Beating the Heat: How to Maintain Your Wellness This Summer

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There is nothing as certain as the changing of the seasons. Each interval of the year brings its own changes and expectations, which can make it hard to maintain routines and rhythms—especially in areas like fitness and overall health and wellness.

Struggling to maintain your wellness priorities heading into the warmer-weather months is normal. School vacations, summer holidays, barbeques, graduation parties—there is no end to the number of distractions that beckon.

If you’re looking for ways to stay focused (or to refocus) on your wellness during the dog days of summer, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a closer look at how to keep your wellness on track during the hottest period of the year.

Recognizing the Need to Refocus

The first step in managing any transition well is recognizing the need to stay focused or to refocus during that time. As the seasons change, take the time to step back and analyze how you can improve your focus on yourself and your overall state of wellness.

Psychotherapist, coach, and trainer Dr. Victoria Grinman points out a few signs that may indicate you need to refocus. If you feel like life is a game of whack-a-mole, you’re putting out fires every day and don’t even understand how they started, or your body is simply telling you that something is off, it may be time to reboot your system and your schedule.

If that’s the case, start with an analysis of your current state of wellness. If you don’t know how to begin, try taking a self-assessment test from The Wellness Compass to gauge where you stand, not just physically but mentally and emotionally (more on those in a minute).

Prep for Summer Heat

Warmer weather often makes outdoor activities easier. From swimming and kayaking (if you’re near easily accessible water) to jogging and biking, the summer is a great excuse to get outside. However, the weather can also play against your desire to stay fit. One study found that 51.8% of respondents delayed outdoor exercise in the summer due to weather concerns.

If you want to take advantage of the outdoors for your exercise, you need to embrace the heat and set the stage to thrive in it. Penn Medicine suggests engaging in water-friendly exercises, such as swimming, surfing, or SUP (Stand-Up-Paddle) Boarding. Timing your runs for rainy days is another great way to stay cool. Just make sure to wear bright clothes if you’re on the road!

It’s also wise to hydrate well not just during but before each workout. Take the time to plan when and where you work out based on the weather. Diet is also a factor here. Make sure you’re eating the right foods for hot-weather fitness. Shift your focus to healthy carbs and make sure to aggressively replenish electrolytes when exercising in hot weather.

Don’t Forget Mental and Emotional Health

As you shift your wellness approach to the warmer weather, remember to be holistic in your approach. Yes, your physical fitness is important, but you also want to consider how the changes will impact your mental and emotional health.

The summer is a busy time. Finding even more time to exercise can feel stressful. Lengthy workouts in the blazing heat can also be exasperating. Paralympian Allysa Seely recommends taking things slow and giving yourself plenty of time to adjust to the hotter weather. Don’t be too hard on yourself for failing to reach certain goals, either. Simply putting in the effort when you can and staying as consistent as possible is a win in and of itself.

Food is also a factor here. As you track your food intake, look for a tracking app that supports you without adding extra pressure. MacroFactor, for example, accommodates detailed nutrition tracking while maintaining an “adherence neutral” approach. This ditches shame-based visual elements or coaching approaches that overcompensate for one day of eating off-plan, simply delivering clean, insightful health and nutrition data.

As you care for your physical health this summer, keep your mental and emotional health in the mix. Set attainable goals. Track but don’t obsess over nutrition. You get the idea.

Find Ways to Maintain Momentum

Once you’ve re-evaluated your well-being, adapted to your region’s warm weather conditions, and addressed mental and emotional as well as physical health, it’s time to consider how to maintain your momentum. It doesn’t matter if your summer is three months long or if you only have a few weeks left once you make your changes. If you don’t establish structure, you won’t be able to keep up on your well-being commitments.

As you discover what works best for you, create your own personal wellbeing code for the summer. If you have a workday rhythm, plan workouts at specific times of the day. If you’re in a hot area, go for runs when the sun is low. Whatever the case, look for repeatable elements that you can embrace to stay focused and on track over the coming weeks.

By incorporating these wellness-focused methods, techniques, and encouragements into your summer schedule, you can navigate the transition both into and out of the summer with renewed focus and vitality—and you won’t just feel better physically. You will be able to foster a balanced, holistic, and fulfilling lifestyle.

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