Getting Fit This Summer
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Summer is a great time to get fit. You are warm enough to leave the house, you tend to have more energy because of the increase in sunlight, you are healthier and less flu-prone, and you may want to participate in outdoor activities (preferably without embarrassment).
So what can you do to get fit this summer?
- The most important tip is to incorporate some exercise into your daily routine so that it becomes just another automatic activity like brushing your teeth. It is much harder to motivate yourself to perform activities that you do only occasionally than ones that are habitual.
- Instead of forcing yourself to run on the treadmill or exercise with weights, which few people enjoy, find a form of exercise that you love. Swimming, yoga, pilates, dancing, kickboxing or walking the dog are all good physical activities. In fact, often changing your running schedule from the treadmill to a park or hiking trail can make a difference.
- Cycle or walk to work, school, the grocery shop, etc. Alternatively, park far from your destination and walk the rest of the way. The added bonus is that you don't have to struggle to find a parking spot, and in exchange you get two rounds of exercise by walking there and back.
- No one is so busy that there is no time for exercise. Thirty squats, thirty push-ups and thirty sit-ups first thing every morning takes very little time, and it is a good resistance training routine.
- Most people give up an exercise routine because they complain they are too busy. However, research shows that it is not the amount of time which you exercise that makes the difference, but the amount of variation in the exercise. For example, alternating a minute of your fastest running and a minute of comfortable walking is superior to two minutes' running. So instead of exercising for thirty minutes a day, which is the most common recommendation, you can alternate vigorous and slow exercise for fifteen minutes a day.
- Gradually increase the length or intensity of your chosen exercise. So instead of paddling around the pool, start swimming laps; or instead of walking to work, jog.