5 top training mistakes to avoid this summer
1- Taking a break from working out…for the summer
Worst possible mistake! Avoid ceasing your workout entirely. Why?
- Any cardiovascular progress you’ve made can drop dramatically. In only 1 month, your VO2max, or the maximum flow of oxygen that can be absorbed by the body during exercise of increasing intensity, can decrease substantially during this time.
- After the cardiovascular capacity, the muscle mass and strength will decrease. Some athletes have seen a loss of about 6% muscle density after only 3 weeks.
However, you can aim to preserve what you’ve acquired. What this means is that you are best to reduce the frequency of your weekly workouts instead of stopping altogether. Consult a personal trainer so as to learn which workouts you should keep and at what frequency.
Another good reason to maintain your workout schedule; the efforts needed to establish and integrate a workout schedule should not be underestimated. It would be unfortunate to have to start from scratch!
2- Drinking sports drinks
This summer, especially when working out in a hot and humid environment, you may have the instinct to reach for a sports drink, like Gatorade. They contain loads of sugar and are not a health conscious choice. The vast majortiy of people who go to gyms do not need that kind of hydration. Water is more than sufficient for workouts that last 60 minutes or less.
However, hydration is important. Because we perspire during a workout session, we must replenish reserves not only after the workout but by drinking small amounts during the workout as well. Dehydration can cause fatigue, cramps, headaches and dizziness. It can also cause muscle aches. So, drink water to quench your thirst and allow your body to recover more quickly.
3- Cycling or jogging outdoors instead of regular workouts
Although cycling or jogging are good things on a cardiovascular level, they will not be sufficient to maintain your muscle mass.
Remember, the more muscle you build, the more calories your body will naturally burn each day on its own, even at rest! By regularly weight training all year long, you will continue to reap all the benefits associated with muscle building workouts.
However, because weather is unpredictable, you can still work out at the gym on those rainy or hot, muggy days. If you’re planning a trip, here are some tips to keep working out on holiday.
4- Putting it off until September, because it’s already too late to get in shape for summer
First off, it’s NEVER too late to get into shape and the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits! We all know that « putting it off until September » will only delay you on achieving your fitness goal. By starting your fitness program today, you will be that much closer and the « return to your regular fitness program » come September will be mush easier. We’ve all heard the phrase « Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.» To help you get started, here is a short but effective program you can do this summer.
5- Fast food and summer cocktails : The excesses of the BBQ season
Watch out! It’s so easy to get caught up in that viscious circle during the summer season : « Less healthy food choices. More alcoholic refreshments. These will wreak havoc on your enery level and your motivation. » On the other hand, « Completing a great workout will motivate you to make healthier food choices and will encourage you to keep up those good habits. »
Now, I’m not saying to deprive yourself…just don’t overdo it. You can eat and drink in moderation and still enjoy the party.
In short, if you have less time to work out, simply focus on maintaining what you’ve achieved so far and continue taking care of yourself. Have a great summer!