Okay, so you might have missed the “get fit now” memos in the months leading up to summer. We don’t blame you – you probably have a lot going on. But now that it actually IS summer (as of June 20th), are you wishing that you had put forth some springtime effort towards a fitter you? Do you have wintertime-sedentary regret? Well, lest you have given up on the reality of being your healthiest self for yet another season of shorts and swimwear, we do have some hope to offer. It’s actually not too late to get in shape and enjoy some exercise results this summer. For while there are no quick fixes or substitutions for exercise and hard work, there are some things you can do to maximize your efforts now, and allow you to enjoy the benefits of a fitter, healthier summer you. We have, for you, the Top 4 Ways that you can get in shape for summer, starting NOW!
- Maximum multitasking. Compound movements, or exercises that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, are key to maximum results in a minimal amount of time. Basically, the more muscle groups you work in an exercise, the more calories you burn, and the more strength you build in a shorter amount of time. Which is perfect for last-minute fitness crammers.
- Be an overachiever. Find excuses to take the stairs, to walk an extra block, and to go the extra mile – literally! In fact, striving for 10,000 steps per day can lead to an extra 3,500 calories burned per week, which is equal to a pound lost – just from walking!
- Cycle through. It turns out that interval training, or cycling your body through brief intervals of high-intensity workouts followed by briefer intervals of rest, is the straight-A student of the exercise world. This type of exercise burns a ton of calories both during, and after, your workout, builds a lot of strength, and improves your cardiovascular efficiency. Ask your FT trainer for specific to-dos, but basically you raise your heartrate REALLY high for 30-60 seconds, and then rest for 10-20 seconds, and follow this pattern for several minutes. Your trainer will have some good ideas of how to cycle through these intensity levels for maximum results.
- Refuel well. When you work out, specifically when you tax your muscles by weight training, your muscles develop tiny tears in response to the strain. When healed, these tears cause the muscle to grow. Feeding these stressed and depleted muscles well is key to making sure they build and develop to their full potential. Post workout, make it a point to eat a ratio of 2:1, carbs to protein, aiming for 20-30 grams of protein.
If you follow these steps, not only can you start to see positive changes in your body in a relatively short period of time, but you’ll quickly start to reap the other benefits of exercise too – lower stress, better quality sleep, a more positive outlook, and a healthier mind. The bottom line: it truly is never too late to make your health a priority. Be sure to let your Fitness Together trainer know of what your summer-fitness goals are. He or she can offer support, practical ideas, and a customized game plan just for you. Here’s to summer, and here’s to your health!