It’s always either too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer, especially when it comes to training. The summer heat undermines our enthusiasm. It makes us more lethargic and prone to sitting in air conditioned comfort. However, ensuring you stick to your fitness regime–no matter how sticky the heat–makes you feel better and brings huge rewards!
Research by the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) has found that those who exercise when it’s hot lose more weight. The exercise itself burned a few less calories in the cold, but most importantly the need and desire to eat was less when exercising in the heat. Summer really is the best time to lose weight. Other studies have shown that exercising in the heat increases glycogen in the muscles and reduces oxidation of CHO, and University of Oregon research suggests that athletes who train hard in the heat compete more effectively in the cold.
On top of all the research that comes out in favour of summer training, there are plenty of other advantages of summer for fitness enthusiasts at all levels, including:
- Train at times to suit you
Summer brings longer days, earlier mornings and later evenings. Extra daylight makes it easier and safer to run or exercise outside without affecting the daily work routine. And sunlight increases vitamin D intakes, making you feel fresher, happier, and more able to take on the world.
- More opportunities to exercise
Whatever your preferred exercise – running, walking, cycling, etc. – you’ll find there are still plenty of opportunities to do these, but there’s the added option of water sports. It’s hard to convince yourself to take the plunge in winter, but in summer, a pool suddenly looks incredibly appealing. If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of taking part in a triathlon, now is the time!
- Make use of the great outdoors
Exercising outside gives you a new perspective on life; unencumbered by four walls, you’ll have new scenery to distract you while you work-out. Sessions seem to fly-by, and working-out outdoors is a great stress reliever.
Get the most from summer training
Here are four tips to get the most from a summer training regime:
- Avoid the hottest part of the day, staying out of the height of the sun between 11 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon.
- Wear heat friendly clothes; light coloured and looser fitting. There are plenty of sweat wicking, hi-tech options designed for all types of exercise.
- Wear sunscreen!
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and carry a bottle of water with you when running or walking.
For your health and fitness, there really is no need to hate the heat. Embrace the summer, and your exercise regime will produce even greater rewards.