Happy Summer to you! How’s your Summer fitness looking? I know life is busy and seems even moreso now that Summer is in full swing. Unless you’ve enlisted in a relentless itinerary of physically demanding recreational activities, you may still be stuck on the hamster wheel of not “finding” the time for fitness.
If you’re at least staying hydrated (don’t skimp on electrolytes), that’s a very solid start, but are you taking time to exercise before the heat of the day? The heat makes me super lethargic, and since my workouts are pretty intensive, I like to hit the gym in the morning before my work day starts. My career is also quite physically demanding, so working out after all of that activity doesn’t work for me.
It’s best to be kind to yourself when creating a workout schedule if you want it to stick. Someone who stays up late at night and never wakes up before 7am, is going to have to play a hard mental game to get to the gym at 5am consistently.
If the gym isn’t your thing, have you tried that yoga class you may have been thinking about? Any time is a good time for yoga as most classes welcome beginners, and can check boxes for both aerobic activity AND strength training—not to mention, stress reduction. And if you think you’re not strong enough or flexible enough to even give it a go, try a chair yoga class—yes, it’s a thing and most folks who try it, love it!
Does the term “working out” sound more stressful than not? Then keep it simple and low-impact by taking a walk (with your water bottle)! Walking won’t cost you anything but time, can be done alone or not, and pretty much anywhere you might be. Studies have shown that brisk walking a total of four hours a week (roughly 35 minutes per day) can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
- Improve balance and coordination. So grab Grandma, your kid or your pet llama and get going!
I always recommend starting out easy with exercise, but if you have no medical restrictions and are ready to really get the body moving on the regular, I recommend putting your workouts, classes or walks in your calendar every day of the week. I’m not suggesting you work out hard every day, but if it’s in your schedule every day, and something comes up a day or two that takes you away from your workout, you can still hit your goal for the week. My current goal is to get to the gym four times a week, but it’s in my schedule every day, just in case.
Exercise may not be an option for you, but if you are healthy and mobile enough to get into a far infrared sauna like the one we have at Rejuven8, (and can take the heat) you can burn up to 600 calories per half-hour session! Other health benefits of extreme heat include improved heart health, mental health, immune system function, and more.
If you’ve been sidelined due to injury or surgery, classes and group fitness environments give you the heebie jeebies, or you’re just not the most self-motivated fitness person, consider a personal trainer to partner with. A trainer offers support and accountability, creates goals with you, and helps you discover what’s best for YOUR body. Check out my yoga teacher and lovely friend Ryan Bailey, who offers one on one personal and group training in yoga, fitness, nutrition and more. He and his amazing wife Jamie are Yoga Reclaimed and Ashtanga530 in Auburn, and come with my highest recommendation of course. Working out with a trainer or even a buddy offers a list of benefits, the best of which, is it’s simply more fun!
Above all else, the key to sticking to an exercise program is to find something you like, and to not feel guilty if you skip a day, a week, or even a month. Just continue returning to your program and you’ve succeeded in making a lifestyle change for the better.