Summer's right around the corner but your "summer beach bod" is already in progress. Don't panic! In case you haven't been following a winter fitness routine that already has your physique ripped, rocked and ready for swimsuits, there are some things you can do to ramp up the process. And all are available to you NOW at your favorite YMCA of Greater Birmingham branch.
Get Fit With HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) -
Adults need 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week for good health. But when you're trying to get fit fast, you may want to ramp it up a bit with high-intensity interval training. According to a 2012 article published in Australian Family Physician, when you're trying to lose weight, HIIT may help you reach your fitness goals faster than traditional aerobic exercise because it increases your calorie-burning capacity, even after you're done working out. The American College of Sports Medicine says you burn 6 to 15 percent more calories those two hours following HIIT. In addition to helping you burn more calories for weight loss, HIIT also helps you lose abdominal fat while retaining muscle mass, improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness and is good for heart health.
HIIT alternates between periods of intense aerobic exercise followed by periods of recovery or rest. For example, you might run at top speed for 30 seconds followed by a 2 minute jog, and then repeat this throughout the duration of your workout. This type of exercise helps you burn more calories, even after you're done working out.
Exercise Efficiently -
Try to do exercises which work multiple muscle groups at once and provide superior results for the amount of time which you need to put in to doing them, as exercises like these are more efficient. Such exercises are usually very tiring and hard on the body, but they will get you the furthest the fastest.
Planks - one of the most efficient exercises. You can greatly improve your core, leg, and arm strength with just a few minutes of this exercise every day. Planks are done by holding a position similar to a push up, but supporting the upper half of your body on your forearms. Hold this for as long as possible. Do 5-10 minutes of this a day, broken into sets, for visible results.
Burpees - done by starting in a standing position. Drop to a crouch, go into a push-up form, go back to the crouch position, and then jump upwards with hands raised to return to the standing position. These are considered a very effective exercise, as they work all areas of the body.
Lunges - Step forward with your right leg, and lower your body until both legs are bent at 90-degree angles. Keep your back straight, and do not let your front knee bend over your toes. Push back up to starting position, and repeat with the left leg. You can easily add weight to this move by doing bicep curls with dumbbells.
Squats - are done by standing with your feet a hip's distance apart, your back straight, arms crossed in front of you, and slowly lowering yourself down as if to sit in a chair. After you are in the sitting position, raise yourself back up. These are a great exercise for your core and leg muscles. You can add hand-held weights to the routine to work the arms as well.
Push-ups - are a great exercise that will work out your triceps, shoulders, glutes, and core. To start, get into a plank pose with your hands flat on the ground below your shoulders. Lower your body until you are just above the ground. As you do so, tuck your elbows close to your body, keeping your core engaged. Push back up, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Walking - Most experts will agree that walking is probably one of the best ways to get fit. If you are completely out of shape, you can just walk. If you are decently in shape, you can walk quickly. For those that are further along, you can hike, jog or run and add leg or arm weights. Walking is a great way to work many muscle groups and improve heart strength and blood flow.
Eat Healthy -
You can exercise all you want but if you live off of fast food, you’re going to have a difficult time getting fit. It’s important to eat a balanced diet so that your body gets all of the essential fuel it needs to run. Eat a balance of lean meats, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates to get your body what it needs.
Drink lots of water-
Your body is made mostly of water, so you KNOW you need it! Try to drink straight water, or water flavored with a little natural lemon juice or other natural flavoring. Drinking soda will add too much sugar to your diet (fake sugar is not good for you either), as will juice. Tea and coffee dehydrate your body and should also be avoided.
It is recommended that adults drink eight 8oz glasses of water every day. This number will be different for everybody, so pay attention to what your body needs, but 8 is an excellent starting point. Don’t forget that this number can be split between different types of liquid.
Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink water. If you feel thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated. Furthermore, being thirsty can sometimes cause you to overeat.
MISSION: To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
VISION: We will lead our community to become the healthiest in America.
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