunities to stay active.

Remain aware, though, that changes in schedules present challenges in keeping your fitness routine on track. So what can you do to have the most active, productive and fun-filled summer ever?

Warm weather provides many opportunities for enjoying outdoor activities. Take the family camping, fishing or hiking.  Work in your garden. Part of summer fun and fulfillment is enjoying the outdoors and the people you’re with.    

During the summer months, your normal schedule could be altered — especially this summer with social distancing and the feeling of being cooped up. Those changes affect daily routines, including exercise schedules.

Here are a few tips to avoid sabotaging yourself this summer:

Set a summer goal. It’s almost mid-year. Ask yourself how you’ve done so far this year on your New Year’s resolutions. You might have succeeded in some areas, but not in others. You could need to re-evaluate your goals to make them more realistic and attainable. Maybe you didn’t set goals. This is a great time to start. Try setting a different goal. Call it summer 2020. What will that goal look like?  It might be trying a new sport, learning to swim or visiting a national park.

Stick to a schedule. Make sure your summer days include some structure — like getting up at the same time each day and eating meals at set times. Plan activities for specific times — exercising before breakfast, for example.

Stay busy. Without your appointment book filled, it could be easy to fall into a trap of becoming bored. Boredom goes hand in hand with low energy. Filling your days with stuff to do will give you a sense of accomplishment. For many of us, summer still means going to work each day. But with more daylight hours, you don’t have to miss out. Whether you’re taking a vacation or just a weekend, include activities the family already enjoys as well as something new.   

Manage the heat. Although warmer weather is appreciated, hot days can seem unbearable. During these times, move your activities elsewhere. Go to the gym or splash in a pool. When you find yourself outdoors during scorching temperatures, remember to stay safe. Wear sunscreen or a long-sleeve shirt to protect your skin from harmful rays. Don’t forget the sunglasses and hat, too. Clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin as you perspire keeps you cooler. One of the most important items to keep you safe is water. Stay hydrated.

Eat healthy. This seems like an easy thing to do with all the fresh vegetables and fruit available. Beware of some of the foods associated with summer events, though. Backyard barbecues, campfire s’mores and ice cream treats can sabotage the best laid plans of staying fit through the summer.

Make summer a time to enjoy. Write down your summer 2020 goal and work toward realizing that goal. Make the most of every day, and you’ll make this summer your best ever.