Spring Fitness Tips : Summer’s coming..
By Ken Hunt , Steel Gym NYC
Don’t look now but—Memorial Day is just around the corner. And along with the unofficial start of summer comes new and exciting ways to “freshen up” your work outs. In addition to going to the gym, you can supplement your routines by taking advantage of the warm weather and getting outside to exercise. You can trade the treadmill for the sidewalk or street and replace the inside of the gym or health club with the beach or pool.
And I hope you will agree, there is certainly something exhilarating about working out with sun shinning on your face and a cool breeze to your back.
So, let me share with you some great ways to take advantage of the great outdoors
You can do cross-training at the beach easily, just by adding
running, walking in soft sand and swimming to your routine. If you are running barefoot be careful of the uneven surfaces on the beach. Try running close to the waters edge where the surface is more even. Better yet, get yourself a lightweight pair of running shoes. Then you don’t have to worry about sharp shells or other objects. And wear a good pair of socks. It will help keep your feet dryer and prevent against blistering.
The advantage of running or walking on the beach is that
the sandy surface has some give, making the exercise less jarring
on your joints. The disadvantage is that you may have to
walk or run on an angled surface. Try to find as flat a surface
as possible to run or walk on, and don’t forget to stretch and
Swimming in the ocean can be great; however, you need to
be careful. You should also consider that ocean water is colder
than pool water, so you’ll tire faster.
Try these other options for your beach workout…
Kettlebell training. Kettlebells can be swung almost anywhere,
and exercises that involve letting them go work great
on the beach. They’re effective and fun.
Team sports and activities. Beach volleyball is the perfect
beach activity. Also try tug-of-war or short sprint races along
the harder sand.
Medicine ball workout. Think conditioning rather than
strength. Try all those exercises that would usually have you
thrown out of a commercial gym—hurl that thing around and
have some fun!
Yoga. If you’re looking for something a little different from
your regular weight-lifting, try yoga. It’s a great way to start or
end any day.
But what if working out on the beach just isn’t for your. Perhaps you are more of the.. ”let’s just stay by the pool kinda person.” Your idea of summer exercise is relaxing on a pool float with your favorite drink in hand. Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? Well, before you get too comfortable, here are some other ways to make
the most of your own person body of water—and a great place to continue your exercise routine.
Leg Lift: Stand in shoulder-deep water and lightly hold onto the edge of the pool for balance. Extend your right leg straight out to the side as far up as you can—but, only as far as you can while keeping toes pointing toward the pool wall
(don’t let your ankle turn!), keeping your hips straight toward the wall. Complete 8-10 times, and repeat with your left leg.
Water Roman Chair: In deep water, float either on a tube
or with two kickboards resting under your arms. Place feet together
and bend knees up to at least waist-level, pause brieflyand 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 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 your 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, and keep your feet planted firmly on the ground,
squeezing your glutes as you raise up. (You will love the way you look in your swimsuit) And so will everyone else. Return to the start position and repeat.
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 you’re using a
flotation device, run in place without your feet touching the
ground. If you’re 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.
On land or in the water, just use common sense to stay safe.
Cover up with sun block, and protect your eyes with sunglasses
that provide UV protection when on land and with goggles
in the water. You should drink 16-20 ounces (about two big
glasses) of water an hour or so before hitting the beach, and
then drink constantly while working out. Just expect your
body to react differently to a beach workout.
So, take advantage of the last few weeks before Memorial Day. Hit the gym, watch your diet and just think about how great you will look working out in the pool or on the beach. And who knows—someone might write their phone number for you in the sand.