Summer is coming, and with it, balmy nights and long beach days. But if you’re still cozied up in your “winter body,” you’re not alone. The good news? You can get in shape without making dramatic changes.
In fact, when it comes to long-term fitness, small daily changes work best. Here are some ideas to get you in shape and living your best life this summer.
Move every day
You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get in shape; the important thing is to build a little bit of exercise into your daily routine. “Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day,” recommends Edward R. Laskowski, MD, at the Mayo Clinic. He points out that if you can’t fit in a half-hour walk, you could try several five-minute walks instead.
Get on your bike
Cycling is a fun and convenient way to explore your city or commute to work, and it’s good for your health, too. According to Harvard Health Publishing, cycling is an aerobic workout that builds muscle and bone and is easy on the joints.
Practice full-body exercises
Some moves, such as push-ups, squats, lunges, and burpees, work out several muscle groups at once. These types of exercises, which use only your body weight for resistance, can be as effective at building strength as using free weights or weight machines, writes Edward R. Laskowski, MD, at the Mayo Clinic.
Maybe you haven’t picked up a jump rope since your playground days, but it’s an activity worth trying again. According to the Jump Rope Institute, 10 minutes of nonstop jumping at 120 revolutions per minute can provide the same cardiovascular benefits as jogging for 30 minutes or swimming 720 yards.
Sign up for a boot camp
If you really want to challenge yourself, sign up for a fitness boot camp. These programs build strength and endurance through intense aerobic, strength, and speed drills in classes modeled on military training. Of course, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning such a demanding exercise regime.
Go inline skating
Inline skates have seen some technological improvements since their heyday in the 1990s. Today, they are lighter and more breathable, with bigger wheels for faster, smoother cruising. Harvard Health Publishing reports that inline skating burns between 210 and 311 calories per half-hour, depending on your body weight.
Get your beauty sleep
Time to take a nap! Studies have shown that loss of sleep, or even poor sleep quality, can affect both your metabolism and your hormones, causing weight gain. So, if you’re trying to get in shape, make sleep a priority.
Eating mindfully consists of making the meal the main event and eating slowly, without other distractions, and enjoying every bite. This way, you can recognize your own satiation cues, which means you’ll know when to stop.