6 Simple Steps to Stay Active This Summer
As temperatures rise and the easing of restrictions are on the horizon, now may be the perfect time to head to the great outdoors for some fun summer fitness.
Taking your physical activity outside is a great way to switch up your movement and gain the benefits of being in nature, which can include lower stress levels and improved overall wellbeing [*] - something we could all perhaps do with right now.
Here are some of our top tips for staying safe, getting active and making the most of your training over the next few months.
1. Get your timing right
The sun is at its hottest between 11am and 3pm in the UK through the summer months.
While it's tempting to soak up the warmth whenever you can, try to perform the bulk of your outdoor exercise either in the early morning or late evening to limit the risk of dehydration, sunburn and heat stroke.
2. Stay protected
Contrary to popular belief, sunburn can occur even when it is cloudy, and the NHS states that there is no safe or healthy way to obtain a tan [*].
Whenever you spend time outside, it’s best to cover up with protective clothing and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen (minimum factor 30 and a 4-star UVA protection rating).
3. Stay hydrated & fed
Higher average temperatures mean it’s important to keep on top of your water intake over the summer, staying hydrated with plain water, juices, smoothies and herbal teas.
Hot weather also increases the number of calories your body burns at rest, meaning you’ll need to consume a little more food to support your recovery and energy levels.
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4. Tend to the garden
Gardening and outdoor DIY are both great ways to up your baseline activity levels over the summer months.
As well as providing physical benefits, tending to the garden can also support mental wellbeing [*]. It also provides the chance for you to grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables to support a healthy, balanced diet.
5. Embrace bodyweight training
You don’t need a gym membership or an expensive home setup to get a great workout in.
Bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, burpees, pushups and planks can be performed anywhere with minimal equipment, allowing you to take your training to the park, out in the garden, to the beach, or wherever suits you.
6. Switch things up
The warmer weather can be a great opportunity to get out and try a new form of exercise, be it hiking, running, cycling, or outdoor yoga.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, activities like paddle boarding, trail running and ever popular wild swimming are ways to get off the beaten track and become more in touch with the natural world.
The most important thing is to find an activity that gets you excited and allows you to disconnect from the potential stressors of everyday life.