Sometimes it can be a little difficult to stay healthy during the school year. Social life, study commitments and work: each of these can cut down on the time you have to eat healthily and exercise. Whether you are a star athlete or not, you may have plans to get into shape over the summer. However, if you do not take things easy, you could be at risk of seriously injuring yourself. Follow these four fast tips to train safely over the summer.
You should consume fluids regularly when you are training. Dehydration can cause a loss in athletic performance, as well as more serious problems such as low blood pressure and dizziness. Dehydration can be hard to avoid in summer, so make sure you always have water with you. Drink when you are thirsty. If your urine is clear or light yellow, you are drinking enough water. If it is dark yellow, make sure you increase your fluid intake. Water is best, but sports drinks can help replace electrolytes if you are sweating a lot or if you are seriously dehydrated.
If you are not in peak condition, you will not do yourself any favors by overdoing it, especially in the hottest months of the year. If you want to be in shape at the end of the summer, you should make sure that you follow a gradual and balanced exercise plan. Increase the intensity of your workout by around ten percent a week. For example, if you go to the gym for thirty minutes a day, make it thirty-five minutes the next week, not an hour. If you lift forty pounds, don’t increase the weight dramatically, make it forty-five pounds the next week. Start off running at a low mileage and increase it by five to ten percent each week. However you train, make sure you take things slowly.
Even elite athletes need to stretch their muscles before they train. Proper stretching loosens and lengthens your muscle tissue, making it less prone to tearing and trauma. If you follow a stretching regimen, you will avoid stiffness, soreness, and injury. Try spending the summer months developing ways to keep yourself supple: try a yoga class or pilates, see an exercise physiologist, or see if there are any videos on YouTube which show you how to do stretches appropriate to your sporting pursuit. Make sure you stretch every time you work out — no excuses.
Some athletes think that exercising in the heat makes them stronger. However, there is no evidence that toughing it out on a hot day can make you perform any better. If you are working out during the summer, you could be at risk of developing heat stroke, especially if you do it in the middle of the day. Avoid working out rigorously between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Make sure that you prepare for the heat by protecting your skin from the sun. You could even consider working out indoors, or at night.