As the temperature gets warmer, the clothes start to come off! Feeling good in hot weather comes from a combination of physical fitness and grooming. Some people get a fake tan, hair color or hot pastels for nails, among many other beautification rituals. But that’s not all. Enjoying your summer body takes preparation and commitment.
Here’s an effective workout plan that will make and keep you summer-ready.
Log your activity.
Tracking your progress will help you stay focused on your goals and figure out where to improve. Being able to see your progress boosts your confidence and allows you to make decisions based on what works and what doesn’t.
Start by creating a baseline. That includes recording your weight, the food you consume and a measurement of your strength, such as the number of sit-ups you can do. Create a list of specific things you want to improve, and as you keep tracking, you’ll see results. Use this tool as a regular part of daily life.
Continually challenge yourself and you won’t become complacent. It’s like a promise to yourself.
Have a plan.
Whatever your goals are, make them realistic. If you have never exercised before or took significant time off, aim for moderate intensity exercises on most days of the week. If your goal is to improve your strength, choose exercises that focus on all of your major muscle groups.
Do not exercise the same muscle group two days in a row. For example: lower body Monday, Wednesday and Friday and upper body Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Another option is to do full-body exercises every other day. Abs and flexibility exercises can be performed every day. Remember, keep a log of your exercises and the frequency. The first few weeks are crucial to your motivation and ability to stick with it.
Try these exercises:
Elbow plank, sit up, squat, dip, superman, push up. (For examples of these exercises visit darebee.com.) Gradually increase the number of exercises, repetitions and sets as you get stronger. Start out with your baseline of reps or how long you can go before reaching your limit. Record that number. Each time you perform the exercises, the goal is to do as good or better as the time before. You can rearrange the exercise order or do a new set of exercises before repeating the first set. The goal is to keep you focused, creative and progressing. Challenge yourself! And most of all, have fun.
Simone Mardner is a New York City-based trainer with 16 years of experience. She specializes in functional training and injury prevention. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column is not a consultation with a medical professional or a licensed trainer and should in no way be construed as such or as a substitute for such consultation. Anyone with questions or concerns should seek the advice of a certified professional.