Monthly Archives: July 2013


SummerMany, many moons ago, when I started my career in fitness, summer would come and I would be desperate.

My personal training appointments would diminish, my class attendance would decrease and I would start thinking that something was wrong with me, that my classes were not as good as I thought and so on.

After a while I grew up, I guess, and realized that I am not that important. The attendance in classes and decrease in appointments were just facts of life. Summer starts, people are tired of being inside, they go on vacations, and they are more active during the weekends. Their schedules and priorities simply change.

If you are like many of my clients, your schedule changes during the summer and you want to enjoy the warm weather, without losing the progress that you have worked so hard to achieve. Well, here are some thoughts on health and well being.

Being born and raised in Brazil has its advantages when the subject is hot weather. In my 20’s I spent many summers going to the beach every weekend and playing beach volleyball. One of the first things that I learned is that sun exposure is best early in the morning or at the end of the afternoon.

Who taught me that?

Beach locals, people born and raised by the beach, who where used to seeing a lot of bad sun burns and other nightmare summer stories every year.

After a few weeks going to the same beach, and getting familiar with the locals they invited me to come back, and play beach volleyball with them the next day.

Since I didn’t know better, I asked: “Is 2 pm good for you?”

Their answer: “No, that’s for tourists! You go to the beach before 10 am or after 4pm, otherwise the sun is too intense, the sand will burn your feet and you will get too tired after playing only 2 games”.

They where spot on. I followed their advice and have never had any major problem with sun exposure.

So what other lessons did I learn then that I still follow now?

– Sunscreen. Use it, lots of it and reapply. I prefer sunscreen specific for sports, because you can perspire and get wet and they still are effective. As a rule of thumb I tend to reapply sunscreen every 2h and the whiter you are, more protection you need (higher the SPF should be).

– Hydrate and then hydrate more! During my beach volleyball days I used to get a 2 litre bottle of water and freeze it overnight. Next day I had a bottle of ice that I would bring with me, let it slowly melt under the shade and have cold water to drink in between games. Later on, I would drink fresh coconut water on my way home and then a pitcher of filtered water. Yes, it seems to be a lot of liquid but I was perspiring most of it away. Do the same: if you are active outside during summer, hydrate before, during and after.

– Barbecue. At the end of summer, one week after the tourists had left, we would get together, locals and adopted ones like me, and throw a party. Since I never liked beer and the food was pretty much leafy greens and chunks of barbecued meat, my experience was quite healthy. If you love to barbecue keep it simple. Leave the barbecue sauces alone (they are full of sugar and bad fats), have some high quality meat, eat some fat, just don’t overeat it, make sure that you start your meal with a big plate of green leafy veggies and don’t add 5lbs of nuts and cheese to your salad or use some creamy dressing on it. As for desert: this is the best time of the year to eat local fruit!

Here we go: a few things that you can do to take advantage of your summer. Have fun, and look, feel and perform better.