Summer Fitness Tips

Written by: Ashley Yartin, MS, LAT, ATC

Ashley Yartin is a Certified Athletic Trainer at Raleigh Orthopaedic Performance Center. She earned her Master’s Degree from LSU in 2009 and her Bachelor of Science Degree in 2007 from Florida State University. Ashley has been a Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer since 2007. Ashley worked with the East Carolina University Women’s Basketball program as an athletic trainer for 6 years prior to joining Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic in 2015. Ashley enjoys golfing with her husband Mike, traveling and being a boy mom to her 5 year old son Jace.

Summer time is almost here! Pandemic fatigue is amongst us all. We are all feeling the itch to get outside and enjoy the weather now that the pollen season looks to be behind us. Here are some tips to making moving fun again this summer:

Make it a family affair! Family fitness can include hiking locally in Umstead Park, biking on the Neuse River Trail, or walking around Lake Lynn on the beautiful Raleigh greenway system. Utilizing scooters, bikes, canoes, and kayaks can be fun for families with various age ranges and fitness levels.

Staying hydrated while outside is key! Drink before you feel thirsty! Nutrition and hydration must not be overlooked. As soon as you can replenish your lost electrolytes with Gatorade, Powerade or an electrolyte drink, the better. It is also a good idea to rehydrate alternating electrolyte drinks with water. Nutrition post exercise needs to be focused on immediate replenishing, including small snacks such as a yogurt, chocolate milk, banana, protein drink or peanut butter on half a piece of toast or bagel. The timeframe immediately following physical activity should be geared at consuming about 200 to 300 easily-digestible calories from carbs and protein. The purpose is to maintain blood sugar levels, replenish muscle glycogen, and repair damaged muscle tissue.

Ramp up your activity slowly. Nothing is worse than causing an injury while doing something beneficial for yourself. In order to stress your body incrementally, utilize a proper warmup, ease into physical activity and don’t forget a cooldown. Listen to your body. If you do too much too soon, your body will tell you. Taking cues and utilizing an incremental threshold technique will be helpful. Avoid back to back high intensity days. It is more beneficial to do a little each day than too much in 1-2 days a week. Finally, pace yourself throughout the workout, including giving yourself plenty of time for breaks and to drink fluids throughout your workout.

Protect yourself with sunscreen and clothing which is made of a breathable material. Sunscreen is often found in daily moisturizers and body lotions. Don’t forget the kiddos who can’t apply sunscreen themselves. Moisture wicking material is preferred over cotton for body thermoregulation.

Inside, outside, just get moving! When the temperatures get too hot or humid, take your exercise inside to a cool, air-conditioned space. Or better yet, as the old saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. If exercising outdoors is more your thing, take advantage of the coolest times of the day, whether it be an early morning workout or once the sun goes down.

Before starting a new program, make sure you speak to your doctor. Get clearance before starting something new or returning from an old injury. A yearly physical can ensure you are on track health wise to partake in healthy physical activity.

More than anything, have fun and enjoy the beautiful parks, mountain trails and beach paths North Carolina has to offer. Here’s to a safe summer!