Zest for summer

It’s time to tackle summer with fresh meals and fun fitness routines, suggests Anjali Sareen

health

Love it or hate it, either way, summer is here. And sunny summer days always impact our fitness routines one way or the other. In the months leading up to summer, getting ‘summer ready’ is a popular fitness goal. However, once it’s here, it can prove a challenge to maintain our fitness routine and, along with that, our bodies.

Best of both

Summer actually can be the perfect time to get a fun mix of workouts both indoors and outdoors. Incorporating a mix of workouts can also keep you motivated.

Start the day revitalised

To be out during early mornings in summer is a great way to begin the day as the morning air and the cool temperature revitalises our senses. Getting a dose of the outdoors along with some sun uplifts the mood and energises the body.

End the day energised

Towards the end of the day, one tends to be low on energy and high on fatigue. That is the time you want to get ahead of that hot, tired feeling by going for a swim or getting into a fitness centre. To get your body moving and the endorphins flowing is a great stress-buster.

Vacation time

Summer holidays often turn into an excuse to leave our workout routines back at home. Planning an active holiday around activitiessuch as treks or water-sports is a great way to get a break from your regular workout routine while having a lot of fun and keeping up with your physical activity.

If your holiday plans do not include any such activities including short bouts of workouts ­— jogs, walks, bodyweight exercises — will ensure that your workout routine does not slip away completely.

Family holidays with children can be a great way to get some physical activity while creating lasting bonds and memories together.

Holidays should have us returning feeling energised and refreshed. It’s important to create some balance between holiday bingeing and indulgences to ensure that you don’t return feeling guilty rather than re-energised.

Nourish the body, mind & senses

Whether you’re on a holiday or not, the summer heat can have us giving in to cravings of iced drinks, cold juices, ice-creams and more. Remember, instead of making us feel good, these actually undermine our efforts on various levels. The sugar and calories add up very fast to negate our workout efforts and the feeling of satisfaction is fairly short-lived in terms of feeling cooler or energised.

Nourishing the body, mind and senses with fresh, colourful seasonal vegetables and fruits makes summer a delightful time. It is so much easier to plan changes in eating habits ­— salads and lightly cooked meals are so much more appealing during the summer heat than heavy, spicy meals. And there is such a wide array of fresh, flavourful seasonal summer foods to choose from and experiment with.

Summer fitness tips

The simplest, most obvious one is to stay hydrated. However, we more often than not, do not get enough water into our bodies — regularly and consistently — through the day and during our workouts.

Adjust your fitness goals for the summer, keeping them realistic. Listen to your body, making changes in the duration and intensity of your workouts.

Stay motivated by setting yourself a goal to achieve for later in the year — a run, a trek, an adventure holiday — then plan your training through the summer to prepare and get ready for it.

Summer outdoor essentials of sunscreen, protective gear for head and eyes, the right clothes for outdoor workouts are some of the other factors that are important to pay attention to.

Fitness for body & mind

Mix it up and feel a difference in the body and mind! As much as you enjoy your regular workout routine, activity, or sport, switching things up can help enhance your workout efforts and the results that you will see in your regular workouts.

If your regular fitness programme is based on the outdoors — such as biking, running, sports — use the hot summer months to include indoor workouts that you otherwise do not do.

 Use functional training workouts that will help to balance your body from repetitive movement, stress and muscular imbalances that build up from your regular activity/sport. These workouts focus on injury-prevention while addressing important elements such as stability, control, power, balance, core and overall body strength.

Do you prefer to keep your fitness programme based on the varied indoor workouts available? This summer, take a break from your regular routine to include an activity that will get you outdoors. Let your body and mind get out there to enjoy some new and fun activity. It will have you returning to your regular workouts feeling rejuvenated and re-energised.

The months leading up to summer are focused on getting ‘summer-wardrobe and summer-activity’ ready. Well, there’s no better way to show off a toned, fit body than when working out!

And that’s another reason to keep up with your workout routine through summer.

Celebrate summer by finding a balance indoors and outdoors; let your mind and body be energised and uplifted with the best of what summer brings.

(The author is co-owner, The Zone, Mind & Body Studio )

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