Fitness Tips for a Summer Tune-Up
Yes, it's hot and humid, a time to slow down and move at a leisurely pace. But please don't let your body lapse into an activity coma during the lazy days of summer. Remember Newton's first Law of Motion: an object in motion will stay in motion; while an object at rest will stay at rest as long as nothing pushes or pulls on it. Overcoming inertia is difficult! Your normal exercise routine keeps you at a certain level of conditioning throughout the year. Summer presents a welcome change of pace and scenery, as well as the opportunity to do some cross training with outdoor activities like tennis and swimming. But falling off the wagon completely presents the challenge of major damage control in the fall.
Here are a few of my own "Laws of Motion":
1) Establish a Minimum Daily Requirement: It takes a lot of effort to get into shape, but it doesn't take as much to stay in shape. Brief doses of exercise done consistently over time have a dramatic effect on your health and fitness levels. You can maintain the benefits of your hard work with a modicum of training and resume full speed in the fall.
2) Develop a Maintenance Strategy: For cardio maintenance, squeeze in the recommended minimum of 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least five days of the week.
For muscle maintenance, do the "4 for Life" bodyweight exercises every other day: 2 sets of 15 each of push ups, squats, back extensions and crunches. And remember to stretch a little every day.
3) Be an Opportunist: Find opportunities to move in the course of your day. One of my clients just finished a summer writing course. Her classes were on several floors of the building and she realized after the fact that she had missed her activity mark by taking the elevator. She could have offset the hours of sitting in a classroom by using the stairs.
Think of each dose of exercise as a building block of fitness. See how many 10 or 15-minute doses you can accumulate during the course of the day. Enjoy your lazy days, but be sure to incorporate some activity to keep your body tuned and toned.