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Summer Exercise Tips

Every one enjoys the summer months. Here are some safety tips and recreational ideas to help you get the most out of your summer holidays.

When you are not at the gym there are many things you can do without equipment. I personally do chin-ups on trees, push-ups, free weight lunges and squats and abs. Running on the beach is a great workout. It’s harder than normal running because your feet sink into the sand as you push off. Kayaking is another very scenic way of getting your daily exercise.

A much played recreational activity during the summer is golf. As New Zealanders we are fortunate to have access to a lot of golf courses. Remember that like any activity you need to warm up. Golfers are generally terrible at this. Warm up by walking before hand for at least 5 minutes. Golfing can take its toll on the body, especially the back. The combination of rotation and having a bent over stance is terrible on the spine. A more upright stance will reduce the stress on the back and enhance performance.

The intensity of the New Zealand sun is very high so we need to protect ourselves. It is very important to wear sunscreen. When looking for sunscreen look for UVA and UVB protection and wear at least 30+ SPF. Most sunscreens are water resistant but it is still important to reapply often. It is also important to put a lot on. A shot glass is about the amount you should put on for full body coverage. If exercising during the peak hours of the days it’s important to keep hydrated and be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke, such as dizziness and confusion. Seek medical attention if these symptoms become apparent.

We are blessed with lots of great walking and mountain biking trails. Both are great exercise. It is important to remember with mountain biking is that most injuries occur to the shoulder, collarbone and head so it’s very important to wear a helmet and protective gear. Water sports are also a great way of getting exercise. Swimming, surfing and bodyboarding are great for burning calories and are good for posture. One interesting fact about the water is that we sweat while in the water and we normally get more dehydrated in water than on land. So keep a water bottle on hand.

Summer activities are great because the sun helps with Vitamin D production and mood. The sun helps increase Serotonin levels in the body and makes you feel happier. Also seawater has beneficial qualities. It’s great for wounds and for the skin. When in the water, if you get a jellyfish sting use vinegar, forget the myth about urine. It will not work unless it’s very acidic. Also it’s important to remove bee stings as quickly as possible without squeezing the sting. I wrap a hair around them and pull them out.

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