How to stay fit and healthy this summer

Whether it’s 60 degrees outside or 100, staying healthy and fit is both important and a challenge.

For those rising up to it as the mercury does the same in Davis this summer, a wide range of opportunities await.

Guidelines for Summer Health and Fitness

– Consume 50 percent more water than usual

– Eat at least three pieces of fruit and three cups of vegetables every day

– Take advantage of seasonal foods, like summer squash

– Schedule physical activities in the morning

– The best clothes for summer exercise are nylons, sleeveless jerseys and running top

 

Whether it’s 60 degrees outside or 100, staying healthy and fit is both important and a challenge.

For those rising up to it as the mercury does the same in Davis this summer, a wide range of opportunities await.

“Summer is one of the greatest times to get in shape because of the things you can do,” said ARC personal trainer Mike Fan. “In the winter, you can still run, but it’s so cold that you’re restricted to being inside.”

Because students have lighter course loads over the summer, they have more time to take advantage of Davis’ summer recreation options, such as the pool, Fan said.

“All these options open up to you,” he said.

 

Local amenities

Hickey Pool, located right next to Hickey Gym near the Memorial Union, is open free to students and ARC members over the summer for lap swimming in its seven 25-yard lanes.

The Recreation Pool, situated at the corner of La Rue Road and Hutchison Drive, is also free, and in addition to lap lanes, features diving boards, an island, a large sunbathing area and a shallow wading pool.

“It’s great to have access to the pools,” said Laura Rubin, a health and wellness educator at Cowell Student Health Center, adding that adult swim classes are also available at the Recreation Pool.

Both on and off campus, there are plenty of additional opportunities to stay active in the outdoors this summer.

“Summer recreation offers a lot of opportunities, like Outdoor Adventures,” Rubin said. “There are some great opportunities for organized trips.”

The Outdoor Adventure Center, located at the Barn next to the Silo, offers many different chances to be active in the outdoors this summer. Among the available options are backpacking trips to the Sierras and Yosemite, sea kayaking in Tomales Bay, white water rafting on the Klamath River and rock climbing at Cosumnes Gorge.

For those who prefer to exercise this summer without the sun beating down on them, the ARC is the place to go.

“Obviously it’s really hot [outside] during the summer, so you can always come indoors into the ARC,” Fan said. “We have [air-conditioned] fitness rooms, an indoor track and a basketball court.”

The ARC is open free all summer to students taking summer session classes, but also has membership options for those who aren’t.

“We have the summer memberships set up for students who aren’t taking classes, and nobody else has that purchase option,” said ARC member services coordinator Erica Brown.

For non-summer students, a single summer session membership can be purchased for $42.50. The summer session I membership runs from June 23 to Aug. 3 while the summer session II membership goes from Aug. 4 to Sept. 21. A weekly membership option is also available for $10 per week.

An ARC promotion running until this Sunday is “Try Before You Buy Week,” which allows free access to the workout rooms, rock climbing wall, group fitness, instructional dance and martial arts classes.

“The most important factor is finding something you like to do in the summer and picking the right time [to do it],” Fan said.

 

Time management

With so many options to choose from, the problem isn’t having something to do in the summer to stay in shape, but when to do it.

Temperature is the biggest concern and the main thing to keep in mind if you’re outside is to do physical activities before the sun comes up or to wait for it to go down, Fan said.

“You can’t change your life according to the weather, so you’ve got to work with it and not against it,” he said.

According to weather.com, July has historically been Davis’ hottest month of the year with an average temperature of 93 degrees.

UC Davis nutrition professor Liz Applegate has had her fair share of Davis summers, living in town since her undergraduate years in the late 1970s. She said mornings are the best time for summer activity.

“People have quite the aspirations to stay fit in the summer here, but what ends up happening is they try to do things later in the day and the plans just go out the window,” Applegate said. “Pick a reasonable morning time when you can do some sort of [light] physical activity, whether it’s a brisk walk or a bike ride on the Putah Creek bike path.”

Air quality is another reason mornings are more optimal for exercise. The air is not only cooler in the mornings but the pollution index is lower, making for a better exercise session, Applegate said.

 

Breaking a sweat

When it comes to a summer workout routine, Fan compares it to a job – one that you have to get to whether it’s spring or summer, or if it’s 30 degrees outside or 90.

“The whole routine shouldn’t change a lot,” Fan said. “Just check the weather, be smart and hydrate properly. Always have water with you so you can balance the water that’s going in and out of your body.”

Dehydration is a primary concern when it comes to getting through the summer heat, and proper hydration should be a priority for everyone.

“When you plan on exercising, you need to take care of yourself so that you’re hydrated,” Applegate said. “In these summer months, your hydration should increase by 50 percent whether it’s tap water, bottled water, iced tea, soda or diet soda. You don’t have to just consume water.”

 

Good eats

Maintaining healthy eating habits in the summertime can be a challenge for those unable to resist frozen treats. But luckily for Davis residents, the town offers many healthy food options in the summer.

“You can’t beat going to the Farmer’s Market and eating at least three pieces of fruit and three cups of vegetables each day,” said Applegate, who recommends consuming plenty of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to go with physical activity. “And if you’re not eating a tomato a day, you’re not a Davis-ite.”

It’s normal for appetites to be relatively suppressed in the summer due to the warm temperatures, so Applegate suggests eating more refreshing foods like salads. And don’t hesitate to add taste with salt.

“You’re sweating out the sodium when you’re exercising anyway,” Applegate said.

With options great in both quality and quantity, those looking to stay healthy and fit in Davis over the summer are in good shape to do it.

“We live in the best place possible in California – in the top part of the San Joaquin Valley [which grows] great fruits and vegetables,” Applegate said. “And to me, there’s nothing better than exercising in Davis summers.”

 

RAY LIN can be reached at features@californiaaggie.com.