With the countdown to summer in full swing, it’s time to start focusing on a total body health and fitness routine. Whether struggling to shed the last few winter pounds, maintaining weekend warrior fitness levels or competing as an endurance athlete, everyone can benefit from a fit, healthy lifestyle built around brain wellness, body fitness and belly health.
This month is the perfect time to start putting in the work to achieving overall health and fitness with National Public Health Week (April 2-8) and World Health Day (April 7) leading the way to a healthier society. As the theme for National Health Week states, “A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement!”1 It is time to put all excuses and distractions behind you, as today is the day to start moving toward a healthy lifestyle that will lead to positive mental, physical and overall well-being results. Let’s get started!
A healthy brain and a healthy body work hand-in-hand to achieve overall fitness and well-being. A happy mind and happy body are derived from a healthy fitness routine that is focused on keeping you motivated, pushing you to do better and helping you reach goals you never thought were possible. Consistent fitness routines, especially in a small group setting, not only help release feel good endorphins in your body that support a healthy lifestyle, but working out with friends/peers also can serve as a mind and body therapy session for sweating out negative attitudes, while building total body endurance and strength. A study in the Journal of Sports Sciences even found that focusing on a team or group’s strengths instead of your own can improve your body’s performance levels because working out in a group may ease your brain’s performance anxiety so you can relax, focus and reach your health and fitness goals.
April is the perfect time to get your fit on by switching up your routine and combining a mix of cardiovascular and strength training exercises. If you have spent the winter months stuck within the walls of a gym, it can be good for your body and mind to take your workouts outside as the weather gets warmer and the sun shines longer. Instead of logging endless miles on the treadmill, hop on a neighborhood track for a quick interval sprint workout or dust off your bike for some strenuous cycling workouts.
It also is important to not get stuck in a time rut by making sure that your fitness routine is burning calories and boosting your metabolism without draining the clock. A fast-paced, interval workout that incorporates short bursts of explosive cardio and strength exercises will not only cut your workout time in half, but it can be more effective for feeling your best, looking your best and performing better than you ever thought possible.
Americans’ mid-sections are not getting smaller, on the average, and the size of your belly can be a good indication of the state of your body’s health and wellness. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, it is important to focus on your body’s core, as a healthy core can lead to healthy cardiovascular systems, digestive functions and strong muscular structures. Busting out hundreds of sit ups, though, may not be the best approach to achieving a healthy middle section. Shedding an extra layer of belly bulge takes a two-prong approach of exercise and nutrition.
While sit ups can be a part of your core workout, it is important to focus on toning all of your abdominal muscles for the best results. Effective total body exercises that work the core can include planks (elbow, hand, side), knee/leg lifting exercises and standing on a balance ball when doing your regular strength training exercises. On the food front, a healthy eating routine should include cooking more meals at home, focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods without extra additives/preservatives/chemicals, watching portion control and drinking adequate amounts of water. A healthy belly not only leads to a reduced risk of disease, but it also supports a more confident, energetic lifestyle.
Ready to Kick Start a Healthy Summer Body?
With only 12 weeks left until summer, it is time to get your body and mind in shape for optimal summertime fun and activities in the sun. By focusing on brain wellness, body fitness and belly health, you will have your body summer-ready in no time!
The experts at Fitness Together can work with you in one-on-one personal training or small group PACK training sessions to help you establish a healthy lifestyle that prepares you to look better, feel better and perform better this summer. Give our studio a call today to kick start your healthy, fit lifestyle!
1 American Public Health Association, www.nphw.org.
2 Men’s Health, Cardio Bulletin, March 2012.