Updated: Jun 10, 2020
Summer is approaching and the urge to go outdoors and be active is also starting to appear. As states start to re-open in midst of the corona virus pandemic, sports practices start to resurge and the urge for outdoor activities as well. If you are looking forward to becoming more active with the perks of great outside weather, the summertime ‘break’ is a great way to get back on track and start a new routine with new and better habits.
Being intentional with what you do can lead you to great things such as to make your summertime one of improvements in your personal life as well as in your work life.
As a former swimming student-athlete, we used to switch pool lengths for summertime. For example, during the regular NCAA Swimming season (August-March) we used to train mainly in short course yards pool, since all of our meets were held in short course yards. When the season was over, it was time for Long course meters season. The pool length in long course meters was double the size plus a little extra. For us swimmers, that meant a long of different things. Different intervals, different types of workouts, different intensities both in and out of the water in terms of exercises.
Not only that, I’d say that my nutrition had to change a lot too. Training outdoors for 3-4hours/day can be very fun but also very dangerous, especially when you’re swimming. Some people don’t realize this but we still do get sweaty and lose a lot of fluid while swimming, especially at high intensity. Summer training and cramping are best friends for swimmers (and other sports people) that don’t hydrate properly during/after their summer outdoor workouts.
In this article, I want to point out different ways you can avoid poor performance during summer activities due to things such as cramping, headaches and lack of energy. I will give you some tips on how to make the most out of your summer and if you are able to pay attention to these things, I guarantee you that when Fall comes around you will be a different person.
To me, Nutrition is by far the most important factor in my personal productivity, either in the pool or in general well-being. Proper Nutrition is key in making summer training work. Without proper fuel, your body won’t be able to perform at desired intensity as well as recover properly, contributing for a decrease in progress and even backslide.
I personally love summertime because I feel more energetic to do things such as wake up early on a Saturday morning and go to a farmer’s market for example. Pick and choose my vegetables and fruits for the week is something I truly enjoy doing, and I feel very good about it when I am consuming those products throughout the week. I also like summertime because it is more likely to gather with friends and do a grill out outdoors for example. Taking a step back and enjoying the process of cooking and appreciating the quality food you’re fueling your body with is a major factor in summertime activity productivity.
As I have mentioned in past blogs, one of my favorite parts of the whole process is to search and get to know more about products that fit into my lifestyle and are on the same page as me in terms of longevity in what I do. I might be a professional swimmer now and somehow be ‘forced’ into watching my diet and what goes into my body, but I know for a fact that one day when I don’t swim anymore I will still be very worried and concerned about my health.
During this summer, I challenge you to try and go to sleep a little earlier if you consider yourself a night owl. I must confess I have really bad sleeping habits, but I am always trying hard to get them better and better. I recently started leaving my phone across my bed and on my room desk really far from me, so I have no ways of looking at it before bedtime, and I am forced to get up when it’s time to turn off my alarm in the morning. It’s a simple technique that has been helping me a lot to find a better sleeping pattern. Sleep is a crucial part of our recovery so it’s vital that we have a great night of sleep in order to be successful in daytime activities and sports.
3. BE MINDFUL
Summertime is a great time to get learning and be more mindful of your favorite activities and hobbies. If you like Running/jogging, I’d suggest you read more about it and understand more about that specific activity for example. I must confess it is a thousand times more fun to watch and practice swimming during summer, because the environment outdoors helps. It’s no fun to take 2 hrs on a winter day and go get in the pool to work on start technique (when you have to be getting in and out of the water every 30 seconds) for example. Summertime helps me to really enjoy being outside and perfecting my weaknesses in my sport, and I guarantee it can be of much help for you too, whatever activity or sport you have as a hobby.
4. PROPER HYDRATION
Last but not least, proper hydration is a key component in making sure you have a successful summer training in terms of being physically prepared for each workout and properly recovered at all times.
As I have mentioned before, a study published in 2015 Asker Jeukendrup & Michael Gleeson at Humankinetics, suggests that “A loss of sweat equal to 2% of body weight causes a noticeable decrease of physical and mental performance. Losses of 5% or more of body weight during physical activities may decrease the capacity for work by roughly 30%”. Therefore we can conclude that the lack of proper hydration will cause major damage to your athletic performance as shown. Making sure you are always replenishing fluid and electrolytes if you are engaged in a physical activity is a must if you are looking to perform at optimum levels.
In this other article, I show you exactly how to stay properly hydrated during summertime season. During a two hour swim session, I probably go through 1L or more of sports drinks, which would be the equivalent to 34 fl.oz., and that’s only DURING the workout, not considering what I drink before and after! During summertime I’d say that quantity of Electrolyte Replacement drinks would even double for me. It’s vital that we stay properly hydrated if we are looking to achieve any level of progress in performance, and summertime is when we need to be extra careful with our hydration.
Summer and warmer days are upon us and that means more sweating, especially in our training sessions! I suggest you try as hard as you can to stay on top of your fluid intake because it will not only prevent potential health complications, but also help you make the most out of your training sessions. Most importantly, be aware of the early signs of dehydration and listen to your body.
In case you are like me and like to practice sports or physical activities on a daily basis, there are also electrolyte replacement products available that are low-sugar and low-calories. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink for example is a great way of replenishing your essential electrolytes after a workout but keeping the calorie count low and consuming only 5g of natural sugars per bottle. You could use the code JOAO10 for a special discount on their website, and I also recommend you to subscribe to their newsletter because they are always releasing special codes for even higher discounts on their products.