There isn’t a season anywhere in the world that can keep fitness fanatics down – not rain, not snow, not heat…maybe hail. But in Kentucky, summer fitness can be a time to drag feet and skip out on days due to the sweltering heat and heavy humidity. Or, alternatively, it can also be a dangerous time for those who thrive in challenging their body’s limits.
Summer fitness doesn’t have to be a pain point for anyone, though, regardless of whether you’re dreading it or ignoring the seasonal change.
In fact, it could be the perfect time to expand your fitness reach and challenge yourself to new exercises and targeted training areas. If the weather proves to be just a little too hot for your usual activities, Louisville alone offers plenty of options for summer-friendly fitness adventures.
Summer Water Workouts
The swimming pool is deeply rooted in the history of fun summer activities, and water workouts are a great way combine summer and fitness. Consider water-based activities such as lap swimming, kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding for a quick cool-off option and an exploration opportunity – Louisville’s hidden water spots are beautiful and great for these types of workouts.
In addition to being a great workout in a new environment, most of these activities are family and pet friendly – a great way to spend time with your loved ones, have fun, and achieve your fitness goals in one!
Don’t have a kayak, canoe, or paddeboard? No worries! You can find rentals all around Louisville who offer a variety of different products and services.
- Endless Summer Paddle and Coffee
- Offers paddleboard lessons, community paddleboarding, paddleboard yoga, bootcamp-style paddleboard workouts, and a 5-hour, 10-mile paddleboard adventure if you’re up for the challenge. And, after lessons and events, you can even stop by their coffeeshop for coffee, fresh juice, smoothies, snacks, and SWAG!
- Nachand Canoe and Kayak Rentals
- Choose from 4-8 hour rentals of single kayaks, double kayaks, 3-person canoes, and stand-up paddleboards. They’ll even give you all the tips and techniques for a first-time paddler to have a successful trip out on the water.
- Blue Moon Canoe and Kayak of Kentucky
- A guided river adventure that you can choose from a half-day, 1-4 hour option or full-day, 4-8 hour option for whatever best fits your schedule. Their course is 5 miles long and provides a shuttle to the put-in site and from the endpoint once you finish.
Even just shifting the location of your workouts can make a difference in temperature. Kentucky is a beautiful state with tons of shaded, canopied trails for you to hike, run, or walk. The natural landscape and varied ground-surface provides a new element of challenge for your body, and works more areas of the body, so that you get a more encompassing workout in the same amount of time. The natural shade cover of the trees keeps the ground from becoming too hot, so shifting to trail activities might be a great summer fitness expansion for runners or low-impact walkers.
Make sure you maintain safety measures, however, and always let someone know where you are and about how long you will be there. Be aware of your surroundings, the time of day, and the trails you walk so that you can stay safe while obtaining your fitness goals and soaking in the beautiful Kentucky nature!
Summer Fitness Classes
Not all fitness benefits from the outdoors, though. There are plenty of gyms and indoor classes to take advantage of in these hot summer months, and you can always consider checking out classes such as:
- Sunrise yoga: An outdoor stretching and balance workout that avoids the heat of the day.
- Pilates: A low-impact mind-body exercise that focuses on full-body strengthening and core work.
- Cycling: A high-intensity, guided indoor bicycle workout.
- Dancing: A varied form of cardio that ranges from hip-hop to jazzercize to exercise poles and more.
- Boot camps: HIIT workouts that combine callisthenic workouts with cardio exercises for an intense, challenging fitness method.
- Cardio Kickboxing: A whole-body cardio exercise with foundations in the martial art.
- Barre: A class that offers low-impact aerobic exercises combined with higher-intensity activities that focus on core strength and flexibility.
From family activities at the YMCA to specialized classes and lessons around Louisville, there’s a place for everyone at any skill level, from first timers to seasoned athletes.
For teens wanting to explore indoor workouts, PlanetFitness is offering free membership for anyone aged 14-19 through August 31st. Louisville alone has 18 different locations, but this promotion is also valid at all 2,217 locations nation-wide.
If you don’t mind the heat, there is nothing wrong with sticking to your routine – there must be additional precautions taken, however, with a higher risk of heatstroke and other heat-related injuries. In order to keep in shape and on-track to your summer fitness goals, take the necessary safety measures to ensure you keep in tip-top shape all year-round.
- Even if your workout is set to be a short one, hydration is extremely important in any environment. Don’t get caught in the easy dehydration trap and always have water or electrolyte drinks on hand.
- Give Yourself Time to Acclimate
- Especially if you’re unfamiliar with the heat, take it easy for a while to give your body a chance to acclimate to the high temperatures. When you do up the intensity, make sure you’re listening to your body so that you avoid heat-exhaustion, heat-stroke, and heat cramps.
- Dress appropriately
- Wear light, loose, sweat-wicking clothing to avoid heat retention. If you exercise in sunny areas, apply and reapply sunscreen, and since summer is a prime mosquito season, consider spraying on some bug spray as well. In some environments, shorts may not be the best choice of clothing – if you are in a tick-infested or poison ivy/oak/sumac dense area, invest in cover-clothing made of lighter material.
- Get a buddy
- Just in case of heat-related injuries, it’s always a good idea to have an exercise buddy, or at least letting someone who you are in regular contact with know how long your workout should last, just as a precaution in the hottest months.
- Avoid the 10-4 Heat Wave
- Just as the days are cooler at night and early in the morning (which are the best times to work out), the hottest times of the day should be avoided when exercising in the summer to prevent heat-related injuries.
If you or someone you love has suffered a sports injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.