We are blessed in this country with not only picturesque locations but beautiful weather to enjoy in the summer months (ok I’ll admit, our storms can be a bit angry sometimes…). But, the summer sun can also get the better of us. Often the scorching temps leaves me feeling lethargic and de-motivated to work out. Yet this is an awesome time of year in Australia to be active, even more so to work off all that Christmas time cheer (aka Chrissy ham, BBQ’s, cakes and champagne)! With endless feasts and treats, staying active helps keep me sane during the silly season and more importantly, keeps me feeling good.
So here’s a little list of some fun ways to BEat the heat this Summer!
Cool off in the water at your local pool or beach
Sounds obvious, but we often forget how good swimming is! Not only is the water a great way to provide some much needed heat relief, but if we add in a few laps or take an aqua aerobics class, it’s the perfect way to torch those Summer calories. The best part... it’s low impact, so it’s great for the body! With the added resistance of water pressure, you can get your cardio and strength workout all in one easy aqua workout.
Get on the dance floor
What could be more FUN than sweating it out to some awesome BEats with your friends at a group dance fitness class. Who wouldn’t want to burn up to 300 calories for every half hour by shimmying and shaking it up in an air-conditioned room! It’s the perfect way to work your whole body, meet new people or socialise with your friends and stay cool all at the same time. Check out your local dance school, gym or community centre for all the different class options in your area. Step or better yet, salsa your way into the New Year.
Workout at home
This is definitely one of my go to options, because I can control the temps at home and work out whenever I choose. The convenience factor as well as the fact that we have air-conditioning makes this a perfect option to keep active no matter how hot it is outside. Don’t know what to do? YouTube is your friend folks! There is an abundance of workout options to choose from to suit anyone and everyone. Our channel has tons of options to choose from. Another great alternative is purchasing a workout DVD or streamed digital download. Our signature program Dance That Walk, is perfect as it doesn’t require much space and you can get your sweat on, achieve your daily step count and all with minimal to no equipment.
Time your walk outdoors to BEat the heat
If walking indoors is not your thing, then walking outdoors during Summer is definitely another go to choice. The biggest tip here is not to do it smack bang in the middle of the day, when the sun is beaming at its peak. Choose your walk time either early in the morning as the sun is rising or at dusk when the heat is settling and the sun has lost its anger. My personal preference is a walk around 6am. It gives me an incentive to wake up early and is part of my Summer morning ritual to set the the tone for the day ahead. Getting your workout done and dusted first thing, also helps with the procrastination and avoidance of exercise as it can be done before work without any excuse!
I live in Sydney and I prefer to drive to some walking tracks, as it gives me a specific goal to complete in either a particular distance or time.
Here are my top 3:
1. The Bay Run in Drummoyne
2. Bondi Beach to Coogee Coastal Walk
3. Centennial Park Loop
If you aren’t a Sydney sider, here are some other fabulous walks I’ve done in the East coast of Australia that you might want to try:
Cape Byron lighthouse walk - Byron Bay
The Capital City Trail - Melbourne
Brisbane Riverwalk - Brisbane
Surfers Riverwalk - Gold Coast
Lake Burley Griffin “Bridge to Bridge” Walk - Canberra
Sunrise or sunset soft sand beach walk
The beautiful beaches in Summer can be more than just about diving into the water. Walking or jogging early in the morning on the sand works your muscles more than twice as much as on a regular hard surface. So not only can you get a fantastic cardio and strength workout but you can kill two birds with one stone and jump into the ocean to cool off at the end of your workout.
Shop ‘til you drop
Ok stay with me on this one and hear me out… I know it sounds silly but shopping centres offer some of the best air-conditioned walking spaces out there! Take the stairs, do the groceries, try on clothes and you’ll jam pack so much incidental exercise time and remain cool all at the same time! I always say it’s better to do something rather than nothing at all.
Declutter & clean
Again, incidental exercise is crucial to helping us keep our bodies on the move. So why not, clear out the clutter and also work up a sweat. Avoiding clearing out the pantry or a wardrobe perhaps? Now is the chance to kick off the year and minimise the mess as well as burn a few calories.
Relax & recharge with Yoga
Another fabulous way to work your whole body and mind without the necessity of being high impact and jarring on your joints. Take it at your own pace, but most importantly it’s all about getting your body moving in one way or another. Take your mat to a local park in the shade for the added bonus of some fresh air or better still find a studio in your local community. Working out with others is always a great way to stay motivated and committed. But maybe just leave the hot Bikram for winter!
Get out of the city into nature
Sometimes just changing location can change the temperature. Maybe you live inland and taking a drive to a coastal location will get you a cooling seabreeze. Or sometimes the mountain ranges inland can provide some relief. Whatever the direction, do a little research on the day, see what’s in your region and maybe even make a day trip out of your exercise with a picnic and great book to read afterwards.
So I hope this little list gives you guys some inspiration to keep moving during summer. It’s not always about the intensity of your exercise. It’s about changing the routine to work in with the season and adding variety to keep it fun. Find ways in which you will enjoy yourself so you keep moving consistently regardless of the heat. Progress always wins over perfection!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
With temps on the rise, we also have a greater chance of dehydration. Make sure you drink 2-3L of water throughout the day and bring a bottle with you so you can keep drinking throughout your workout.
Wear the right clothes. Choose lighter and looser fabrics that breathe, and perhaps swap the long black woolly compression tights for a pair of colourful capris or shorts.
Stay Sun Smart
Regardless of whether it’s hot or not, the summer sun can be harsh, especially in Australia. So always stay aware of the sun and keep yourself protected when you workout outside. Always make sure if swimming is part of your workout, to reapply sunscreen afterwards to maintain protection after the water.
Grab an ice pack from your freezer and wrap it in a towel to help keep your towel cool. Then use on points like your neck and wrists to cool down and chill post workout.