Summer bodies are made in winter, they say. And hopefully, you’re ready for bikini season!
Here are eight tips to get you summer-ready
1. Get your body assessed
The extra layers we pile on in winter trick us into thinking our bodies are still lean and mean come spring. But it’s not unusual for a few extra kilograms of winter comfort food to have settled on the waistline…
This is why it’s useful to get an assessment at the end of winter, so you know for real what your BMI, body fat percentage and measurements are. And you can set goals for weight loss or muscle gains, for example. You’ll have a clear picture of how much work you have to do to reach your summer body goals.
And this, too, will inform your decisions about your workout schedule, diet, etc.
2. Take it outside
Go on, you’ve spent the winter months exercising in the (heated) gym. Treat yourself to the fresh air and sunshine outside. Not only will you benefit from the extra Vitamin D, you will probably burn more calories thanks to the extra heat.
Sign up for outdoor sports (soccer, touch rugby, jogging or adventure bootcamp), and make new friends too.
3. Set yourself a new challenge
Spring and summer are filled with exciting sporting events that you can enter to add an extra dimension to your training, push you to achieve something new or just get you outdoors to enjoy the warm weather.
Check out our events section to find out more about local events.
4. Train intelligently with intervals
Interval training is a mixture of high, medium and low intensity training, which means you use a number of energy systems. You also burn off a higher number of calories than you would doing hours of monotonous, medium intensity, long duration cardio.
Interval training can supercharge your fitness, boost your metabolism and burn off that extra fat with just 20 to 30min of intelligently planned cardio a day.
5. Isolate the muscles that need work
As part of your original spring assessment, you no doubt identified the areas of your body that you’d like to tone and shape. Hello, isolation exercises!
Target the muscles that may be lagging or require more work by training them twice a week, with at least 48 hours between specific sessions.
6. Buy the (right) new workout gear
Goodbye winter sweat pants, leggings, under-armour and jackets! Hello, bright new shorts, crop tops, vets and 3/4 tights!
And if you’re taking the outdoor sports seriously, look for gear that is UV resistant and offers you good moisture management.
No, we’re not talking about wine spritzers… We’re talking about water. Remember that excessive water loss can impair performance and can be detrimental to your health. So it’s especially important to drink plenty of water during the hot summer months. The general rule of thumb for high intensity, strenuous exercise is 250-300ml of water every 20 minutes. If you’re exercising outdoors have a drink 30-45min before exercise and drink regularly during exercise. And consider using an energy or electrolyte replacement drink.
8. Use protection
Invest in a good sunblock (at least SPF15). It prevents dangerous burns and will keep your skin looking younger for longer.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.