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Sizzling Summer

summer

Shine with health and wellbeing, whether home or away

Each year, I think us Brits are taken by surprise when the sun appears, especially if it appears early in the season. We may feel like that we did not get the memo that hide-all jumpers are banished and today it is hot, hot, hot so all of a sudden more flesh of our will be visible to the wider world. Whilst most of us love the sunshine, what we may not like is the element of surprise of when one week it is snowing and the next week it is in the 20’s. It is as if summer appears without warning when we are least expecting (and then may disappear again for a month or two). Whilst we can make ourselves feel a little better, by perhaps applying a little bit of false tan, what we need to remind ourselves in the colder months, that a summer body is created in winter.

If you are after a summer where you shine with health and wellbeing read on for ideas whether you are going to be at home or away on your jollies.

Home game

With longer days, there is more chance to get in some good old fashioned outdoor fun with the family. You can go back to your childhood and bounce on the kids trampoline, grab a skipping rope (skipping can burn 150 calories in 15 minutes), or get your waist working with a hula hoop (up to 50 calories burned in 10 minutes). Work that upper body and waist with a bit of swing ball or you can set up a mini circuit in your back garden no matter what size garden/yard you have.

Press ups can be done anywhere, require no special equipment and yield priceless results, including toned arms and chest! Work your legs and bottom with squats and lunges. ‘Abs can be worked standing, such as bringing elbow to opposite knee, or more traditional floor exercises and then finally add some simple cardio with marching/jogging/sprinting (depending on fitness levels) or star jumps. And if the weather does, what British weather does best and changes you can run indoors as the circuit would work just as well indoors – or you could always stick on an exercise video for further motivation. Or even have a dance off with the kids or significant other.

If you have more time to get out and about why not head to the park or beach with a Frisbee, or pull up on a climbing frame or just make use of the beautiful terrain and go for a lovely walk in the countryside. Cycling is another great family exercise choice and burn just under 200 calories in 30 minutes. You will burn calories without feeling that you’re working out.

A fitness friend, is not just for summer but for life. Not only will this create some accountability, but you’ll also feel like you’re also getting a healthy dose of some social time. The only thing better than one fitness friend is a bunch of fitness friends, so if one is away you can train with another.

For those with not much me time or family time then make the most of those pesky jobs that need doing; washing the car for 30 minutes burns about 100 calories for a 10 stone lady. Gardening burns around 128 calories in 30 minutes and is great for finding muscles you did not know existed or mowing the lawn around 176 calories in half and hour (and you could always throw in some walking lunges). Add some random extra work by going up stairs two at a time etc. You’ll get your heart rate up a bit higher and strengthen you’re core and glute muscles.

Avoid letting all your good work being spoiled by a bad diet. We tend to want to eat lighter food in summer so make the most of that, however look out for possible pit falls such as ice creams and barbeques. For ideas for delicious and lower in calorie icy deserts then check out the following recopies on Healthy Eating website - http://www.healthyfood.co.uk/article/frozen-puds-cool-sweeten-summer/ . You will also find some great ideas for making better choice at a barbeque - http://www.healthyfood.co.uk/how-to-make-better-barbecue-choices/

Up and away

If you are planning any formal exercise away, make sure your trainers and suitable clothing is packed. Depending on how dedicated you are feeling, there is lots which can be done when away. Firstly when booking you may want to consider finding a hotel with a gym? Many types of accommodation with have either a pool or the sea near them allowing for a good swim session.

Swimming the back-stroke can work wonders to tone and firm your arms and is great for posture. An hour of swimming can burn off 500 calories, but if hot remember to have the water at the ready as you still sweat in the water! 20 minutes out of town – rather than jumping on the hotels free shuttle bus to town/the beach, use your feet. And walking in sand adds extra resistance meaning more work of your legs. Instead of sunbathing get active! Plan a biking, kayaking or hiking trip. And remember where possible get plenty of sleep. It’s easier to overeat when you’re tired. Caffeine, sugar and simple carbs are the worst choices for a pick-me-up.

If you are away from beaches and pools, there are other things you can do. When I went backpacking in New Zealand I managed 5 weeks of great workouts with a mix of a skipping rope, resistance band and my trainers.

Other things you may consider is self-catering accommodation with a kitchen so you can control some of your food intake better. Or if eating out select baked, broiled, grilled or poached as they usually mean less or no added fat. Pass on the fried or sautéed menu choices. When you deprive yourself for too many hours, it’s really easy to overeat at the next mealtime. Ask your waiter to take away the breadbasket! Instead, have a glass of water before your meal. Order any dressing or sauce on the side — remember to drizzle (or measure on a spoon if possible), not drench! If you’re at a buffet, choose the smaller size plate and fill most of it with vegetables. Finally don’t skip a meal or snack. Dine early instead of late at night. Waiting too long between meals makes it easy to choose empty-calorie foods.

If the temperature is high though, there are things to remember.

  • Try and do your workout first thing or last thing when the sun is not as high.
  • Stay hydrated (once you start thinking about a nice, cold glass of water, you're probably already 1 to 2 percent dehydrated)
  • Remember alcohol and caffeine act as a diuretic to your body, causing more fluid loss
  • Hop into a cold shower before your workout. A German study this year found that a pre-exercise cool down improves performance in the heat — probably because it lowers your heart rate as well as core and skin temperatures. Too chicken to try it? Even just cooling your neck or head with a cold wet towel, or running the underside of your wrists under cold water may make a difference
  • The hotter it is, the harder your body has to work — so if you normally run at a 9-minute-mile pace, when the temperature hits 90 you may find yourself having to slow down to a 10. Use a self-accessing exertion scale (where 0 is lying in bed doing nothing and 10 is something you could only do for a matter of seconds), to keep your workout at your usual level.

Finally, set your summer goals. Are you looking to run a fall marathon, take a backpacking trip or simply feel good baring more skin? When you have a set goal that you are working toward, your workouts become more meaningful. For more help with goal setting, exercise and food plans and oodles of motivating contact Rebecca @ EveryBod Fitness 07984 159824 / rebecca@everybod.com

* real-time online PT training also available for those who live further afield, work away or on holiday – so no excuse (all you need is a laptop/tablet and wi fi access). Please enquire for more details.

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