Taking advantage of summer’s active spirit means changing some of our “rules” for how we work out and dialing up the safeguards we use all year. The lists of tips we are offered are so plentiful that it might seem confusing.

One of the best lists of summer fitness tips is published by Woman’s Day Magazine. (Don’t turn up your nose at these, guys. Men’s Fitness listed summer skin care tips. I’m not kidding.)

The top five tips on the Woman’s Day list are these:

  1. Get your doctor’s okay
  2. Wear “wicking” fabrics
  3. Protect your skin
  4. Drink (water) often
  5. Perfect your timing

There are many more, but this fifth tip is interesting. Use these longer summer days to work out in the morning or evening to avoid the worst of the heat. One of the variations our fitness routing might need is a different time of day, and summer is a great time to introduce that.

Awareness is Again the Key

Hydrating should be a point of pride if we’re serious about fitness. And in the summer, it can be positively lifesaving. Water is the lubricant of everything good our bodies are doing for us, and we lose it faster in the hot summer months. So this is a good time to get as proud of the amount of our water intake as we are about the number of reps we accomplish in our abdominal exercises or the weight we can handle in the bench press.

Good hydration capitalizes on everything your exercise is doing for you, making motion more efficient, and clearing out lactic acid with the other byproducts of exercise while it flushes any impurities from our bodies. Water is just about the best friend an athlete can get.

Perspiring cools and cleans our bodies, yes, but in high humidity, it does not evaporate as efficiently. So in our own Lowcountry summertime, it’s particularly important to pay attention to how we feel as we exercise. The slightest trace of dizziness is a sign you’re overdue for a break. The effects of heat are serious, and our defense against it is hampered by humidity.

It’s Even Better in the Water

And speaking of water, why not work swimming into your fitness picture this summer? Every workout routine needs to have variation, and if you’re not already a swimmer, then give it a try. The important thing is not to pattern yourself after the competitive swimmers you see during the Olympics – at least not yet. Instead, remember when swimming was just fun as a child.

Any movement takes on a different level of benefit when you do it in the water. The gentle, all-around “resistance” produces long, lean, flexible muscles, as well as cardio benefits, and gives a more comprehensive exercise than the kind that depends entirely on gravity. For those of us who already “do weights” or have some other form of resistance exercise in our practice, swimming complements that, soothing and stretching stressed muscles in a way that – let’s face it – most of us neglect to do after weights or machines.

Breakthroughs Take Preparation

Breakthroughs in our fitness practice seem to beckon in the summer. The long days of light make it seem easier to fit our workout into the course of a day, and the energy level we bring to it feels brighter. We should follow the example of the pros, though, when we set out to step up our fitness, especially in the summer.

Every professional team holds routine physical exams before summer workouts begin. That’s a good idea to consider for “Team Family” too, especially as the summer changes our workout environment in such important ways. This could be the best tip we take from the pros. To schedule your own version for yourself or your family, just call us at 843-815-6468.