Jump Start Your Summer Routine with These Steps

Submitted by Erika Smith on April 15, 2019

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Summer workouts can be anything but routine

With the right planning, summer workouts can be anything but routine. Start a new regimen with the following tips from Erika Smith, a Fitness Coordinator at the Lifestyle Health & Fitness Center.

Jumpstart Summer Exercise Program

1. Always be prepared

I’ve always been a fan of fitness magazines. You can find new exercises to do, along with modifications for each exercise based on your activity level. If you have no idea where to start, meet with a personal trainer for a few sessions. They can help you get on the right track. You may also want to visit a physician before starting any new routine.

2. It’s never too late for a new beginning

Many people start exercising with unrealistic expectations and end up either hurting themselves or getting frustrated and quitting their program. I always recommend starting out with a goal of 10-15 minutes of activity three times per week. Each week, try to increase your activity by five minutes per session.

3. Exercise smart

Any exercise involves risks, especially when you are outdoors in the blazing heat. My best advice is to be smart by staying hydrated and performing both warm-up and cool-down exercises. Start out slow and easy and work your way up to more intense exercises.

4. Enjoy the great outdoors

Who says you have to stick to a boring gym routine? Get outside! Swimming, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding and surfing are great outdoor exercise options. The more varied your activity choices, the more likely you’ll be to participate.

5. You can be too hot to trot

Mornings and evenings are the best times for summer exercise. I would avoid exercising between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., which can be some of the hottest and sunniest hours of the day. If this time frame doesn’t work for you, consider joining an indoor gym!

6. Don’t dress to impress

Wear lightweight, light-colored, breathable clothing when exercising in the summer heat.  You don’t want to wear heavy fabrics, which can retain heat and increase your core body temperature.

7. The more water the merrier

Stay hydrated by consistently drinking water, even if you may not feel thirsty. Your body can only absorb eight ounces of water every 20 minutes, so it can be difficult to tell if you are fully hydrated. If you must consume sports drinks, dilute them so your body will absorb them more easily.

8. Screen yourself

Sunscreen is more important than you think. If you are exercising outside for 30 minutes, your body is constantly exposed to the sun’s harsh rays, which can result in a sunburn or worse. Be sure to use broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above and apply it to all exposed skin, including the nose, ears and scalp.

Erika Smith is the Fitness Coordinator at The Lifestyle Center. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Promotion from Lynchburg College and her personal trainer certification through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association.