- I don’t always want it. Sometimes it’s hard to get up at 5 AM or finish a run when you feel like you’re dragging. But what I know about myself (and hopefully you can relate) is I’m 100X more likely (those are pretty good odds) to finish that workout if someone is running alongside me.
- But I always need it. Some of the best moments of encouragement I’ve received is during a workout with a friend. Find someone that you can set realistic goals with and begin encouraging one another during your workouts so you can achieve those goals together.
- It’s a lot harder to give up without it. If left to run before the crack of dawn on my own, that snooze button will almost always get the better of me. However, if I know someone is counting on me to workout with them, I might be five minutes late in the mornings (Sorry, running buddies… you know it’s true), but ultimately, I will be there. I won’t “stand up” a workout partner. Having a buddy automatically creates a space for accountability that wasn’t there before. It’s a new layer to a friendship and often a lifelong “common ground” you get to share with someone.
- Throw in some flavor! If you’re like me, sometimes I have to shake up what I drink and water doesn’t always cut it. There are so many options to infuse our water that we could never possibly get bored! Try adding your favorite fruit, citrus or herb!
- Try electrolyte tablets. Want a little extra “something something” in your water for your tough workout but Gatorade isn’t your thing? Try Nuun tablets! These are electrolyte tablets that dissolve straight into your water, replenishing those electrolytes you lose during exercise. (Some even contain caffeine to keep your energy up!) They come in several yummy flavors, and I often use them during long runs on the weekends. Give ’em a try!
- Ice, ice baby! So you push through the summer heat for a run, take a shower and still CANNOT cool down. Why is that? When we expose ourselves to extreme heat, it can take a long time for our bodies to cool down and our metabolisms to chill out. When that happens, try drinking a glass of ice water — it will help you re-hydrate and regulate your core temperature.
- Always have that H2O with you! Choosing to keep a water bottle with me as much as possible makes such a difference in my hydration level. Days that I drink only during meals, I feel very sluggish and dehydrated. However, when I’m consistently carrying a refillable glass bottle with me throughout the day, I’m almost subconsciously reminding myself to keep hydrated. It’s such a simple and helpful trick!
- Find a pool! – If you love to swim, find a pool and tread some water! On average, a person burns about 350 calories after 30 minutes of treading water in the deep end. (Awesome, right?!) It will keep you cool and is a cardiovascular workout that will engage your entire body (especially your core).
- Hydrate! – DO NOT wait until you feel thirsty to drink fluids. By that point, you are likely already entering into dehydration mode. Our bodies require a daily intake of 64 ounces (minimum) of water, and even more in the summertime months, so always carry a water bottle with you wherever you go this season. This will remind you to stay hydrated, and you will feel the difference in your workouts. I like to use a larger bottle (usually 1.5 liter Evian bottle) so I don’t have to refill it several times throughout the day. You can even set goals for yourself –take that 1.5 liter bottle, and try to drink two in one day (and if you’re not sure how much water is best for you to drink, consult your doctor or nutritionist for more info)!
- Space out your meals appropriately. – There are few things worse than going outside in the scorching heat for a workout right after you eat and feeling the effects of whatever you had for dinner. (Fierce temperatures + full stomach = a fitness fiasco… Yikes.) So make sure to give yourself enough time before and after exercising for proper digestion. If you have to squeeze in a workout after dinner, give yourself a couple hours to digest your food, eat a smaller portion and eat a high protein snack after your workout!
- Freeze a towel. – Prepare some washcloths or hand towels for a quick cool down by soaking them with cool water. Add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil (if you want), put them in a Ziploc bag and pop them in the freezer. After your workout, grab one and place it on your forehead or the back of your neck. It will feel AMAZING and will cool you down quickly!
- Ice bathing. – Ouch…this is probably one of my least favorite tips because, honestly, I don’t enjoy ice baths! However, if you are a runner or enjoy cardio heavy activities, it is a great way to help repair small muscle tears that occur during long periods of activity and flush away toxins, all while cooling you off. A couple important things to know about ice baths:
- > Everyone has their own “cold threshold” you will have to “test the waters” (pun absolutely intended) to find yours. Don’t go to the gas station and buy two 15-pound bags of ice and use it all on the first try. Try half of a large bag the first time, and feel free to add a little warm water if needed.
- > Your toes are the worst part. Our toes are super sensitive so don’t be surprised if that’s the most difficult part of the whole process.
- > Throw on a sweatshirt…and drink some hot tea. An ice bath should feel more tolerable if you are holding something warm and have a thick layer on top.
- > Don’t stay in there too long! There’s no reason to exceed 10 minutes in an ice bath. Set a timer on your phone and start with 5 minutes. Slowly work your way up to staying in the bath longer each time you complete a workout.
Hey neighbor! What are your favorite summer cool-down tips? Comment below and let us know!
“for God bought you with a price. So you much honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20
Is there a goal, dream or desire that the Lord has placed on your heart? Is there a comfort zone He is wanting to take You out of? Is there a hobby or activity you want to begin so You can share Jesus with a whole new group of people? Ask Him to give you the courage to begin something You know he has asked you to do. Then commit Your ways to Him, soak it in and go there with Jesus, then make memories with Him that will last a lifetime.
Enjoy! And remember, what we eat directly affects how we feel during the day and during our workouts. Our bodies are His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19) — let’s feed them like we believe it!
Good luck and keep sweating!
Exercise has numerous benefits, and our body is the temple of the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), so it is important to make the discipline of exercise a priority! Most people take a break from being health-conscious during the holiday season, but I challenge you to make sure you stay active. Your workout doesn’t have to be boring, you can find something active that you love. Who knows, that might just be swing dancing!