7 Ways to Get in Shape This Summer (and Stay That Way)
The warm summer months are here, which means it’s time to shed those winter coats and head outdoors.
For many people, summer signals a time to be more active and get into better shape. Unfortunately, this usually only lasts as long as the fleeting summer months. Once the cold weather returns, we turn back to eating heavy foods and enjoying the comfort of our baggiest clothes.
If you’re sick of cycling between being in shape and getting out of shape during different seasons, we’re here to help! Below, we offer 7 ideas that can help you get in great shape this summer and stay that way all year long.
7 Ideas to Make Your Summer Fitness Last All Year Long
There are a lot of reasons to get in shape and stay that way. When you feel good about yourself, you will have more confidence to go out and conquer the world. You’ll also be less likely to develop serious health conditions that can limit your mobility and reduce your longevity.
Try these 7 simple ideas this summer to make it your fittest summer yet.
- Walk more
If you’ve been actively trying to get 10,000 steps a day, it’s time to up that goal. Research shows that we actually need to be getting 15,0000 steps a day to lower our risk of developing heart disease.
Beyond the benefits for your heart, walking more allows you to slim down without much effort. Getting an additional 5,000 steps a day is the equivalent of walking nearly 4 km a day. Depending on how much you weigh, you could burn up to 400 extra calories every day just by walking a little more! Walk your dog, listen to a podcast, or find a friend to chat with at the end of the day and you’ll be burning calories and getting more fit in no time.
- Drink coffee or tea before a workout
Research shows that drinking caffeine 30 minutes before a workout can help you push yourself harder so you can work out for longer. It can also boost your fat burn. A recent study from The Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that participants who had caffeine 30 minutes before an aerobic workout burned more fat than those who did not.
For extra credit, have caffeine before your afternoon workout. The researchers concluded that fat burn was higher for participants who drank caffeine before an afternoon workout than before a morning workout.
- Get enough sleep
Longer days and shorter nights can make it easy to skimp out on sleep during the summer. Getting too little sleep is associated with weight gain for several reasons. First, you’re more likely to cave in and eat carbs and other unhealthy foods when you stay up late. Furthermore, your workouts will suffer if you show up for them tired. If you’re sleep-deprived, you might even injure yourself because you aren’t using the proper form.
Being sleep-deprived can also throw your neurotransmitters out of whack. These are responsible for signalling hunger to your brain. When they’re out of balance, they can tell your body it’s hungry when really it just needs some rest, leading you to consume more calories than you need.
- Fuel your body with the right foods
By now, everyone has heard more than enough about the importance of eating well. But knowing you need to eat better and actually doing it are two very different things. On top of that, your body needs different types of food depending on your activity level. People often fall into a routine of eating the same kind of meal whether they’re taking a rest day or going all out at the gym.
Take the guesswork out of cooking with daily meal packs from Vanda’s Kitchen. We’ll give you everything you need so you can focus on living your life instead of trying to plan your meals based on your gym routine for the day.
- Say yes to weights
Many people stay away from weights because they are afraid that lifting weights will cause them to become too bulky. The truth is that adding resistance training to your workout routine can help boost your metabolism during and after your workout. Plus, because muscle takes up less space than fat, lifting weights can help you look slimmer even if you weigh the same amount.
Start small and gradually increase the weight you lift. If you are brand new to weight training, consider working with a professional trainer to ensure you are using the proper form.
- Embrace HIIT workouts
If you’re crunched for time but still want to do a more traditional workout, try HIIT (high-intensity interval training). This type of workout involves alternating between intervals of high-intensity exercise and rest.
Benefits of HIIT include a decrease in appetite immediately after the workout plus an increase in your metabolism for a longer period of time after training. You can burn as many calories in 15 minutes of HIIT as you could walking on the treadmill for an hour, so it’s also a very efficient way to get in shape.
- Water before beer
When it’s hot outside, it can be really easy to drink more alcohol than you intend just because you’re thirsty. If your summer plans include having a few drinks with friends, make sure you hydrate before you arrive. Then, drink a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and avoid overdoing it.
On top of avoiding a hangover, this method can keep you from packing on weight. Drinking just one less beer a night can save at least 150 calories.
We Can Help You Reach Your Summer Fitness Goals
At Vanda’s Kitchen, we know how difficult it can be to eat right when life gets busy. That’s why we have created delicious, healthy meals that can be delivered straight to you. Simply pick meals that sound good to you, and we’ll deliver them to your door.
Click here to get started!