Summer is a great time to mix up your training. And if you time it right, the heat won’t hold you back. Dive in to these sunny training ideas.

Hit the pool

Break up your usual routine and cool off while you train – in the pool. Research by Mindlab International found that, after just four weeks of swimming, study subjects increased fitness by 15 percent, sleep quality by 40 percent and energy levels by 51 percent. When you’re doing laps, remember to stay relaxed. Most endurance sports are all about exertion, but if you’re doing it properly, swimming should be the opposite. If you’re too tense, you’ll end up thrashing around, wasting energy and tiring yourself out. Instead, focus on maintaining a relaxed stroke.

One great trick to keep your cool when you’re training in the heat is to take a cold shower before your session

Train more efficiently

You don’t want to be putting yourself through long, drawn-out training sessions at the best of times, least of all in the heat. Workouts between 45-60 minutes are optimal, before intensity and performance tails off. If you follow a straight-sets workout, you might want to consider a training protocol like German Body Composition training, which uses upper/lower paired sets or supersets. The benefit of this is that you can get more work done in less time, by pairing upper-body exercises, like a pull-up, with lower-body exercises, like split squats.

Shower BEOFRE a workout: crazy!

Come pre-chilled

One great trick to keep your cool when you’re training in the heat is to take a cold shower before your session. Taking a cold shower before you work out is going to help lower your body temperature from the start so you don’t overheat as quickly. “Pre-cooling” is a trick pro cyclists use, but it’s just as useful for the average gym-goer. The bracing shock of a cold shower is also a good way to get yourself fired up if you’re feeling a bit lethargic after another 35-degree day.

Train early (or late)

While early morning workouts can be tough in winter, in summer the early morning is the best time of day to train. Not only is the air cooler and the sun less fierce, you’ll also have the benefit of being able to get your workout out of the way at the start of your day, leaving your evenings for more, well, enjoyable summer activities. Not an early bird? If you wait until the end of the day, when the temperature has started to drop, you’ll be able to get through a workout without drowning in your own sweat. ■