Summer Fitness Tips
Are you ready for swimsuit season? Sometimes the lazy days of summer make us slack off on our routines. It’s too hot to work out. That hammock looks mighty comfy. And doesn’t an ice-cold beer (or two) sound good about now? Summer is no time to let down. The following tips will help you maintain your shape throughout the summer and beyond.
l Kill the routine: Try alternating activity to keep things interesting. How about Monday: bike ride after work; Tuesday: jogging; Wednesday: weight training; Thursday: Yoga; Friday: aerobics class.
l Spread it around: Pressed for time? Try three 10-minute sessions at different times of the day—maybe 10 minutes of cycling in the morning, a 10-minute walk at lunch and a 10-minute jog in the evening. It’s an easy way to keep your metabolism going.
l Get off the beaten path: Take a hike...in a park that is. Alternate this with regular strength training and cardio.
l Set goals: Find a 5k race and sign up. The objective isn’t necessarily to win but instead to have the discipline needed. As you train in preparation, you’ll be amazed at how lean you’re getting.
l Get serious: Really want a fit body? Do weight training for 30 minutes 2-3 days per week, cardiovascular exercise for 30 minutes 4-5 days a week and cut back on calorie intake. That’s what it takes.
l Boot camp: Despite the name, it’s fun. Just before summer, many health clubs offer programs combining calisthenics, cardiovascular exercise and obstacle courses. Just two days a week will surely strip fat from your body.
l The great outdoors: There’s always something out there that you’ll love doing that also burns fat. For example, after the first few falls, you might enjoy rollerblading.
l Power walk: Many parks today have exercise paths that describe which routine to perform at each station. For example, you might power walk for 20 yards and find a sign that tells you to do 10 pushups. Try it.
l Morning drive: Working out in the morning can decrease your appetite and help your body burn calories all day long. Try to walk, jog, swim etc. at the start of each day to kick start your metabolism.
While you want to stay fit during the summer, you also want to stay safe and healthy. Healthwise.com offer some tips to keep heat exhaustion at bay.
l Avoid exercising midday when the heat and humidity are greatest.
l Drink plenty of water.
l Wear loose clothing (made of cotton or sweat-wicking material).
l Wear sunscreen, a hat or cap, and sunglasses to avoid direct sunlight.
l Acclimate yourself slowly - chances are you will not be able to exercise as much in the heat.
l If you have any special needs, such as being pregnant or overweight, you should consult your physician before exercising.
Bob Greene, Oprah’s fitness guru, has a special summer fitness plan:
1. Start with walking
Walking is a great cardiovascular exercise that is easy on your body. You can do it anywhere, any time, no matter who you are. Go for time (20-30 minutes), not distance. Bob suggests working up to 45 minutes as an intermediate and even 60 minutes for advanced level walkers. Posture is important — chin up, shoulders back, swinging arms at a 90-degree angle.
You should workout at a level 7 on a scale of 1–10. A level of 7 feels like you can still talk but you don't want to have a long conversation. Make sure to warm up and cool down along with stretching.
2. Drink water
If you don't do so already, drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Bob suggests increasing it that amount to ten glasses of water during the summer months. Increasing your consumption of water is an important step to getting fit. Bob says many times we reach for food when our body really requires more water. Water also has a "filling" effect, making us less prone too overeating.
3. Don’t radically change your diet all at once
Bob suggests not changing your eating habits too much because you want to keep your metabolism high. Drastically decreasing the calories you eat slows the metabolism, causing you to lose energy and motivation.
Allow your body to increase your metabolism and adjust to your new cardiovascular exercise for one to two months. It's very important to exercise aerobically, then gradually change your eating habits. Some good choices would be to eliminate late night eating, eat breakfast, and reduce portion sizes if needed. This will have a much greater impact and not cause your metabolism to shut down.
Make time for yourself and you will wake up each day feeling renewed. Enjoy the outdoors this summer!