Don't let summer heat defeat your exercise plan

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photoStefanie Fisher, owner, Vancouver Adventure Boot Camp

When the temperatures soar, our natural inclination is to stay inside, where it’s cool. But doing the same old treadmill routine in your gym time after time can get pretty boring. You really do need to exercise outdoors because that’s where all the fun is!

And don’t even think about slacking off and not exercising at all, using the hot weather as an excuse. You have to keep up your workout schedule regardless of weather or seasons. If you let it slide, all those high-calorie summer splurges like mayo-laden potato salad, greasy brats, cold beer, and ice cream, will make you pile on extra pounds.

The important thing is to cool down your summer workout by taking some sensible precautions to protect yourself from the sun and heat. Just as you wouldn’t go outside in the dead of winter without proper gear and preparation, the same holds true for the summer.

For a healthy “fun in the sun” experience I suggest the following:

If you have health issues, ask your doctor if you can work out outdoors. That’s a good advice for anyone starting a new exercise program, at any time of year.

Schedule your workout early in the day (before 10 a.m.) or later (after 7 p.m.) when it’s not as hot. Many fitness boot camps offer both morning and evening sessions.

Wear exercise-appropriate clothing. While cotton may be comfortable, it traps sweat and perspiration, clinging to your skin. So-called performance fabrics made of polyester and/or Lycra blends are a better choice. Also, make sure to wear a hat and a pair of sunglasses.

Protect your skin from harmful sun rays with a high-SPF, waterproof and sweat-resistant sunscreen, even if it is cloudy or hazy outside. Apply it to the whole body, not just the face.

Drink water often. Hydration is essential during a summer workout, so you should drink water before, during and after your routine, even if you are not thirsty. After a particularly intense or sweaty session, switch to a low sugar sports drink containing electrolytes – those important salts, minerals and other chemical compounds that replenish the depleted fluids.

Remember: summer’s ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’ So take advantage of the great outdoors while you can.

Stefanie Fisher is a certified personal trainer and a former member of the German National Team of Olympic Weightlifting with 20 years of experience in the fitness industry. Fisher can be reached at stefanie@vancouveradventurebootcamp.com or 360-823-9636.

Vancouver Adventure Boot Camp is a women's only boot camp fitness program which specializes in the area of weight loss. Fisher also added a Salmon Creek/Ridgefield location in January 2011.