Hot Fun in the Summer Time! By Ken Hunt
By Ken Hunt
Happy Summer. I have really been eager for Summer to get here. And I am sure you are too. More importantly, I am eager to share with you some new ideas and fresh thinking on fitness. Now even if your winter fitness break has stretched into Spring, there is still plenty of time to get things in gear. Plus I have developed some new routines that will be perfect for your time at the beach or at the pool.
So, let’s get started. And getting started can sometimes be the most difficult part of any program. So let’s take it slowly. First let me share with you a step by step process. First you have to get your â€˜headâ€ in the right place. Then everything else will follow. I have also included some great new ways to exercise and keep fit whether you are crashing waves at your local beach or diving into your neighborhood pool. .
Honest Assessment: Assess your current fitness and start from there. A successful program starts with what your fitness is, not what you think it should be. If you’re a runner who’s taken some time off, start with a walk/run program and increase the time spent running each week. If you’ve been sitting on the couch rather than your recumbent bike this winter, starting with a short routine that will get you moving is more effective than jumping into a challenging hill workout.
Establish a Plan: At first a successful plan may be more about showing up for the workouts than the miles covered. If you’re just getting started on cardio exercise after a long break, commit to a plan that gets you moving every day for a set period of time (20-30 minutes is a good start) . As you succeed at sticking to these workouts, increase the duration of your workouts each week by 10% until you find yourself meeting your goal. Wondering what that goal should be? If you’re looking to lose weight from working out, you want to work up to at least an hour per day. For weight management and overall fitness, 30 minutes most days of the week is sufficient.
Create Accountability: Find a way of building accountability in to your workout plan to stay on track. Local running and walking groups can add a social aspect to your workouts, motivating you to stick to your program. Find some friends in your community and walk the beach-(if you have one nearby) either in the morning or at sunset. No beach- no problemâ€”just chose one of your favorites paths or routes.â€”mountains or cityscapesâ€”it makes no matter. What does matter is that you enjoy the scenery and that you get out and move. You can also use a calendar to break down your training program and planned increases, track your workouts in your schedule
Reassess Periodically: As you stick with your program your body will adapt and grow stronger quickly. Continue to slowly increase your workouts every week or two and consider adding a new challenge to your workouts after the first four to six weeks of sticking with your new program. You may want to consider adding in an interval or hill workout each week to boost your fitness further and enjoy the energy-boosting effects of these workouts on your metabolism.
Weigh In: I would love to hear how your spring/summer training is going. Please write to me with your questions and comments.
Now here are some great ways to get active and fit this summer. Give some (or all of these a try) and let me know how they work for you! For most us Summer is all about the beach and all about the pool and maybe, not so much, the gym. Well have no worries. If the beach and the pool are your favorite summer time destinations you can still get a great work out and enjoy themâ€”almost at the same time. So first up â€“Everyone into the pool.
A pool can also be a great place to continue your exercise routine.
Leg Lift: Stand in shoulder-deep water and hold onto the edge of the pool lightly for balance. Extend your right leg straight out to the side as far up as you can bring it. But, only go as far as you can while keeping toes pointing toward the pool wall (don’t let your ankle turn) and keeping your hips straight toward the wall. Complete 8-10 times. Repeat on left leg.
Water Roman Chair: In deep water, float either on a tube or two kickboards (resting under your arms). Place your feet together and bend your knees up to at least waist-level, pause briefly and return. Repeat 8-10 times.
Lateral Raises: Stand in shoulder-deep water with arms hanging straight down against your sides. Slowly extend both arms straight out to the sides all the way up to the water-level. Pause briefly and repeat.
Swim/Walk interval laps: Swim 1-2 laps (use any swim form you prefer: crawl, backstroke, etc). Walk 1-2 laps in the pool. Repeat sequence 4-6 times.
Water Squats: Stand in the water with feet about hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly as you push your hips back as if you are sitting on a chair. Keep your knees behind your toes. Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. Squeeze your glutes as you rise up. Return to start position and repeat. The water provides extra resistance and makes this move more challenging.
Water Jogging: Can be done with the use of flotation devices where your feet don’t touch the ground or the traditional way of actually jogging in the water. If using a flotation device, run in place with your feet never touching the ground. If on the ground, try running 1-2 laps and then resting for 60 seconds. It’s more challenging in deep water and less in shallow water.
Now get back on that pool float and relax. You have earned it!
And if you would rather check out the sites at your local beach, then here are a few suggestions that will go far beyond building sand castles and channeling your favorite beach movieâ€”oppsâ€”showing my age here!
Beach Blanket Bridge: working on your tan? Sculpt your glutes at the same time! While lying on your back, bend your knees, with your feet flat, hip width apart. Squeeze your glutes and lift hips up off your towel. Hold bridge for 30 seconds (or long enough to reapply your suntan lotion to your lower back).
Beach Ball Abs: the perfect equipment for your beach workout? A beach ball! Grab a ball from the kids and keep your abs bathing suit ready with this move:
Reverse crunch: place beach ball under your bent knees, and reach arms down by sides (palms down on towel). Exhale and draw knees towards chest, lifting hips off of towel. Slowly lower back to starting position. Work up to doing 25 reverse crunches.
Upper and Lower Body Extension: after you have flipped over to even out your tan, try this move: with arms and legs extended, slowly lift chest and thighs off of towel, focusing on using the back to raise the body. Slowly lower to towel and repeat. Work up to doing 15.
Cricket: got a great beach novel? Work on your rear while you read with this move: lying on stomach, with body propped up on elbows (so you can read), bend knees at a 90-degree angle and flex feet. Slowly lift right knee off your towel, sliding right ankle up to your left heel. Keep inner thighs squeezing and both hips on your towel during the move. Slowly lower right knee down and reverse on the left. Try for 15 on each side.
Triceps Push-Up: get down on your towel and tone your arms at the same time. From a plank position, slowly bend arms and lower chest towards your towel (keeping your elbows drawn into your sides while they bend). Stop just before your chest touches your towel and then bring body back up to plank pose. Repeat. Try for 1 set of 15 before you rest and finish your tan.
Swimming: practice your backstroke out of the water! This pilates move targets your back, abs, arms and glutes. Lying on your stomach with arms and legs extended, slowly lift chest and thighs off towel. Next, lift left arm and right leg slightly higher, alternate on the other side. Try moving from one side to the next as quickly as you possibly can, but keep your torso still while your arms and legs move. Work up to ‘swimming’ for a full minute.
Sand Bucket Butt Blaster: standing with feet hip width apart, slowly sit back into hips, bend knees (squat) pick up a bucket of sand. Slowly return to standing position while holding bucket. Repeat. (make it harder by using wet sand – it’s heavier!).
Have fun, drink plenty of water and don’t forget your sunscreen!