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Summer body loading…

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Exercise in gym. Photo: Huffington Post


Summer is just three months away, making now the perfect time to kick your workout routines into high gear and actually make some significant progress toward reaching your ultimate get-lean goals. We don’t technically have a traditional summer season during the holiday period in Nigeria, but the ‘summer body’ concept is intact. Prepare you body for summer by starting early. Avoid a mad panic and self-loathing just before the holiday season by making some lifestyle changes to pave the way for the more intense training. As always, I have some fitness suggestions for you.

High Intensity Interval Training
Ah, good old interval and high-intensity training. You’ve heard about their benefits for ages and for good reason: they work. If you’re looking for a surefire way to burn fat faster and lose some pounds in the process, HIIT is a solid go-to. High Intensity Interval Training is more time efficient in caloric expenditure than a traditional cardio workout. Not only will your body burn more calories during HIIT workouts but you will also continue to burn more calories and fat in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout. That doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself to only sprint interval workouts on a treadmill, though; Go out and sprint hills, drag tires, and push or pull sleds.

Hit the weights
If you’re not already hitting the gym and racking up the weights, now’s the time if fat loss is your goal. Even if you start small and work your way up to heavier weights, gaining muscle is going to be put you on the fast track to hitting that goal. When it comes to exercise, you have to train with weights to increase lean mass. Fat is burned inside of your muscle cells.

The bigger and more plentiful your muscle cells, the bigger your fat-burning furnace. Adding muscle increases the size of the fat-burning furnace. Dieting incorrectly or exercising incorrectly decreases your fat-burning furnace. This is often why, when a male-female couple embarks on a good exercise and nutrition plan, the male drops more weight more quickly than the female. He has more muscle tissue and a much bigger furnace. He can burn food at a much faster rate than the female who has less muscle and a much smaller furnace.

Pick up a sport
Picking up a sport (especially getting into pick-up games) is a great way to burn extra calories, trim away the fat and still have a lot of fun doing it. Playing a sport involves cardio and lots of non-linear movement (jumping, back-pedalling, side-stepping) making it healthier than straight jogging. Plus it keeps you having fun without getting bored. You don’t have to be the next Michael Jordan to go down to your local basketball court, and look for a game. Just do it! Most people are happy to have another player. Just make sure you at least know the rules.

Reduce stress with yoga
Breathe deep. Relax. Breathe deeper. Feel better? Feel healthier? Well, keep doing it, because it just might be helping you stay fit and lose fat. Stress has been known to contribute to abdominal fat and other issues. Grabbing your Yoga mat and heading out for a little relaxation may go a long way toward helping you reach your fitness goals as well. And, besides, who among us couldn’t use a little less stress and a little more relaxation, right?

Track your weight loss
Taking photos before, after, and during a weight loss journey is a great way to stay motivated throughout the entire sweat-inducing ordeal. Not only do you get to see the fruits of your labor as your skin tightens up, your face thins out, and your body transforms into a lean, mean, fat-burning machine, but you can also share your progress photos (if you’re brave enough) on social media. It’s a surefire way to up your confidence as comments start to roll in.

Change up your workout schedule
We are creatures of habit. Go into any gym and you can watch gym rats performing the exact same workout three times per week. Cardio for 30-60 minutes followed by a circuit trip around the weight room. You want results? Change it up! 30 minutes of high intensity lifting followed by 15 minutes of high intensity intervals will produce more results in two days than your standard 90-minute workout three days a week.

Join group workouts
Join a class or get a workout partner, it’s all about motivation. You pull each other out of the doldrums and into the world of the fit. Just when you think you can’t run any farther or do that last rep, you have your buddy there to make sure you do it.Welcome to the land of weight loss! You may have noticed that there are no shortcuts, just pure hard work and discipline. Good luck!


In this article:
Maje Ayida
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