With Summer swiftly approaching, many of you are probably wondering how to stay fit during your squads ‘off season’. In reality … there is no ‘off season’ for cheerleaders!

Most cheerleaders use summer as the ideal opportunity to master new skills required for the next season’s routines. Gaining new skills however does not come easy, so it’s important to look after your body during this so called ‘rest period’.

 Read on for some PINKfudge top tips on how to stay on track this summer season!

 Tip 1- No time for rest

 You’ve got it guys… the best way to stay fit during your ‘off season’ – dedicate a little time to working out! A simple, daily 30-minute workout is enough to keep you in tip top shape!

Try making a schedule at the beginning of the summer based on the days you usually practice. For example, if Tuesday’s usually your conditioning session, try to emulate this at home by keeping on top of those crunches, squats and planks!

 Tip 2 – ‘WARM UP and ‘COOL DOWN – Why they’re important

 The purpose of ‘Warm Up’ (before you train) – To prepare mentally and physically for the chosen activity. A typical warm up will take at least 10 minutes and involve light aerobic movements and some dynamic stretching that mimics the movements of the activity you’re about to perform. Gradually increasing the range of motion of these movements during the warm up will prepare the body for more intense versions of those movements during the workout/sport itself. This process raises heart rate and increases blood flow to the muscles, thereby warming them up. Warm muscles are less stiff and work more efficiently. Increased blood flow enables more oxygen to reach the muscles and produce energy. The warm up also activates the nerve signals to your muscles, which results in faster reaction times.

The purpose of ‘Cool Down (after you train) – The purpose being to allow heart rate and breathing to return to normal, decrease joint or muscle soreness and promote relaxation. A ‘cool down’ can last for 3-10 minutes and includes stretches or gentle variations of movements executed during the workout. So, the importance of doing both, you can see for yourselves – especially if you’re a flyer!

Tip 3- Eat healthy

 Eating healthy is an important part of fitness. It gives your body a boost of nutrients and definitely makes you feel more energized. But, remember that it’s okay to eat anything, as long as it’s in moderation! If you want that chocolate bar or that extra slice of cake… you have it! Just balance your diet out with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and then you’re right on track to staying healthier this summer…. 5 a day guys (a mix of fruit and vegetables adding up to five portions – try to get the widest range of colours – different colours in nature tend to mean different nutrients & vitamins)…..BTW guys, potatoes, yams, plantain and cassava don’t count!

 What counts:

-Fruit and veg that has been cooked within dishes like soups, stews and pasta.

-Beans and pulses – (they only count as one portion, regardless of how much you eat. Although a great sources of fibre, they contain fewer nutrients than other fruits and veg).

-Frozen fruit and veg.

-Canned and tinned fruit/veg (go for canned in natural juices or water).

-Dried fruit.

-Fruit/vegetable juice? – 150ml of unsweetened 100% juice counts as a maximum of one portion. (The reason is the high levels of sugars that are released when fruit is juiced). Recommended you use those with no added sugar!

Tip 4- Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate

Hydration and nutrients go hand in hand, remember our bodies are around 60% water (give or take). So, try to carry a bottle of water wherever you go, especially if you’re working out! Hot summer days can be difficult to tackle if you’re not hydrated!

Benefits of staying Hydrated:

-Water helps maximise Physical Performance (not surprising when you consider that muscle is about 80% water)

-Not enough (Dehydration) can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally

-Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status. Even mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1-3%) can impair energy levels and mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance

-Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals

-Drinking plenty of water can help prevent and relieve constipation (Carbonated water shows particularly promising results)!

-Hangovers are partly caused by dehydration and drinking water can help reduce some of the main symptoms of hangovers. (drink a glass of water between drinks, and to have at least one big glass of water before going to bed)

-Drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight. Due to the fact that water can increase satiety (the feeling of being completely satisfied) and boost your metabolic rate. Drinking 2 litres of water every day can increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day. In one study, dieters who drank half a litre of water before meals lost 44% more weight, over a period of 12 weeks. Drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective, making you feel fuller.

-It is actually best to drink water cold, because then the body will use additional energy (calories) to heat the water to body temperature.

But, most importantly guys don’t forget tip 5…

Tip 5- Don’t forget to rest

It’s so important to have those rest days! After all, looking after your body isn’t pushing it to the extreme but listening to it in terms of rest. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, and plenty of rest to ensure you’re entering next season completely revitalised!

If you’re looking for new squad uniforms or training wear for next season, PINKfudge Designs is a Hampshire based manufacturer staying on top of all the current trends. To discuss a quote or what we do in more detail simply call us on 01256 346255 or email us at sarah@pinkfudge.com.