I live in Texas and make no mistake, the triple digit temperatures of summer have officially arrived. It's hot y'all. (I'm from Pennsylvania but I can say y'all because I live in Texas now. My y'all only comes out when I talk about the heat.) The heat can make us feel sluggish and lazy. It can make us want to watch a Netflix marathon (or three) rather than train for a real one.
The dog days of summer are here. It's hot. The heat and humidity can wreak havoc on our best intentions, but our motivation can rise with the temperatures with a little summer planning.
HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED THROUGH THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
LIMIT OUTDOOR WORKOUTS
As the temperatures rise it is a great opportunity to focus on weightlifting, group fitness classes, swimming and other indoor activities. I use the summer to focus on strength training, since I can take advantage of the cool air conditioned comfort of the #shredshed, our backyard gym. I limit runs to early morning, late evening or on the treadmill. It's a good idea to alter our workouts with varied training cycles and the weather gives us the perfect opportunity to shake up our regular exercise routine.
GET ON A SUMMER SCHEDULE
Summer can mess with our regular schedules. School's out, kids are home, vacations are planned and hotdogs are on the grill. Our best defense against summer slacking is establishing a summertime routine. Take the kids for a walk every morning or get your workouts in after lunch every day. Our schedules may be a little more varied than during the winter months, so establishing exercise and healthy eating routines can keep us on track.
FOLLOW THE 15 MINUTE RULE
When you really don't feel like you have the energy for a workout, follow the 15 minute rule. Commit to doing a 15 minute workout. The hardest part of most workouts is getting started. After 15 minutes, you can stop if you want, but most likely once you get going you'll want to keep going. Even if you stop at 15 minutes, it is better than not working out at all. 15 minutes every day is still 1.75 hours of workouts for the week, not too shabby.
HYDRATE EARLY AND OFTEN
Whether your workouts are indoors or out, hydrate early and often. Dehydration can make us feel lethargic and fatigued. Drink up to eight glasses of water a day and add more if you working out and are spending time outside in the heat. No, a cold brew doesn't count. Hah.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
Avoid cotton clothing and socks in the hot weather. Cotton absorbs water (aka sweat) and can cause blisters, rashes and embarrassing sweat stains. Stick to technical fabrics that wick moisture away from the body. When out in the sun wear light colored, loose fitting clothing and of course, plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin. Nothing kills motivation like a blisters and a sunburn.
If you're getting up early to beat to the heat, make sure you are going to bed earlier as well. Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health, so you're not doing yourself any favors if you get up 2 hours earlier to run and lose two hours of precious sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours per night of sleep to ensure proper recovery from those summertime workouts. When you're properly recovered you'll feel more inclined to get in that next workout.
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I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and nutrition coaching. If you are interested in coaching, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help.
While I am a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, I am not your personal trainer and nutrition coach. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise or diet program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.