Many may find themselves inclined to start walking and running with the warmer weather. Listed are some tips to start your summer fitness goals on the right path.

Focus on your breathing

If you’re going out for a casual run/walk at a slower pace, consider breathing through your nose. You can keep your tongue toward the roof of your mouth to achieve a deeper diaphragmatic breath. The aim is to use your breathing to reduce your heart rate, which coincidently will help you relax.

Being well fueled from the start

A rule of thumb is, the more time you have before a run, the more you should eat. If you have 30 minutes, then a small snack is best. Consider easily digestible foods like simple carbs. Water before a run is good, but it’s best not to binge drink H20 before a bout of exercise. Consider drinking more water throughout the week to maintain euhydration, a state of water balance.

Sustaining agility despite allergy

A high pollen count can make outdoor exercise difficult for otherwise-healthy individuals who have allergies. Consider running earlier in the morning or just after a rain shower when the pollen count is at its lowest. Accessorize your runs with a nice pair of sunglasses to stem eye irritations, and wear a breathable running hat to keep sun rays away from the eyes. On blistering hot days, or days with forecast for high levels of pollen, consider indoor training such as treadmills or the indoor track at your local fitness center.

Beat the heat

Many runners and walkers elect to get outdoors earlier in the day throughout the summer to reap the benefits of cooler temperatures. It’s a great way to garner a head-start to your workday and energize yourself with aerobic exercise. Always be careful on the road or pedestrian areas when running early or late at night in low visibility; use bright running vests, LED lights or headlamps for your safety.

Running in the pack

Finding someone to hold a conversational pace helps you from starting out too fast. It’s great to have a buddy who could be there to keep you from skipping your run; set yourself a time so you both can support each other. When you’re sluggish or find yourself fatigued, a partner can give you the encouragement you need to accomplish your jog.

About the Author

Justin ShenalJustin Shenal is the Health and Fitness Specialist at Cone Health in Greensboro. He is a certified exercise physiologist who received his degree in kinesiology from SUNY Brockport where he also competed in NCAA cross country and track & field programs. His prior experiences in exercise programming and cardiovascular conditioning brings significant expertise to Sagewell Health & Fitness


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