5 tips to keep you fit this summer


5 tips to keep you fit this summer

How to keep the weight from piling on during the hottest months of the year

By Sadaf Majdy Khan 
 Fitness blogger

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Published: Fri 14 Jun 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 21 Jun 2019, 9:55 AM

Like it or not, summer is here. Unlike in the West, people in our part of the world tend to gain more weight during summers than winters. Our holiday bellies come out in the months of July and August instead of the usual November-December routine.

The reasons for our summer beach bellies are somewhat similar to our winter belly counterparts of the West. The activity levels drop as the heat cranks up. This being the time of year when people go on extended vacations, it also means tons of carefree eating, travelling around and entertaining kids who are stuck indoors and bored to their bones.

The combination of these factors end up adding pounds to our peripheries. So, regardless of these inevitable summer variables, I want to focus on five simple - yet ignored - tips to keep you from gaining weight this summer.
1) Less calories in, more calories out
Tempting new food places open up almost every week in the UAE. But limit eating out as well as ordering in as much as you can. Yes, it makes sense that, with temperatures rising, you'd want to stay indoors with friends at a café or restaurant to chill and eat. But here's a newsflash: 'chilling' plus eating leads to fat storage on areas of the body commonly referred to as the handles, the saddles and the jiggly flabs.
Instead, make plans around fun activity places that are mushrooming all over the country. Book a trampoline session with your family or challenge your friends to an escape room adventure. Better yet, go to one of the thrilling and fun waterparks the UAE has to offer. The point is to choose activity over eating, whenever you can, during the next few months.
2) Hydrate like there's no tomorrow
Find it difficult to drink plain old water? Maybe you can trick your body by imagining that the entire planet's drinkable water will be inaccessible by tomorrow; I'm sure that will make you guzzle water by the gallons. On a serious note though, we already know that when we feel thirsty, it's our body's way of signalling dehydration. The current minimum requirement is two litres per day; however, I'd say target three litres because, in the UAE, extra hydration will go a long way!
3) Break a sweat
Another proven fact is that hot weather makes you lazy and lethargic; hence, the regularity in workouts drop significantly. Try working out 30-45 minutes at least five days week. The best way to keep yourself motivated is to work out in groups or with friends. The combined energy of the group not only lifts your mood, but also a good high energy session will make you want to attending those sessions.
If you want to motivate yourself to work out almost every day, I'd recommend making a workout calendar and checking off each day after you're done. When you finish all 30 days of the workout, you can reward yourself with a new outfit or that amazing meal you've been craving at your favourite restaurant. You can also use some great fitness apps to keep yourself on track. My all-time favourite is MyFitnessPal - it's easy to use and tracks your food, weight and workouts, all in one app.
4) Say no to refreshing 'sugary' drinks
Sugary drinks come in all colours and sizes. The popular ones during summer are mint lemonades, iced coffees, strawberry coladas, and the good ol' fruit juices and fizzy drinks. As much as you feel drawn towards a tumbler of chilled lemonade, opt for a slice of fresh lemon or mint leaves in your plain chilled water.
You can easily save yourself 100-200 calories just by avoiding these sweet drinks; the same goes for fresh fruit juices. On their own, fruit smoothies and fresh juices may be fine as a mid-day liquid snack, but with a meal, they add up to unnecessary calories, so keep your distance.
5) Don't mess with the sleep cycle
While we do become lazy during summer, most of us also tend to spoil our sleep cycle by binge-watching Netflix series, going to late night movie shows or even just sitting at lounges until the wee hours of the morning. Try to avoid late night sittings with friends, as they usually lead to unnecessary munching. You know where I am going with this. More late-night munching = more fat in undesirable places. Aim to sleep 6-8 hours every day to keep yourself active and your metabolism on track. Bonus point: no bulges around the waistline.
All in all, if you want to make sure you do not gain weight this summer, try following these five simple rules for the next 2-3 months. It's always easy to follow a routine when you think of it as a lifestyle change, as opposed to a temporary quick-fix. Involve your family or friends in this healthy lifestyle, so you can all encourage and motivate each other to make healthy choices - not just during summer, but also all year through.
(Sadaf Khan is a Level 3 Certified Fitness Trainer and a mom of two hyperactive boys who keep her on her toes, outside her fitness training sessions. She blogs on Instagram with the handle @majdykhan, where she posts about fitness, lifestyle and motherhood on regular basis.)

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