Special to the Recorder
People often jump into extreme workout regimens to get “summer-body”-ready for the beach. However, when we move past June, even the most well-intentioned exercisers sometimes let fitness fall to the wayside due to vacations, family holidays or poor weather conditions. In fact, 52 percent of people delay exercise due to summer weather conditions, according to the Journal of Sport and Health Science.
What many people don’t realize is that summer is the perfect time to add exercise into their lives. Longer daylight hours, less rigid work schedules and fewer child care demands mean you have time to establish an exercise routine that fits your work-life balance and can keep you toned not only during the summer, but also throughout the year.
If you’re ready to start your exercise routine, here are a few best practices:
Stay hydrated and cool. The summer heat and humidity cause the body to work harder, so the most important rule of exercising this summer is to stay hydrated. The benefits of exercise are outweighed by the potential negatives of dehydration or heat exhaustion. However, hot weather doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Nearly every exercise you can do outside can also be done inside, whether in your house, a gym or even your workplace. If you exercise outside, do it in the early morning to avoid peak sun times.
Be consistent. The hardest part for many people trying to get fit isn’t the exercise itself, but finding the time to exercise. It’s crucial to make a workout schedule and stick to it, or you may continue pushing it off to go to the store, watch Netflix or work on a project. Set realistic goals for yourself; if you’re short on time, you may want to focus on consistent exercise for 15 to 20 minutes each day. The morning is one of the best times for an exercise program, as you will wake up faster and burn more calories than at other times of the day.
Stay accountable with workout partners. One of the best ways to reach your fitness goals is by working out with friends or exercise buddies. Research from the University of Aberdeen found that people were more likely to be motivated to work out when they had a fitness partner. If you own a business, a slower summer work pace makes it the perfect time to introduce a corporate exercise program. Workplace training is a good bonding activity and can increase employees’ productivity.
Mix up your routine. Exercise can feel like a chore when you do the same routine every time. You should incorporate different types of fitness regiments, such as aerobic, strength, balance or flexibility training. Then, try different exercises within those categories. For example, if you like cardio, mix it up by doing Zumba one day, then kickboxing another. Not only will the variety hold your interest better, but the combination will help you realize several fitness goals simultaneously and ultimately help you change your body for the better faster.
By establishing a customized, regular workout routine for yourself this summer, you can look great at the beach while also working toward your long-term fitness and health goals.
Nemiah Rutledge is the founder and owner of Body Paradox, a Jacksonville-based fitness company that provides corporate and personal fitness training. For more information on his exercise programs and philosophy, visit BodyParadox.com.