With the summer in full swing, it’s only natural that more and more people are taking full advantage of the long daylight hours by spending plenty of time outside. A natural source of annual encouragement for an increase in activity is certainly a good thing, especially for those of us who are serious about health and fitness.
On the other hand, those inspired to begin a fitness-training program during the summer months ought to be keenly aware of how to build a proper training foundation to ensure their continued progress while also avoiding deterrents like an injury or training plateau. Dale Parducci, a fitness coach and personal trainer from North Bergen, New Jersey, offered a few common-sense tips for summer fitness training.
With his busy schedule, Dale Parducci understands that there are days when a midday workout is the only option. Even so, the fitness coach urges beginners to avoid the sweltering midday heat by scheduling any outdoor workouts during the early morning or late evening hours. Training in high temperatures requires a greater expenditure of energy, which can compromise the quality of the individual workout as well as subsequent workout sessions.
Be Mindful of Fluid Intake
Even the slightest bit of dehydration has an adverse effect on the quality of a training session, and most beginners naturally increase their fluid intake once they start a training program in earnest. Drinking a greater volume of water is certainly a step in the right direction, but Parducci also encourages clients to be mindful of their caffeine intake as well. Caffeinated beverages have a diuretic effect on the body, so drinking too much — especially during the summer months — can cause a host of otherwise avoidable issues.
The same is true for alcoholic beverages. With the longer hours of daylight and pleasant warmth of the summer evenings, there are plenty of events in which social drinking is expected.
There is not much risk associated with drinking one or perhaps even two alcoholic beverages, but anything beyond that impairs the quality of sleep and inhibits general function in the days that follow. Parducci makes sure that his clients know the importance of consistent quality sleep and how excessive alcohol consumption negatively affects performance during subsequent training sessions.
Engage in Active Recovery
Many of Parducci’s clients are professionals whose jobs are inherently sedentary. Obviously, committing to a regular training program is a great strategy for combating the effects of a sedentary workday, but long periods of inactivity also interfere with the body’s natural recovery processes. The inability to properly recover makes it harder to achieve training goals, which can have an adverse effect on motivation.
Parducci encourages his clients to engage in active recovery efforts throughout their workdays. Simply walking to a colleague’s office rather than communicating via email can make a significant difference, and during the summer months it is particularly easy to find other enjoyable ways to engage in active recovery: some clients choose to walk or ride a bike to work, while others simply increase the frequency and duration of their dog’s walks and trips to the park.