5 Ways to Maintain Fitness During Summer

Ugh. Summer.  Sure, there are lots of things to love like extra daylight and beach trips, but 100 degree heat and 100% humidity? Nope. I do not love those things, and I especially don't love running in those conditions.

So what do you do when it feels like your skin is about to melt off your body and sizzle onto the pavement, but you want to keep your running fitness? Try other workouts!

1) Biking

Yeah, yeah, I know it's a mountain bike but I said I've recently been road biking. Bite me.

I for one have been enjoying road biking this summer. No crashes, no close shaves with any cars - I'm counting these as a win! Plus with some tight and painful tendons the past couple months this is the perfect cardio for me this summer. Added bonus: on those especially hot and stagnant summer days there's nothing quite like creating your own breeze by zooming along a greenway. Ahhhh perfect.

2) High Intensity Runs

Stadiums! Hills! Oh, the agony!

Back in college I worked during the summer at UNC Student Stores, and one summer I made friends with this girl who convinced me to run stadiums with her. Yep. Stadiums. I'm not sure how she convinced me of it, because all I knew about stadiums was it was a torture workout for the rowing team. I remember one time my freshman year roommate who rowed on the UNC JV team came home and said they ran stadiums and it was horrible and that several people puked afterwards, but for some stupid reason I thought it might be fun to run stadiums, so off I went with this girl, and I loved-hated the workout so much it's become a staple for my summer training. The idea is simple: you start at one end of the UNC football stadium, run down the stairs, across a row of seats, and up the next set of stairs. Rinse and repeat until you've run around the whole stadium. At my peak I could get around the stadium twice, or if I ran hard I could do it in about 13-14 minutes. Most recently I made it around the stadium in 17:38 with a nice little headrush afterwards and the inability to walk a straight line. ("Officer, I'm not drunk. I just ran stadiums." Yeah, like that will fly on a college campus.) Still, when it's brutally hot and you want a hard workout in less than 20 minutes it's a great option. Added bonus: being at beautiful UNC and watching the stadium upgrades every year.

3) Easy-paced fun run

Say hi to some running friends!

What's more fun than stadiums and less dangerous than biking? Easy-paced fun runs! Run along the beach to a coffee shop you saw driving along the island, or do a beer run with some friends and everyone can gripe about the heat and humidity! Because misery loves company and misery is any run in North Carolina summer.

4) Swim

"Jack, you know the sign said 'No Swimming' right?"

"Jack, you know the sign said 'No Swimming' right?"

Okay, so I'm not the expert at this, but one thing is for sure: when I'm at the beach I'm not one for laying out on a beach towel. TO THE WATER! Sharks, rip tides...whatever. Probably the only thing I'm really freaked out about is jellyfish, and that hasn't stopped me yet. And I guess it would help to actually know how to swim, but until then that's what doggy-paddling is for.

5) Hit the Gym

Kettlebells. Why did it have to be kettlebells?!

I'm not usually one to advocate going to the gym, but desperate temperatures mean desperate measures. And if you have to go to the gym, you might as well make it fun. I like to challenge myself with mile trials or come up with little games to keep myself occupied and interested.

What are some ways you've been trying to keep fitness during the awful summer months? Let me know in the comments!

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