As we move through the “dog days” of summer, it can become a little more difficult to enjoy the great outdoors. When the temperature outside is pushing 100°, the nice and cool air conditioning is hard to leave! Once you open the door...all of that outdoor activity you did earlier in the spring no longer sounds like much fun. You break a sweat just going outside to check the mail. Even the dog knows it feels better inside.
Well, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to enjoy summer days no matter how hot they get. The key is being aware that the hottest days are upon us, so we need to find exercise, recreation and leisure ideas that make sense for the season. And don’t worry, those 75° days will return soon enough. But in the meantime, check out these tips for beating the summer heat.
Stay Active, Smartly
For those of you who enjoy running, walking and hiking outdoors, the late-summer heat shouldn’t keep you from doing what you enjoy. The key is to not fight the heat, but to outsmart it! Most days, even when the afternoon temperature is sweltering, it’s still possible to comfortably get your run or walk in by steering clear of the most extreme sun and heat. Switch up your routine and try:
- Going for an early-morning neighborhood run or walk.
- Going for a long walk after the sun goes down.
- Avoiding blacktop and running in the grass or on trails instead
- Taking a morning hike under the shade of trees.
- Getting your exercise and shopping done by mall-walking.
Another way to get some invigorating exercise is to participate in one of the true joys of the season–swimming! No matter how oppressive the heat may be, you can always keep cool in the pool. Late summer is also a great time to experiment with some new indoor exercises. Try taking a yoga, pilates, boxing or spinning class and enjoy the A.C. while you workout!
Stay Hydrated, Deliciously
We all know that taking care to stay hydrated is extra important during the hot summer months. This is critical for athletes or people who work or play outside, of course. But you don’t need to be breaking a sweat for hydration to be important. Inadequate hydration can cause fatigue, mood changes and affect memory and learning ability even for those of us who spend most of the day inside. So stay hydrated by sipping on plenty of refreshing liquids throughout your day. A couple of tips:
- Try to stay away from sugary sodas and instead keep iced tea, fresh juice and water close by.
- Add an extra touch of taste to ice cold water by infusing it with sliced cucumber or a squeeze of citrus.
And don’t forget to eat your liquids, too! As much as 20 percent of your water intake can come from the foods you eat. And as a bonus, the most hydrating foods are usually some of the most nutritious. Some hydration superstars are:
- Citrus fruits
- Salad greens like spinach and kale
So there you have it, yet another reason to develop nutritious eating habits.
Stay Entertained, Adventurously
If the heat gets too oppressive, it can be better to just find some quality indoor entertainment. And while we all love binge-watching our favorite TV shows, the living room isn’t the only place in town with air conditioning.
Try using the dog days of summer as an opportunity to be a “tourist” in your own city. It’s often too easy to appreciate the culture of other cities when we’re on vacation more than we appreciate our own! So imagine you’re a visitor to your hometown. Think about the local attractions a vacationer wouldn’t miss, your city’s best:
- Unique shops
- Historical sites
- Local Music
A day exploring the local art museum followed by catching a movie at an old theater is a great way to beat the heat, hang out with friends and family and exercise your mind. And while you’re out exploring “the Great Indoors” of your city, don’t forget to bring your favorite travel companion...an energizing, delicious Balance Bar® !Check out more smart summer tips here.