10 Summer Fitness Tips from the Pros
We all know it’s important to exercise. Not only can we enjoy the benefits of a better-looking body but we also reduce our risk of developing a major illness such as cancer, stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes by up to 50%.
We all know it’s important to exercise. Not only can we enjoy the benefits of a better-looking body but we also reduce our risk of developing a major illness such as cancer, stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes by up to 50%. Studies have also linked exercise to reduced anxiety, stress resilience, improved cognitive function, protection against dementia, better sleep, reduced migraines and many more astounding benefits.
With so much to gain from putting on your gym clothes and getting out of the house, it’s perhaps unsurprising that 9.7 million of us are members at one of the 6,728 fitness facilities across the UK. Clearly starting a new fitness regime is easy – but sticking to it can be more of a struggle. When it’s cold and dark outside or you’re feeling tired, motivating yourself to get up and be active can be the biggest hurdle. Here, we’ve put together 10 expert tips for getting into an effective fitness regime and reaching your goals.
1. Create your feel-good playlist
Some tracks can lift even the worst of moods and make you want to get up and dance – but it’s not just because of a catchy tune or great lyrics. Music is like “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug” – according to Dr Costas Karageorghis, a leading expert on the subject – with rhythm being the key to better performance. Various studies over the years have shown that music increases endurance, distracts attention from pain and fatigue, reduces the perception of effort and may boost metabolic efficiency. With music, even the weariest of people can psych themselves and do more for longer. Put together your favourite tracks to keep you motivated and change up your playlist from time to time.
2. Invest in robust headphones
There’s little point putting together the mother of all workout playlists if your headphones make your music sound like it’s being played under a metal bucket. A decent, robust pair of headphones will deliver one pumping tune after the next for the duration of your workout, ensuring you never feel like giving up. Along with awesome sound quality, you’ll want to choose lightweight, durable sweat-resistant headphones that fit comfortably without falling off so you don’t get distracted while you’re working out. Bluetooth could be a good option if you’ve got a habit of accidentally yanking the cable out.
3. Try HIIT
For most of us, one of the biggest barriers to working out regularly is time. Even if we have time, why would we want to spend it getting hot, sweaty and exhausted in the gym? If you’re one of those people, HIIT could be the perfect solution for you. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it refers to doing short bursts of exercise where you exert yourself flat out, with a short recovery period in between. An example would be 20 seconds of flat out cycling with a 10-second rest, repeated for five minutes.
HIIT, explains fitness model Obi Obadike, can help you increase endurance, power, speed and metabolic rate, which ultimately helps you burn fat faster. Studies have shown that your metabolic rate increases even when you step off the treadmill for a full 24 hours afterwards. Other studies show that those performing high-intensity exercise will burn more fat than those performing low-intensity exercise. In other words, just a few minutes of HIIT could be far more effective than a long period of steady jogging or cycling. Obi believes that the key to getting it right is to train in intervals of differing speeds, never allowing your body to adjust to a particular intensity level. Give it a try and you could see better results for less effort!
4. Buy new gear
We’re used to putting work clothes on before we go to the workplace and many would agree that this puts us in the right frame of mind for doing the job – and going to the gym is no different. Studies have shown that clothing influences our behaviour and attitude because it carries a symbolic meaning for us. What we wear subconsciously changes how we act.
Sports psychologist for the New York Mets, Dr. Jonathan Fader, believes that putting on new sports gear helps you get into character, much like an actor putting on a costume. Your new clothes give your confidence a boost and this leads to improved motivation, focus and ultimately, bigger gains.
There’s another reason why new gear goes hand in hand with a new fitness regime: and that’s performance. As Podiatrist, Clifton Bradeley, explains, new trainers straight out of the box will be at their most protective and supportive. An old pair of trainers may no longer be effective and could even lead to an injury.
5. Set yourself a goal
Going to the gym two or three times a week is not a goal in itself, because there’s no end game. Setting yourself a challenging goal – such as taking part in a sports event, climbing a mountain or losing a certain amount of weight – means you’re committed and there’s no turning back. If you can, get friends or family members to commit to the goal with you – you’ll be able to motivate each other if things get tough and compete with each other if you’re both game for some friendly competition. Assistant Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Amanda Visek, believes that by trying to beat each other, you’ll be pulling each other along.
Alternatively, completing a challenge for charity can have a strong motivational effect when it comes to getting you off the couch. A belief in your chosen cause or other people’s pledges of money to your favourite charity can help you to push yourself longer and harder to reach your goal.
6. Schedule your time
You schedule time to work, time to meet friends and even time to relax on holiday – so why should working out be any different? If your next workout hinges on sunny weather, a break from the kids or your next burst of energy, there’s a good chance something will get in the way and it won’t happen. Plan your workout in your calendar alongside all the other important daily tasks and arrange for childcare so you can keep to a regular routine. Daily reminders can help you keep on track and a workout app or journal will allow you to review and share your achievements.
7. Work out at home
Having a gym membership can be motivating because it encourages you to go to sessions and get value for money. You’ll also quickly meet class regulars who will be ready to cheer you up if you’re not in the mood for breaking a sweat. But what do you do on the days when you have little-to-no time for a workout? Having exercise equipment at home means you can still get your daily hit – and having it in full view can actually encourage you to use it.
Health psychologist and fitness instructor, Kelly McGonigal, understands that most of us will have competing priorities that drain our time, whether they are family commitments, work or cleaning the home. Keeping exercise equipment at home and in full view provides a visual reminder that it needs to be used. Although you might not want an exercise bike in front of your television, placing dumbbells in locations where you spend a fair amount of time can prompt some impromptu workouts while doing other tasks.
And we finish with three tips from personal trainer, Russ Howe.
8. Short workouts beat no workouts
Fitting a workout into your day can sometimes be very tricky if you’re busy with work and/or kids over the summer. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we can’t do anything because our timetable doesn’t seem to have a space for the gym. In this situation, get yourself 15 minutes and smash a home workout. Not only will it put you in a better mood, but it’ll boost your metabolism enabling you to stay on top of your fat loss goals.
9. Ice cold water is your best friend
In summer, our biggest training enemy is the heat. It’ll fatigue you in the gym, and it’ll have you reaching for sports drinks outside of the gym. So, make sure to drink plenty of ice cold water to keep yourself on track. Sports drinks (and energy drinks) are loaded with sugary calories which really mount up if you consume them regularly, and the benefits of water are well documented. First up, it’ll hydrate you in the heat and allow you to train harder. Secondly, ice cold water has been shown to temporarily boost your metabolism, allowing you to increase your fat burn. And finally, water is great for curbing your appetite. Most of the time we feel like snacking, it’s because we are actually thirsty!
10. Make fitness fit your lifestyle
This is the biggest mistake I see people make. When we decide to get fitter, we are bombarded with information about joining gyms, fitness classes, and so on. The trick to getting fit is to do something that you actually find enjoyable, because there is no training method which will outperform consistency. So, for one person that may be joining a gym and performing bodybuilding-style training, for another person it may be circuit classes, and for you it might be going hiking outdoors with the kids. Find something you love, and you’ll notice how much easier it is to get results.
So, now you’ve got the knowledge, the determination and playlist sorted for your summer training regime, it’s time to find the perfect pair of headphones. Check out go2telecom’s full range of headphones for every budget over on our homepage.