Summer fitness Hacks - Staying active in the summer doesn't have to be a chore!

 Summer fitness Hacks

Over the past few weeks, most countries have started easing restrictions allowing people to go outside and economic activities to resume back to the pre-COVID phase, while also trying to keep people safe from the pandemic. Malls and recreational facilities can now be accessed by all if they keep a 2-meter distance, wear masks and gloves for safety. The last 3 months have been nothing less than a roller coaster ride for each one of us, whether emotionally or professionally, being stuck at home has taken its toll on our health and mental well-being. Some of us have taken up hobbies such as craft, music, painting etc. while others have brought out their inner-chefs and began baking the best-looking drool-worthy homemade cakes. And then there are the rest who have taken up fitness challenges at home, posting their home workouts, squats and more keeping themselves fit at home. With swimming pools, play areas, gyms, and shopping malls now open to all, fitness enthusiasts will finally breathe a sigh of relief as there is nothing better than going for that run or hitting the gym to help your brain release some mood-enhancing chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. However, with rapidly rising temperatures and summer hitting us hard this year, it is too hot outside for a jog or a run. Most fitness enthusiasts are looking at the best alternatives to keep fit during summer. Even though gyms and indoor activity centres are now open, not everyone is comfortable going outside. Here are some tips that will help keep you going during summer, so you do not have to compromise on your fitness regimen due to COVID or the rising temperatures.

1. Load up on sunscreen

Let us agree that there is nothing better than letting the serotonin levels in your brain peak with a nice long run. However, with the sweltering humidity and rising temperatures, it is important to wear sunscreen to protect your skin. Research indicates that ultraviolet (UV) rays – from the sun and other sources like tanning beds – are the #1 cause of skin cancer. Doctors also recommend wearing sunscreen during summer even on cloudy days. It is highly recommended that you wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to help lower your risk. Other than choosing a good sunscreen, also try seeking shade when you are out in the sun. After a few minutes of walking or jogging find shade and take a break to keep away from direct sunlight. Another effective way of protecting your skin from the sun is to wear sunglasses, cap, and full sleeves so your sleeves are covered.

2. Choosing the right time

A beautiful sunny morning is the ultimate motivation to go outside and exercise, but the Middle Eastern summer heat can be harsh and combining it with exercise can be a tad bit risky. So what is the best time to exercise? Whether you work out indoors or at the beach, it is advisable to choose a time that best suits you. A study published in 2019 in the Journal of Physiology found that exercising at 7 a.m. may shift your body clock earlier, making you feel more alert in the morning and get tired earlier in the evening, which can make you rest sooner and wake up the next morning to do the same thing. However, with the sun rising as early as 6 am during summers, it can be a bit of a challenge to wake up at 5 am to get out there and cycle or run. While experts say early workouts are better for you, there is no harm in choosing late evening or nights for your outdoor exercise during summers. You may have noticed the morning runners have started venturing out late in the evenings during the summer months. Whether early morning or late evening, if you continue with your fitness routine by choosing a time that is convenient for you, you will do just fine.

3. Wear light, breathable clothing

Temperatures are soaring, and will soon touch 40 degrees of summer. If you are anywhere near direct sunlight, you might consider choosing what to wear during your workouts. Choose clothes that are loose and comfortable when you are walking. But if you are running or biking, you might want to avoid wide-leg or loose pants that could get tangled up in the pedals or your feet. It is also important to choose fabrics that allow your skin to breathe and wick sweat away. Fabrics that are cool and comfortable will allow you to move freely.

4. Try Indoor sports

The mercury is heading upwards and everyone around is suddenly complaining about the unbearable heat and humidity. Yes, summer is a perfect excuse to stay in and turn up the air conditioning but remember, just because it is hot outside it is no reason to put fitness routines on hold. If you have had multiple failed attempts at trying to keep fit and gym memberships have gone to waste, there are still quite a few options for you to stay fit even during the summer months. Ever thought of choosing indoor sports? Look for an indoor activity at a recreational sport center in your city - indoor football, basketball and cricket are quite popular, especially amongst the working class generation. If you have more space at home, you can even buy yourself a table tennis table and have fun with ping pong with a partner or friend. You can also build your own home gym and work out from the comfort of your home. Today, even professional gym trainers are willing to visit your place at your convenience.

5. Try some mall-walking

Not everybody is a fan of visiting the shopping mall, in fact, some of us even dread the thought of going to the mall. But malls are air-conditioned, spacious, and make you walk. You do not have to burn a hole in your pocket every time you go to the mall – just go there for a walk and do some window shopping while you are at it. Walking around the mall can be a great alternative to walking outside. An hour of walking in the mall can burn up to 250 calories. If you have an app that tracks your steps, you can even keep count and reward yourself and cool down with a fresh juice when you are done.

6. Find stairs!

Did you know that climbing just eight flights of stairs a day lowers average early mortality risk by 33%, and seven minutes stair climbing a day can halve the risk of heart attack over 10 years? Summer can be cruel to those who are used to heavy cardio outdoors. Running around the beach is still fun but could also give you a heat stroke during summer months. A healthy and amazing alternative to running outside is climbing up the stairs. The advantage of this exercise routine is that you never really have to step outside your building, so go in your night pajamas and running shoes. The downside is that it can get a bit boring, monotonous and is not as fun as running outside. So best to alternate it with another exercise routine such as a brisk evening walk or night jog.

7. Buy an indoor cycle

Anyone who has ever had a bicycle would know how amazing an activity cycling is. Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels and lungs all get a workout. So if you’re into cardio, cycling can be a great choice of exercise. Cycling not only promotes weight loss and keeps your heart in good shape, but is also known to be good for the mind. It might be a bit too hot for you to go cycling outside during summer, you can always choose a great indoor cycle or spin bike and exercise from the comfort of your bedroom. Indoor cycling can help you burn more than 600 calories an hour if you choose the right pace and intensity. Active Fitness Store UAE has a range of affordable and good quality indoor cycles you can choose from. Some of these bikes come with recliner seats, adjustable handles, and speed control for your comfort. It can also help you track your activity and monitor your progress. So indoor cycling is a welcome relief if you have been thinking about getting back in shape but fear going out in the heat.

Exercise has been touted to be a cure for nearly everything in life. Don’t let it take the backseat during summer, all you have to do is adjust your schedule and improvise on how you exercise during the hot months.