Former Olympic champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and founder of Jennis shares her fad free, easy-to-follow summer fitness tips and movement advice.
If you only do one thing this summer, start CycleMapping. It’s a new way of working out that recommends the right style of fitness for your hormones and where you are in your menstrual cycle. Rather than going hard every single day or following fitness programmes largely based on men’s physiology, it tells you when it’s right to go hard and when it’s best to rest.
Try Something New
A lot of people love a good run and feel cheated when they can’t pound the pavement. If this sounds like you, use the heat as an opportunity to change it up and add variety – swimming, walking, doing weights in an air-conditioned gym, yoga and pilates. One of the biggest fitness mistakes people make is to keep doing the same thing over and over. By helping you add a different discipline to your week (yoga if you never stretch; strength if you never use weights), the heat could do you a favour, and help you get stronger, more flexible – and fitter.
Get Water and Shade Smart
Definitely make sure you hydrate hard before a session so that your body isn’t stressed before you go into it – and keep drinking water during and after. If you’re stressed from life and the juggle of summer holidays, I can’t stress the importance of hydration enough. This can change your mood, ability to cope with heat, stress levels, recovery levels and so much more.
When the weather is hot, it’s important to modify your sessions to reflect the heat, rather than avoiding movement all together. Doing short bursts of exercise is better than long sessions during hot weather, so choose a 9-minute HIIT workout rather than a long run – and don’t feel guilty about the short amount of time. It’s better that you move daily rather than train for hours at a time – especially when it’s hot.
Less is More
Warm weather workouts make your core temperature rise faster than usual, putting extra stress on the body, so feel free to wear less clothing (sports bra and shorts – done) or treat yourself to some new lightweight summer gear.
Train When It’s Coolest
Train either at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day when it is cooler, or in a cool space, to help prevent putting any extra stress on the body from the heat
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Finally, it’s annoying that you might not be working out as much as you want, but it’s not your fault that the heat is working against you. Be kind to yourself and celebrate the fact that you’re doing anything at all.
For more on understanding your menstrual cycle phases and the best movement to suit your hormones, start CycleMapping with Jess Ennis Hill’s Jennis app