Summer is approaching fast, and for most of us, it’s an exciting time of the year. The sunshine season brings longer hours to spend outdoors enjoying nature and physical activities in the sun. You will enjoy being out and about in summer a lot more if you’re fit and in shape, and a good workout routine through spring will help you to achieve this goal.
Most of us experience a lull through winter, an opportunity to take life a little easier, but spring is the perfect time to get back into a workout routine. Avoid feeling sluggish through a busy summer season by getting fit – here are seven methods that will get you in shape for the summer.
1. Start with a plan
Achieving a good level of fitness does not happen without effort – and planning. You can give your summer fitness regime a kick-start by making a list of reasons why you would like to get fit. Do you want to look good on the beach? Do you want to run a marathon for charity? Once you’ve pinned down your motivation, convert it into goals – how much weight you want to lose by summer, or what pace you want to maintain on the treadmill.
2. Pick cardio that is high efficiency
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a combination that mix bursts of all-out effort with intervals that are of lower intensity. This way of exercising burns more calories than hiking or jogging in a steady state. It is a flexible and customizable approach to training, so when outdoors you can stopwatch yourself for a 30-second fast run and then some minutes of slower running or power walking.
3. Think about what you eat and drink
Eating excess calories will make the job so much harder when you’re exercising. Instead, focus on controlling your portion sizes and cut out as much as you can when it comes to alcohol and treats. If you are served a large portion, leave the food that you do not need behind. Focus on drinking plenty of water – being dehydrated will hinder your exercise performance, and water is essential as daily temperatures build, keeping you cool and healthy.
4. Get the right exercise gear
Training is much easier and more efficient when you have the right clothes, including footwear. Joggers will know the difference that a good pair of running shoes can make – easing the load on your joints and making sure that your feet are comfortable.
Compression shorts provide support for glutes, quads, and hamstrings, which is ideal for the high-impact activities that boost your fitness. If you want to focus on your arms you can benefit from gear that provides light compression but with elasticity; a bicep compression sleeve is an ideal choice as it can be used to provide support at the gym or to relieve aches and pains throughout the day. For women, a sports bra can be an excellent way to prevent pain and discomfort while getting into a summer fitness routine.
5. Focus on strength training
Cardio is an excellent way to lose weight and gain general fitness, but you also want to build overall strength and endurance by doing physical training that grows muscle mass. Balance your cardio workout routine with a good deal of weight training, which also helps you lose weight. Besides, working on muscle shape is ideal for improving your body image through summer if you are intending to hit the beach.
6. If your routine bores you, change it
You’ll have your year-round gym and running routine, but to really boost your fitness regime, think about different ways of exercising to top up your existing activities. Consider interval training or swimming, or if you’re really bored with regular exercise, try a program such as Zumba. As with life in general, familiarity can breed contempt in your exercise routine, so if you are feeling a lack of motivation to exercise, mix things up a bit.
7. Take up cycling
A hugely underrated way to get fit, cycling can really get you into shape for summer. Biking around develops your quadriceps, hamstrings, and builds lower body strength – cycling is the key to building toned muscles without bulking up. You can also get exercise while commuting – instead of driving or taking the train, think about cycling to where you study or work.
Summers can seem short, so it is great to start the season in excellent shape to enjoy as much of it as you can. To make the best of summer, think of your fitness plan now, and start working to get physically fit and in excellent shape for those beach days. Achieving fitness and muscle tone takes time, so it is a good idea to get started as soon as possible.