The One Essential Your Summer Workout Is Missing: A Health Coach Explains
Welcome to summer, friends. It’s a bright, beautiful opportunity to skip out on those indoor workouts in favor of moving our bodies in the fresh air. Summer is my absolute favorite time of year because it’s easier to wake up in the morning, the days are longer, and there are so many wonderful ways to get fit outside.
Whether it’s swimming, hiking, cycling, or plyometric workouts on the beach, there are plenty of chances to actively enjoy the beautiful sunshine on your face. But it’s incredibly important to remember that protecting your skin is vital during this time of year. These are my top tips for working out in the sun and the go-to products that help me do it.
The Sunshine Cure
Vitamin D is considered the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because our skin produces it in response to sunlight. (Its absence is part of the reason we can get fatigued and depressed during colder months.) It helps regulate the absorption of minerals to support a healthy immune system, builds strong bones and teeth, and even provides resistance against certain diseases. So get outside to maximize this vitamin D production, while of course making sure your skin is protected in the process.
One of my favorite sunscreens on the market is COOLA Suncare’s Sport SPF 50 Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray because it smells delicious, goes on as an easy spray, and has great coverage. And if I want to supplement time in the sun with some self-tanner to get that healthy glow without risking wrinkles, I’ll use COOLA’s Organic Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist.
Aside from giving us our vitamin D fix and beautiful sun-kissed skin, time outdoors also helps to clear the mind and process thoughts. It can become a meditation of sorts. I mean, have you ever been for a run and just lost yourself in the process? Plus, getting outside makes you change up your routine, which is the best way to break a plateau.
Before Your Workout
Here’s everything you need to have an epic outdoor workout.
- Have a plan and set goals. Know what you are going to do before you get outside. Have a bit more energy? Do sprints. Craving a bit more endurance? Go for a hike. Think about what sort of workout interests you that day, and set your goal, whether it’s 20 minutes outside, 3 rounds of burpees on the beach, 10 laps in the pool, or a 5-mile run.
- Prep for the sun. Sunscreen is an absolute must, my favorite being the Mineral Sport SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen Stick. Throw on a hat to protect your face as well, and don’t forget the sunnies. Prepare yourself for your workout by drinking plenty of water, and carry it with you if you’re going out for more than 20 minutes.
- Make a great playlist. There’s nothing more motivating than hearing your favorite song come on just when you feel like calling it quits. Place your fave songs at the beginning and towards the end of your workout to motivate you to get started and finish strong.
- Pack a small bag of necessary supplies. This can include small snacks like a banana or apple, raw almonds, or brazil nuts; a travel size sunscreen (I love COOLA’s Organic Suncare Sport Travel Set); extra water; or band aids in case you get the dreaded blister.
During Your Workout
Now that you’re prepared to get outside, it’s time to decide exactly what to do to get your body moving. Some of my favorite sunshine-heavy workouts include hiking, cycling, HIIT training in the park, and running through the streets. We all enjoy different things, of course, so it’s important to find something that you love!
If you’re looking for workout inspo to get you started, give my go-to HIIT routine a go: Sprint to every other lamp post you see on your street, running for roughly 4-10 seconds, depending how far away they are. Walk or lightly jog to the ones in between. Do this for as long as you can, ideally at least 10 minutes. So easy! All you need is a street and your body. Bonus: This style of workout spikes your heart rate, so you’ll burn fat quicker.
After Your Workout
There is no better feeling than returning home after getting sweaty outside, knowing you just did something good for your body and mind.
Now that you’ve done your workout in the beautiful sunshine and protected your skin, it’s time to recover. A few of my go-to products after a workout in the sun are the Environmental Repair Plus® Fresh Relief® Face Serum and Environmental Repair Plus® Fresh Relief® Face Lotion from COOLA Suncare because they rejuvenate the skin after prolonged sun exposure.
Don’t forget to hydrate afterwards, especially if you sweat a lot like myself. I recommend adding the juice of one lemon into a liter of water for a vitamin C-rich drink that helps combat any acid buildup during your workout.
I hope that you loved all these tips for getting outside and keeping your mind, body, and skin feeling prepped for a beautiful summer workout!
Nikki Sharp is an author, wellness expert, and former model. She is the author of The 5-Day Real Food Detox, Meal Prep Your Way To Weight Loss, and Models Do Eat. She also created The 5-Day Detox app and is a co-host on her podcast, #Adulting. She has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Shape, Elle, Men's Health, Women’s Health, and the Huffington Post, and can be seen giving health tips on Hollywood Today, Hallmark's Home & Family, Extra, Access Hollywood, Good Day LA, and Fox News Health. Sharp has studied at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition and the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London while also exploring raw foods, sports nutrition, nutrition for everyday living, and Ayurveda. She is a certified health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, a 200hr Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor, and a plant-based chef.