September 25, 2018

Hot Climate Exercise by Mathew Ireland

Training outdoors in hot temps is not all sunshine and roses; exercising in the heat can also cause problems!

Hydration

Firstly, I don’t want to bore you by telling you to stay hydrated. We all know the health risks. What I will say is why it is important to stay hydrated when training. Dehydration is not only seriously bad for your health, it also has a negative impact on your training. Studies suggest that to get the most out of your workout, your body needs to be adequately hydrated. This is the case for all types of training, from cardio to strength training.

Another risk when training in hot climates is heat cramp. Heat cramps can easily stop you exercising. They can also be prevented, by maintaining a balance of water and sodium (salt) in your diet.

Acclimatization

Many people may overlook this but your body needs to adjust to the heat. In order to acclimatize, you should increase intensity and duration in the heat over time (typically between 3 days and 2 weeks, depending on the individual). Acclimatization can provide many benefits including earlier sweating to keep cool, and less sodium lost with sweat.

Clothing

You should wear loose, light-colored clothing, which is designed to promote cooling. It’s also worth thinking about your footwear. Training shoes that ‘breathe’ will help keep your feet cool.

Skin Care

Once again, using sun cream in radiant heat should be obvious. Sunburn is uncomfortable and can stop you from training. Always protect your skin.

After Exercise

Replacing any water or electrolytes after exercise is important, especially for recovery. With adequate time, electrolytes will be replaced by a balanced diet but can also be replaced with specific sports drinks. It is important to note that if you are working out for less than an hour, you shouldn’t need an electrolyte drink. They are designed for use after longer periods of exercise.

Using this advice, plan your workouts in advance to get the most out of your training.

Mathew Ireland is the founder and a regular writer for Fitness Cumbria – an online magazine delivering health and fitness information to the Cumbrian population. He trains clients over the county, and focuses on outdoor and body-weight training.

 

Family Biking Fun by Jennifer Austin

Consider riding bikes for fun as a family. Pick up a bike map at your local bike shop, sit around the kitchen table together and plan a route for a group pedal.

Safety is paramount when riding with little ones. Helmets are a must for all riders. Teach kids these principles so they became safe riders:

Kids in the middle. Riding with one adult in front and one adult behind is a way to make sure everyone stays safe and with the group.

Buddy-up. The buddy system still exists because it works. For big groups, each rider should choose another to keep an eye on.

Focus forward. Reminding kids to focus their eyes forward at all times will insure they see obstacles in the road such as acorns, bumps in the road, tree branches and the like.

Shout it out. When riding with others, communicating about upcoming obstacles or changing direction is nice habit to put in place. For example, simply pointing at the ground as you’re riding by a hazard on the bike path will alert those behind you to something in the road they should be aware of.

Keep it steady. Riding at an even pace adds fitness benefits, but more importantly allows those around you to anticipate your moves. Darting in and out of traffic or speeding up and then randomly stopping creates a hazard to those around or behind you.

Yield to cars. Just because a cyclist legally has the right of way, doesn’t mean the driver sees them. Always assuming the driver does not see you, is a great rule. When in doubt, simply teach your kids to pull to the side of the road, stop and wait for the car, other cyclist, pedestrian, etc to pass.

Rules of the road apply to cyclists too. Cyclists should obey all road rules just as they are required as in a car. For example, teach kids to stop at stop signs, stop for red lights and pedestrians, ride on the correct side of the road, ride in the bike lane single file, and signal to motorists their course (right turn, left turn, etc.)

Pass on the left only. Slower riders should always ride on the right side of the bike path or road, allowing other riders to pass you on the left.

Be seen. Insist every rider wear visible clothing. Choose bright colors, reflectors or even a flashing light that attaches to the seat post is a great idea to insure visibility to cars, other riders and pedestrians.

Ride for fun and boost fitness for the whole family. No mileage or speed requirements. Stop and smell the flowers or check out an interesting sight along the way. Pack a lunch or snacks and sit and relax at your destination for awhile. Just go!

Whatever the Weather by Gen Levrant

Fit in your fitness whatever the weather!

Rain, heavy fog, wind…summer doesn’t always bring pure sunshine. And even if we are blessed with sunshine, the majority of people still spend their days cooped up indoors.

The solution?  GET OUTSIDE ANYWAY!

Walk/Run for Function

It may sound cliché (or you’ve heard it before) but getting out the office and briskly walking around the block even for 10-20 minutes can make even the worst of days better. Your mind will clear and re-focus from physically removing yourself from the environment, your mood lifted from natural daylight and oxygen.

15 minute fat blast: Warm up by walking briskly for two minutes. Repeat the following x 4: 2 minute jog and 30 second sprint. Walk slowly to cool down, finishing with stretching.

Head for the Hills

Hill walks/sprints are a great interval training workout for the heart and lungs, allowing exertion and recovery at your own pace. Try your local park, woods or venture further, making a day of it at the beach or a national park. Vary the terrain: grass, gravel and sand all keep it interesting.

10 minute fat blast: run uphill (or up outdoor steps,) walk down and repeat. Record how many you do – and see if you can beat it next time to track your progress. Great fun for all the family so make a game of it!

DIY Bootcamp

As our Bootcamp takes place outdoors and undercover, our attendees are fortunately always guaranteed fresh air whatever the weather! Try making your own in your garden or local playground. Exercises like press ups and step-ups can be done on benches. Pull ups and mountain climbers can be done on climbing frame ladders.

5 minute fat blast: pick five exercises, one for each minute. Complete as many reps as you can.

Whatever your age and fitness level, these three outdoor workouts; when done with care and patience can create phenomenal results. So if it rains, be your own sunshine!

Gen Levrant is an Advanced Personal Trainer and weight-loss specialist. She runs a private functional training studio in Southampton UK helping people get safe and permanent results. For more info, email gen@fasterpt.com. Follow her on Twitter @PTGen.

Summer Family Fitness Ideas by Mollie Millington

Enjoy fitness with your entire family this summer, and enjoy the added bonus of improving your health. How is this possible? 

Set a good example for your kids. They are more likely to follow your example, rather than listen to your lecture. To set a healthy example means you need to be healthy! Join a tennis league, attend Jazzercise, or play on a community softball team. Although this may seem like one more activity to fit into your diary, tending to your own health and fitness simply has to become a priority. Exercise relieves stress, introduces you to new people, and makes you feel good when the endorphins start flowing. These benefits will affect your attitude at home and work in a positive way. 

Start a new family tradition of activity. Desingate a set time each week or month as family activity time. Take turns choosing what you’ll do. Consider going for a walk or bike ride every night after dinner. Or make Sundays the day you go exploring in the woods or along the lake. Enjoy the fresh air and use the time to catch up with everyone.  Regularly scheduling time with another family to get active will also make fitness fun for everyone!

Become involved with your child’s sport. If you’re already active in a sport together, make an effort to get off the sidelines and join in with your child or children more often. Practice together in the backyard or coach or manage their team. Purchasing tickets to see a professional game or local team provides a great opportunity to be active together. Helping your child learn more about the rules and see more competitive matches will help them improve as a player. 

Choosing to be fit can be difficult but it can also be fun when you do it as a family. Competition is motivating, whether it is for bragging rights, an ice cream cone, or a homemade trophy.  Winning and losing (graciously, of course) are also good moments to teach life lessons to your children. Being fit benefits everyone involved and creates memories that will last forever.

London-based personal trainer Mollie Millington is available for in-person and virtual training. She may be reached at www.ptmollie.com, as well as via @PTMollie on Twitter.