Summer can be the best and worst season of the year for cheerleaders. While summer means no school and beach days, it also means rising temperatures and sweaty practice days. Here are 10 ways to survive the summer, beat the heat, and have fun all season long:

  1. Never underestimate the power of a cold shower. While this is especially the case after cheer practice, it applies to almost any summer activity (even swimming). Most pools or oceans can't get as cold as your shower can in the summer. If you're feeling hot or uncomfortable, a cold shower can really help. It's the fastest way to cool down your body. If you feel flushed or your face is hot and red, a cold shower can do wonders (even if you don't necessarily feel hot all over).

  2. Carpool! With so many summer practices and camp days, cheer parents can organize a carpool to cut down on time and gas money.

  3. Drink electrolyte-enhanced drinks. Drinking beverages with electrolytes can majorly affect your workout, especially when it's hot out. In the summer you sweat a lot more, which means your body is losing a lot of water. This can lead to dehydration, one of the worst things for an athlete's body. While you should constantly be drinking water, also pack drinks like Gatorade or Vitamin Water.

  4. Bond with your squad. With camp and summer practice comes the time where you get to bond with and get to know your new teammates. Go out of your way to learn as much as you can about your fellow squad mates. It will make the rest of the year so much better.

  5. Make new individual and team goals. As the new cheer year starts, summer is the perfect time to create new goals for the upcoming fall season. Make a list of things you want to accomplish over the summer and how you want to improve.

  6. Read a really great book just for fun. No school means no homework! Now you have time to catch up on some light, fun reading. Hit the bookstore (or the Internet) and find a good book you can read all season long.

  7. Eat and snack right. In order for you to stay energized and fueled, you need to eat the right foods often. Stick to cold, light foods, like vegetables and fruit (which also contain water in them!). Skip anything heavy (like burgers and pizza), hot (like soup) or excessively salty (like popcorn or pretzels). In order to keep up your protein intake, try beef jerky, protein bars, or protein shakes.

  8. Take naps. Take a trip down memory lane to your preschool days and, on days when you don't have practice, take a nap! The heat zaps a lot of energy and in the summer you'll be practicing and working out a lot more. Catch up on some zzzz's and you'll feel refreshed.

  9. Dress right. Wearing the right clothing can really help you cool down. If you're out and about town or at the beach, stick with light and loose cotton clothing, like sundresses, skirts, shorts, and tank tops. Skip anything tight or made of a non-breathable fabric like polyester. A hat can provide some shade and, if you wear shoes instead of sandals, pair them with thin cotton socks. For practice, stick with tanks and shorts made with a breathable fabric like cotton or a sweat-absorbing material like Chassé's C-dri fabric. Try to avoid wearing dark colors if possible, especially black. White and other light colors reflect the sunlight, while dark colors absorb it.

  10. Take a trip. Even if it's just a day trip, have at least one vacation this summer with your friends, family, or team.

  11. What else would you add to this list?