Today is the summer solstice – the longest day of the year. What better time to start planning your summer goals and activities? It seems more people are concerned with fitness over the summer, when they can’t hide under layers of clothing. Often, that means working too hard at the wrong times, which can lead to negative consequences. Here are a few tips for keeping fit this summer:
- Be smart about outdoor workout times. The hottest part of the day tends to be from 1-4 pm. If your favorite workout routine involves outdoor activities, try to avoid these times. Take advantage of the cooler morning and late afternoon hours.
- Stay hydrated. Most people don’t drink enough water on a regular basis, but when you have heat and exertion further depleting your body’s water supply, you have to be extra careful about getting enough fluids. If you wait until your body signals thirst, you’re already on your way to dehydration. And then there’s electrolytes. We’ve been convinced by advertising that Gatorade and other sugar-laden drinks are the way to restore electrolytes during and after a workout, but there are more natural ways, like coconut water or that good old summer favorite, watermelon.
- Be mindful of the sun. About 20 minutes a day of sun exposure without sunscreen is not only ok for most people, but can be beneficial, because it gives your body the opportunity to manufacture Vitamin D, and many people in modern society are deficient in this important vitamin. However, beyond that, take precautions, like sunscreen, hats and protective clothing, as people who have had multiple sunburns are more likely to develop skin cancer. If you are very fair skinned, you may need to protect your skin sooner than 20 minutes.
- Be sure to get enough rest. Fitness goals are great, but overworking your body in the hope of speedy results is a bad idea, especially in summer. It’s never a good idea to push too hard because of the risk of injury and nutritional imbalances, but summer also increases the risks from dehydration and sun exposure.
- Enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Visit farmer’s markets and take advantage of nature’s bounty. Local seasonal produce is generally sweeter and more nutritious than their out of season cousins that had to travel around the globe to get to you. Not only are the colorful fruits and vegetables bursting with flavor and nutrients, but they are a good source of fluids that will help keep you hydrated.
- Take advantage of water exercise. People who have joint or other pain issues can often do more exercise in water than on lad because of the reduced pull of gravity, but not everyone has access to a pool or other water year-round. Take advantage of the opportunity to frolic in the pool or at the beach with less pain.
- Get adjusted. Increased activity levels can put your spine out of alignment, causing pain and ruining your fun. Come to Wantagh Woods Chiropractic for regular chiropractic adjustments to get the most out of your summer.
Have a great summer!