Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pesky Summer Heat

In Australia, summer can be brutal.  At the height of the season it's not uncommon for the temperature to get into the nineties and beyond.

Here's a little factoid about me - I hate hot weather.

Not your garden variety "Oh fiddle-dee-dee Rhett! I do believe I shall faint!" dislike.  It's a hatred that's buried deep and moaned and groaned about ad nauseum November through March.  Given that I live in the driest state in the driest inhabited continent on earth, this presents as somewhat of a problem.  From April to the end of October, I'm sitting pretty in lovely cool winter sandwiched between two temperate seasons, but then things start to change.

Consider the example of a couple of summers back, when we went through a two week heatwave, the peak of which saw temps of 46ºC (almost 115ºF).  Yeah.  Consider also the very spectacular irony of this heat-hating girl getting pneumonia right in the middle of it.  In other words, life could not be endured without air-conditioning 24/7 and yet I was rugged up under blankets on the couch most of the day.  I went completely loopy.

So now that we've established the background, let me ask a question that has been plaguing me as the weather has begun to warm up this season.

How on earth does one manage a decent fitness regime when just breathing produces enough sweat to sink a ship?

So far, we're easing into summer slowly, with Monday and Tuesday this week being the first real taste of the heat that is to come.  That said, I know the brick wall is coming and I was hoping to work out some strategies to combat the whole "I would rather spit-roast my head than go for a run" mentality before I'm knee-deep in excuses. Here's what I've got so far.

Exercise as early in the day as possible.
Ideally, I'd be out for a walk/run as soon as day breaks, but realistically, it almost never happens.  Why? Because my husband works shifts and I can't leave the house unless he is present (and awake enough) to tend to the wee ones.  If he has already left for work or is sleeping off a late shift from the previous evening, I'm out of luck.

Exercise immediately after the school run
I purposely carve out an hour from 9:30 - 10:30 for this purpose but at the height of summer, the heat has already made it difficult to get - or stay - motivated.  If the weather isn't too bad, I can walk or (attempt to) run, but there's always the option of a self-designed workout or a fitness DVD at home to tide me over.

Exercise in a gym
I don't have a gym membership at the moment and I'm still deciding whether getting one will suit me.  On a limited budget it can be a lot of money.  The pros, of course, include being able to exercise in air-conditioned facilities.  My nearest gym is within walking distance but I'd be a slave to their opening hours, meaning I couldn't postpone a workout until my husband returns home from work - it would need to be a post-school-drop-off morning workout or nothing.

I think the last option is going to be the most practical, despite the expense.  Part of this, I think, is that if I'm 'just' walking on my own or 'just' doing my workouts at home, there's a huge temptation to skip workouts or basically coast my way through a too-easy set of exercises.  If I'm paying for a gym membership the economics might actually work in my favour (ie, not wanting to waste my cash), and physically getting out of the house, like I would if I were attending any other appointment, will help get me in the right mindframe.

And the air-conditioning.  Always a top priority!

I just wish my nearest gym was a little more full-featured.  It has a basic cardio machines room, a female fitness room with some circuit equipment, a larger room with free weights / weights machines open to everyone, and a group fitness room and that's it.  No pool.  The class schedule is decent enough, but choosing a gym is, I think, a really personal decision.  If the place fills up with gym bunnies every day, then that's going to be hugely intimidating for me.

Hmmm, lots to think about.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...