Written By Adrian Johansen / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Summer is just around the corner, and that gets a lot of people thinking about getting in shape. While you might want to look great in a swimsuit or have the stereotypical “summer bod,” you should really be focusing on how you feel and the overall state of your physical health.
Thankfully, exercise can help with both.
No matter your fitness goals, it’s never too early - or too late - to start a summer exercise 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’ll enjoy the benefits – both physical and mental!
Let’s cover how you can safely get started with a summer exercise program, and how to stick with it throughout the year.
Did you know that each year, around 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’re lazy. Rather, they set unrealistic goals or bite off more than they can chew.
That’s a big problem for people when starting an exercise regimen. You might be excited about it at first, but if you’re taking on too much too quickly, you’re not going to stick with it.
Whether you’re just getting back into a routine or you’ve never done consistent exercise before, don’t be afraid to go slowly and start small. You should aim for about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. To get started, try activities like
- Walking briskly
- Riding a bike
- Playing doubles tennis
You’re more likely to stick with a workout routine if you find something you enjoy and something that doesn’t feel impossible to do. For some, that might be swimming as it’s easier on the joints. For others, playing a sport or even going for a nightly walk with your family is a great way to stay motivated without feeling overwhelmed.
While challenging yourself while you exercise is okay, don’t push yourself to the point of hating physical activity.
Focus On Your Health
Being “in shape” is a relative term. No matter what your health and fitness goals are, exercise should only be one component. You’re likely to get the most out of your workout routines by eating healthy and getting enough sleep, too.
Your diet plays a big part in the success of your exercise regimen. Think of what you eat as the 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 while making it more difficult 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.
Additionally, be sure to 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 run a greater risk of injury and feel less motivated to keep exercising.
Keep Yourself Safe
Speaking of injuries, it’s crucial to know how to keep yourself 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, don’t set unrealistic goals.
We live in a society where cosmetic surgery is becoming more common thanks to unrealistic beauty standards set forth by advertising companies and social media. Even if you’re not considering surgery, you might set fitness goals for yourself that aren’t healthy for your body.
Be realistic and do your research on what your body needs to stay in shape the healthy way. Everyone is different, and every body is beautiful.
Once you have realistic goals in place, take the time to prepare yourself before you exercise. Eat a healthy meal or snack and do some light active stretching. After you’ve worked out, stretch your muscles more thoroughly. If you’re working out in the summer heat, be sure to stay hydrated, and listen to your body if you’re feeling weak or tired.
Before you start any type of exercise program, it’s important to talk to your doctor – especially if you have underlying health conditions. They might suggest small ways of incorporating 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 exercise regimen that works for you, helps you achieve your goals, and focuses on your overall health, rather than just dropping a few pounds.
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Adrian Johansen lives and thrives in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys learning new things, especially when related to sustainability and wellness, through her writing. You can find more of her work on Twitter @AdrianJohanse18.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from 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, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.