The sun has been out for a while, and it’s the perfect time to get some muscle on in the gym, or the beach or in the park. When it’s summertime, you can exercise literally anywhere, and it should be something that’s a part of your exercise routine for its health benefits alone. Even if you’re in a rush, you should make time to get at least half an hour of exercise per day, and to make it all go a bit smoother, here are the things you will need for a successful summer workout:
A good sports bra
There’s nothing worse than trying to run and having to hold on to your chest so that you don’t end up with a self-inflicted black eye. Even if you have a smaller chest, it’s never a comfortable feeling when things are jumping up and down across your body while you are trying to focus on your technique. A good sports bra should hold everything in place without feeling too tight and constricting. Luckily, sports bra brands have been more and more inclusive, so even larger-chested girls can enjoy their exercise without having to resort to the double bra method.
Sweating is the most natural thing your body does. When you are working out, your body temperature goes up and your body releases cold grains of sweat to regulate the temperature and stop you from overheating. Sweating is nothing to be ashamed of, and believe me, there’s nothing that shoos your determination more than a drenched shirt. However, this isn’t the best thing for you, especially if you are working outside or in an air conditioned room. If you are wearing a material like cotton, which soaks up the sweat, you are going to be in a wet shirt which, besides being uncomfortable, can cause you to get sick with the first cold breeze. Look for specialized dry materials that allow your skin to breathe, but don’t retain the moisture in the fabric.
The right bottoms
There are so many different routines you can have, and wearing the wrong bottoms can give results ranging from uncomfortable to a complete disaster. If you just want one pair that will be great for everything, look for good quality women’s exercise tights. They will cover the main parts that might otherwise get chafed like your bottom or your thighs, but they are also skinny enough so they won’t get caught in the equipment like an indoor bike. In general, think about what you feel comfortable in, which parts of your body you need to keep warm and which muscles and lines you want to clearly see to know if you’re doing the exercise correctly.
You can do a lot of workouts at home or outside if you have some of the basic equipment that you can get pretty cheaply. A set of weights, a yoga mat, a pull-up bar and a dumbbell will get you a long way. If you know you want to be doing a certain type of workout, focus on getting the equipment for that particular exercise. For running, that can be stretching helpers, a step counter, ankle weights and good running shoes. For yoga, this can be a mat, tight-fitting clothes to see your lines and some incense sticks.
Fuel for your body
Eating before and after a workout is not “undoing the calories you just burnt”. Your body needs energy for the workout, and nutrients to recover afterwards. This means eating small meals before and after the workout, packed with healthy nutrients and lots of protein. However, if you don’t have these meals – protein bars (either bought or homemade), smoothie mixes and similar snacks on-hand, you will reach for something that isn’t nearly as good for you or skip the meal altogether. You should also have a reusable water bottle with you during exercise – just make sure you’re not drinking too much at once.
When you have all the needed equipment, it’s much easier to make yourself go and exercise than if you have to improvise everything. For a morning workout, prepare all of your gear the night before, so that when you wake up you jump into the clothes and start exercising without too much time to think about an excuse to skip it!