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3 Tips For: Shape up in Summer!

Aug 18, 2008
Where ever you live, summer and early fall is a great time to get outdoors and get in shape. Here are 3 tips for you:

1. Start out with a STRETCH and then a "WARM UP"

I know, you have little time and just want to "get to it". However, spending 5 - 10 minutes warming up will prepare your body for exercise. Moving from side to side warms your muscles and prepares them for exercise. For example, if you are jogging for your workout, then walk the first 5 or 10 minutes picking up your pace as you go. If you are running, then start walking for 1 minute, pick it up to a jog, and then 5 - 10 minutes into it, start your run. If you are timing yourself, start counting when you initiate running. The point is to warm up at a pace that gradually gets your heart beating at 50 to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate. Warm muscles permit a greater range of motion through your joints and will reduce the chance of injuries, especially stress injuries.

2. Don't get bored

Mix your fitness activities throughout the week. Pick 2 or 3 activities that increase your heart rate that you really like or desire to improve your skill level. Perhaps walking on Monday, biking on Wednesday, walking on Friday, tennis on Sunday will help maintain your interest in staying active. I also recommend you plan your activities in varied locations so the scenery remains interesting. Walk around your neighborhood, bike through a park on a bike trail, utilize a tennis center, or swim at the beach. This way you can match your activity and your location to your mood. I like to get on the bike Monday morning as the wind in my face wakes me up and readies me for what is ahead in the week to come. Swimming at the beach on Sunday mornings is what I can work toward throughout the week. It is like my "prize" for stayin on the program. Find a way to reward yourself on the weekends (tennis, anyone?) to motivate you. When you plan your schedule, regard your physical activity as a high priority. Put it in the calendar and don't schedule over it, but rather around it. Keep your fitness program fresh and you will stick to it!

3. Nutrition supports an active lifestyle

I have learned that exercise can increase the formation of free radicals. It is highly recommended that you implement a program of food selection and supplementation to increase the amount of antioxidants. Vitamin C and beta carotene are the place to start as they play a large role in preventing cellular injury and slowing down muscle fatigue. If you include 5 - 7 servings of fruits and veggies each day, you will be getting powerful antioxidants. You want to do what you can to avoid exercise-induced oxidative stress. Water is important as hydration is key to overall well-being and health. You want to ensure you get 1/2 ounce for every pound of body weight. When you are active increase your water intake and include a healthy "fitness drink" to enhance how much of the water you are actually absorbing. Most have ingredients for "electrolyte balance". After exercise you want to "revive" with a nutrient dense, low calorie plant-based protein snack. There are many post-workout drinks and shakes on the market. The plant-based protein will assist you in maintaining or building your lean body mass. Replacing the nutrients and protein will hasten your "recovery".
About the Author
Toni Wayne of http://www.inshapezone.com, 'In Shape Zone', Your Health and Fitness Online Store, has spent her career in health care and is a Wellness Coach. Nutrition and Wellness is her passion. She can be reached at customerservice@inshapezone.com if you wish to contact her.
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