Written by Adrian Johansen / Reviewed by Ray Spotts
Summer is just around the corner and that makes a lot of people think about getting in shape. While you may want to look good in a bathing suit or have the “summer body” stereotype, you really need to focus on how you feel and the general state of your physical health.
Fortunately, exercise can help with both.
Regardless of your fitness goals, it’s never too early or too late to start a summer fitness program. Finding the motivation to get started is often the hardest part, and most people lack that motivation because they aren’t sure what will work for them or how to see consistent results.
You can make exercise your new favorite hobby or incorporate it into something you already love. No matter what, you will enjoy the benefits, both physical and mental!
Let’s take a look at how you can safely get started with a summer exercise program and how to stick with it all year long.
Did you know that every year about 80% of people break their New Year’s resolutions? Many of those resolutions have to do with weight loss, exercise, and fitness. They don’t “fail” because they are lazy. Rather, they set unrealistic goals or bite off more than they can chew.
That’s a big problem for people starting an exercise regimen. You may get excited at first, but if you’re taking on too much too quickly, you’re not going to continue.
Whether you’re just getting back into a routine or have never had consistent exercise before, don’t be afraid to go slow and start small. You should aim for about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. To get started, try activities like
- walk briskly
- riding a bike
- play doubles tennis
You’re more likely to stick with an exercise routine if you find something you enjoy and something that doesn’t seem impossible to do. For some, that might be swimming, since it’s easier on the joints. For others, playing a sport or even going for an evening walk with their family is a great way to stay motivated without feeling overwhelmed.
While it’s okay to challenge yourself while exercising, don’t push yourself to the point of hating physical activity.
Focus on your health
Being “fit” is a relative term. No matter what your health and fitness goals are, exercise should be just one component. You’ll likely get the most out of your exercise routines by eating healthy and getting enough sleep.
Your diet plays an important role in the success of your exercise regimen. Think of what you eat as fuel for your body. The right kind of fuel will make it easier to get through longer workouts, while the wrong kind can make you feel sluggish and make it harder to achieve your goals. Some of the best foods you can eat to fuel a workout include
- greek yogurt
- Chocolate milk
While it’s important to fuel up before and after exercising, adopting a generally healthy diet is the best way to go. Focus on eating whole grains, lean meats, and as many fruits and vegetables as possible.
Also, make sure you get enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that healthy adults get seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night. If you’re not getting the sleep you need, your body will have a harder time “repairing” itself. You’ll be at greater risk of injury and feel less motivated to keep exercising.
Speaking of injuries, it’s crucial to know how to stay safe before, during, and after exercise. Eating right and getting enough sleep is a great start. However, there are little things you can do that will make a big difference in reducing your risk of getting hurt.
First of all, don’t set unrealistic goals.
We live in a society where cosmetic surgery is becoming more common thanks to unrealistic beauty standards set by advertising companies and social media. Even if you’re not thinking about having surgery, you may be setting fitness goals that aren’t healthy for your body.
Be realistic and find out what your body needs to stay fit in a healthy way. Everyone is different, and every body is beautiful.
Once you have realistic goals, take time to prepare before exercising. Eat a healthy meal or snack and do some light active stretching. After exercising, stretch your muscles more thoroughly. If you’re exercising in the heat of summer, be sure to stay hydrated and listen to your body if you’re feeling weak or tired.
Before starting any type of exercise program, it’s important to talk to your doctor, especially if you have underlying health problems. They can suggest small ways to incorporate activity into your daily routine, rather than suggesting long, strenuous workouts.
Starting an exercise program should be fun, exciting, and motivating. Keep these tips in mind to create a summer fitness regimen that works for you, helps you achieve your goals, and focuses on your overall health, rather than just losing a few pounds.
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Adrian Johansen lives and thrives in the Pacific Northwest. He likes to learn new things, especially as they relate to sustainability and wellness, through his writing. You can find more of his work on Twitter @ AdrianJohanse18.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has conducted a living study of nature as it relates to health and wellness. Ray became a pioneer in marketing products that are extraordinarily effective and free of potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason, Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, he enjoys fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. He can get his book for free, “How to Succeed in Business Based on God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.
Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash