Summer starts on the 21st of June – but most of us have been drinking beer and eating Gelato in the sunshine long before that date. If you are just getting started to get fit for the season, you might be a bit behind schedule.
That’s ok. Trust me, as a health and fitness practitioner, I know that ANYTIME is a good time to start getting fit. Here is a summer cheat sheet you can use to help give your motor a boost, burn more calories and enjoy the season a bit better.
Bursts of activity throughout the day: This is the most effective way to burn calories. Just like it take calories to get you heart rate up, it requires calories to take it back down. I suggest every hour, so some kind of activity for 3 – 5 minutes. You can kick a soccer ball around, dance, do lunges across the office, jump rope or take a walk – just get your heart pumping a bit. Kick a ball with co-workers or go walking with them. Get in the habit of frequent activity and your body will make the right adaptations.
Locomotion: If you are not riding to walking to work, school and you friends houses, you are missing out on a opportunity for a bodacious body. Just by adding and extra 20-30 minutes of locomotion – walking, running, cycling – you can burn hundreds more calories a day. Don’t just lumber along! Really move those hips and get going. I like to do random 10-30 second sprints on my bike during my commute. Ok, so I show up sweaty – but so does everyone else (hello, summer) and I always have deodorant and perfume with me.
Fast: Are you on the emergency WEIGHT list? Learn how to fast and get comfortable with it. Everyone freaks out when they hear I only eat one, maybe two times a day – but since I started eating that way, I am leaner, have more energy and a healthier relationship with food. Everyone’s schedule will be different, so so some research and experimentation. I suggest reading books on intermittent fasting. Another great diet to research is the 2:5 diet; fast 2 days a week and eat regularly the other 5. Mainstream science only very recently starting to study the benefits of fasting – clear skin, better immunity, easy weight control, hormone balance, energy focus.
Standing while working: Join the fittest movement in history and rebel against the chair! Humans are not meant to be sitting 12-16 hours a day. In addition to your sleeping time, that means even the average gym junkie is still sitting or lying 20-22 hours a day. NO! Do everything you can to stand, walk and move. You may end up increasing your caloric intake and still lose weight just by standing while you work. It takes some getting used to but aim to sit only 2-4 hours in a day. At night you will rest better. Check out Kelly Starlets book DESKBOUND for more information about the desk warrior.
Ice baths: Use this tip from a Navy SEAL buddy of mine and professional athletes everywhere. Take an ice bath after your workout - your body will BURN trying to rewarm you. A less extreme option is to punt and ice bag on the back of your neck for 10 minutes a day or regularly take cold showers. Your skin will be tighter and healthier in the long run as well.
Stay in shape during the winter: Sorry folks but this is my number one beach body tip. I know that Winter is the season where everybody cuddles up and wears clothes but that is really no excuse to stop thinking about your health. In fact, working out during the winter isn’t just about a hot bod. Those cold, dark months can take a toll on us physically and emotionally without the burst of serotonin and dopamine we get from breaking a sweat. By all means, get a bit fluffy and eat more – just don’t stop moving! Use spring as a time to shred some fat and winter as a time to gain and retain muscle.