Summer has a way of inspiring us to get in better shape, whether it’s the higher temperatures or the extended daylight hours. The problem is that when beginning a new fitness routine, people sometimes try to take on more than they can handle and eventually give up when things get too challenging.
You must make your goals attainable and sustainable if you want to achieve them this summer and long into the new year. Amy Harding, a certified exercise physiologist, was asked to walk us through four worthwhile workout objectives. WHY: Walking is an excellent way to strengthen your bones, lower body fat, and improve heart health. And best of all, getting started is simple.
GOAL: Walking 10,000 steps a day
HOW: Get a pedometer and divide your goal into manageable chunks (pun intended). Amy advises, “Start with 2000 steps a day and work up from there, adding around 10% every week to the target.”
The best pace for walking to promote heart health is one where you can chat but not sing.
When your fitness level rises, increase the distance you walk by choosing the stairs over the elevator, getting off the train earlier so you have to walk farther, or bringing a friend’s dog for a walk. Maybe ask a friend to join you on the walk so they can hold you accountable.
GOAL: Resistance training twice a week
WHY: Strengthening your muscles through resistance training or weight lifting will help your metabolism burn fat effectively (during and after your exercise session). It also improves balance and flexibility while improving the health of the heart, bones, and joints.
HOW: Make it a goal to perform resistance training at home twice a week if the thought of attending a yoga or Pilates session is too intimidating. Amy advises starting small, with 10 minutes every day, and working up from there.
Start with three to four different exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, pulldowns, and rows, that work the large muscles, advises Amy. There are numerous excellent workout videos on YouTube, or you may download workout apps. When you have successfully finished those exercises in your target time, add a few more and lengthen the workout by five minutes at a time.
To keep your body challenged, vary your exercise routines frequently. You might want to start lifting weights at the gym or sign up for yoga courses as your confidence grows.
GOAL: Running 8km
WHY: Regular exercise builds your muscles, keeps your heart healthy, and burns calories. And all you need are some good sneakers!
HOW: Having a target to strive for will help you stay motivated, so look online for local 8km running races that are less strenuous than a half-marathon but yet difficult enough to improve your fitness.
Start your training approximately a month before the event if you’re new to running or haven’t done it in a while.
Break that objective down into manageable running segments while you are out walking to get started, advises Amy. One minute running, 1.5 minutes walking, increase by 10% each week until you can run for 10 minutes without stopping, she advises.
GOAL: Swim 30 minutes a day
WHY: The summer is the ideal season to start swimming, a kind of exercise that works your heart without straining your joints. It’s also a fantastic technique to develop strength and endurance while toning your muscles.
HOW: Begin by swimming two or three laps each day at your neighbourhood pool. Then, Amy advises, “increase another lap every one to two weeks until you are satisfied with your distance to maintain.”
Work your way up to 30 minutes twice or three times each week.
The majority of public swimming pools provide swimming classes if you lack basic swimming skills or think you need a refresher.
Before beginning an exercise programme, consult your doctor if you haven’t exercised in a while or if you have any health issues.