During the summer months, people plan vacations and spend more time outside. Inevitably, gyms across the country slow down this time of year. While family vacations are needed and encouraged, a one week vacation is no excuse to consistently skip your workouts, in fact, it can be quite detrimental. Others worry about exposure to heat, however, most gyms provide a cooling system and more importantly, your body has one built right in!
Consistency is key to acclimating to hot weather. Exertional heat illness is relatively rare because the nervous system ensures that we feel crappy before we’re in any real danger. Chances are if you’ve been working out all summer, your body has already made the key adaptations of increasing blood plasma volume (to produce more sweat) and beginning to sweat earlier and over more of your body since acclimating typically takes two weeks of consistent exposure. While you don’t need to workout every day in high temperatures, when you’re trying to acclimate, don’t go more than two or three days between heated training sessions.
In addition, new research suggests that training in the heat may be more beneficial for fitness than doing equivalent training in cooler weather. So instead of doing everything you can to avoid exercising in the heat this summer, you may want to use it (responsibly) to your advantage.
By taking a break from the gym for the summer, you aren’t just putting your goals on hold, but you might actually be moving backward! It’s easy to get off track in the summer months, with patio beers and summer barbecues, but going to the gym encourages us to stay on track with our nutritional goals too. Remember why you started, and consistently work for it!
Remember your first week of CrossFit? It’s kind of hard to forget right?! The agonizing walk to the car, the challenge of removing your sports bra or simply getting on and off the toilet. When you first start nothing can prepare you for what that first week will feel like and let’s face it, ignorance is bliss! Comebacks are exceptionally challenging when you know what it’s going to feel like and the thought of reliving that dreadful week hangs over your head like a dark cloud on a rainy day. “I’ll go back tomorrow” turns into next week, next month, and then you find yourself desperate for the fit and disciplined version of your former self. When you consistently CrossFit the soreness is muted and your performance and function skyrocket and you avoid the nagging mental battle of…”The Comeback.”
As important as all of the other benefits are, one of the most popular benefits to continue strength training in the summer is also the most superficial. You work hard all winter and spring to feel great and be confident, so why slack off during the summer months? As the weather heats up, you’ll likely be wearing shorts, short-sleeved and sleeveless tops, and bathing suits. Continued time at the gym means your muscles will stay strong and defined so that you can look great as you reveal more of your body than you have all year. You’ll impress friends and family at gatherings with your leaner more chiseled physique.
Be mindful of staying focused on the positive aspects. Rather than saying, “I have to workout,” or “I should workout” try saying aloud “My back feels better when I workout,” or “I feel happier and proud when I workout consistently.”
Gyms tend to empty out at the time of year when it’s most important to continue a workout regimen. By maintaining your regular CrossFit schedule, you’ll be able to continue to meet your aesthetic and performance goals while staying in great shape for all of the exciting summer activities you’ll be invited to enjoy!