Summertime: Beat the heat and stay active

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Summer can be excruciatingly hot and humid as is the case in Mauritius these days; however, it is tempting to put one’s workout routine on the back burner simply because it feels too hot to exercise. Weekly looks at creative ways to make summertime activities possible to achieve one’s fitness goals.

Running and exercise 

Many are those who find it hard to begin their day without their morning run, and many are those who find it hard to keep up with their running routine during the summer heat. For those who love to run outdoors, the summer heat does not make it so enjoyable. But, here’s an idea: run in the rain! In her article on health.com, Tina Haupert, a crossfit trainer, said, in the summertime, she likes to plan her run during the showers.

“A little rain cools me off, and it’s a nice change of pace from my usual super-sweaty runs,” she wrote. “Plus, just the thought of running in the rain is fun and exciting, which prevents me from skipping my workout all together!”

On the other hand, Stephan Manique, a fitness coach and personal trainer in Mauritius, suggested a change in schedule. When it is hot outside, Manique said, the best way to get your workout done is to exercise very early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

“The good thing about the summer is that it gets bright outside quite early, and it is not too hot very early in the morning around 5am,” said the fitness coach. “Running in the evening or even at night is also good. If exercising is a priority, then you need to find the time.” If you want to work out, Manique said, then you need to make time for it. However, the fitness coach warned against exercising in the middle of the day, especially between 11am and 2pm.

“That is the time when the sun is up high and the temperature is at its hottest. It is bad for your health, and exercising under a scorching sun can lead to risks of heart attacks,” Manique said.

Another common mistake that people make, especially during the summer, Manique said, is exercising with a raincoat or heavy clothing. According to the fitness coach, many people believe that wearing plastic or thick clothes will help them sweat more and thus, lose more weight. However, Manique strongly warned against such practices while exercising outdoors. In his opinion, the body needs air during workouts, and thus, wearing light clothes such as shorts and a T-shirt is the best option when exercising in the heat.

Get wet, stay cool 

Water, water and more water. There is no better way to stay cool during hot weather and thus, activities involving water are the best options to stay active in the summertime. For example, exercising in a pool, in a lake or in the ocean is the perfect way to cool off from the heat.

Manique agrees. In fact, the fitness coach recommends every activity in water to stay fit and active during hot temperatures. According to Manique, swimming is the best exercise in the summertime.

But swimming is not the only water-based activity available; there are plenty of other options to quench your thirst for a cool and active summer, such as water aerobics, paddle boarding, kayaking, water volleyball, aqua-jogging and water polo.

Mauritius now offers plenty of unique opportunities for water activities, especially during the summer, like kitesurfing, kayaking along the cliffs of the west coast and river trekking, which is quite new. The river trek is organised at the Galets River, where you slide down the river, jump off rocks and even get to go under a waterfall on a natural water passage – wet opportunities that you do not want to miss during this 33-degree heat.

But that’s not all. You can also exercise, be productive and stay cool at the same time by doing household tasks like washing the car and watering the plants. That way, you can still enjoy the weather and be active. You might as well give yourself a splash or two to make it more fun, or better still, gather some friends or family members and spend the afternoon washing the cars. However, along with being in the water, the fitness coach also strongly advises drinking plenty of water.

“It is very important to drink lots of water, and when it is hot, we need to drink even more, especially if we work out often,” Man ique said. “Someone who usually drinks two litres of water a day, should drink a lot more during the summer because we sweat more and the body loses more water.” According to Manique, it is necessary for the body to receive the amount of water it needs before it starts sending any “dehydrated signals”.

Summer activities 

Summer is also an opportunity to get creative. Despite the heat, the weather is favourable for all kinds of activities. Mauritius is the place to be if you love outdoor adventures. From biking, to hiking and exploring some of the natural reserves of the island, there are plenty of ways to stay active this summer, and there are several new activities in town. For who love biking for example, go on a four-hour biking trip at Bras D’Eau in Roche Noire and at the Macchabee Forest in the southwest. In addition, as part of your exploration of the island, you can also stroll through the exotic gardens of the Bois Cheri tea plantation, where a guide will accompany you during your visit and tell you about the history and stories of the sites.

There is also the nearby island of Ile aux Cerfs, where you can now take part in the treetops adventure, which consists of zip lines, nets hanging in the trees, hanging-liners and other obstacles to cross bridges while being attached to lifelines.

Staying out of the heat

For those who simply refuse to exercise outside in the hot weather, there is always the gym. Treadmills are obviously not the same as outdoor running, but, if your goal is to stay fit, active and healthy, then treadmills are the solution. You can either buy your own and exercise at home, or join your local gym and use the treadmill and other equipment to workout. 

Exercising to workout DVDs at home is also a great way to stay fit when it is hot outside. Manique recommends keeping the air conditioner between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius. According to Manique, if staying active and fit is a priority, then anything is possible. In his opinion, being fit doesn’t necessarily mean exercising and working out. Taking a quick walk to the shop or using the stairs instead of the elevator can also count as exercise and being active. 

“To say that it is too hot to go for a walk is simply an excuse,” Manique pointed out. “In some countries, it is a lot hotter and in others, it is even snowing, and people still find ways to exercise and stay fit. Just find the right time and the right activity, and your body will automatically adapt.”

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