June 23, 2016
Summer fitness is challenging. To keep your workouts going strong all summer long, remember to follow these S.M.A.R.T. tips!
Stretch – the warm and balmy days of summer may make it feel like your muscles are already warm, but stretching is just as important a part of your routine as it is in the more frigid seasons of fall and winter. Stretching not only prevents injuries but also helps to create long, lean muscles. “Stretching also helps to metabolize blood sugar, which reduces fat storage, and improves coordination by reducing unintentional jerky movements and allowing us to move with efficiency and grace.”
Motivate – Summer months come with plenty of sunshine and longer days, boosting our moods and making it easier to motivate ourselves to get outdoors and exercise! Take advantage of cooler summer mornings and later sunsets, depending on your workout style. Whatever your choice, pick a plan and stick with it for the summer. Consistently is important in establishing a workout pattern and keeping the brain and body motivated.
Add – Add a friend! This is the perfect time to grab a buddy to workout with, and add both some social time and accountability to your summer routine. Two is better than one when it comes to summer exercise, and you can try workouts that take two, such as rock climbing or tandem biking or boating.
Recipes – Summer is a wonderful time for healthy food, with local farmer’s markets popping up around every corner. Find juicy fruits and veggies to add to a crisp summer salad, and add a loaf of freshly baked bread to a picnic at the beach or park. Localharvest.com is a website that will help you locate the farmer’s market nearest to you: http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/. Here’s an article that includes delicious recipes with summer ingredients you can find at your local market, such as heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, summer squash, corn, and strawberries: http://www.southernliving.com/food/kitchen-assistant/organic-summer-local-farm-produce-recipes.
Try – Try a brand new workout! The sunny days may encourage you to bike or run, which are great choices, but don’t forget about low-impact exercise as well! Many yoga studios offer free yoga classes in the park during the summer, or you can rent a canoe, hike in the mountains, or find a warm patch of grass and do some light weight lifting or barre exercises. When the summer heats up, head inside and try an indoor climbing wall or circus lessons. Many gyms now offer lessons in silks, trapeze, and other circus skills. These will up your flexibility, core strength, and endurance.