Love Your Summer Workout: 10 Motivation Tricks
Tips 6-106. Summerize your intervals
To keep your fitness level up when the mercury is too, do your regular cardio (whether it's walking, running, swimming, or biking) at a slightly slower pace, but add in 30-second speed bursts every three to five minutes. You'll maintain your conditioning and burn more calories without having to go all-out the entire time, says Doug Chapman, president of Hyperfit USA, a fitness boot camp in Ann Arbor, Michigan.7. Make like a pretzel
Turn the rising temperature to your advantage and concentrate on improving your flexibility with some yoga moves. "When your body temperature is up, you can go deeper into a pose," says Edward Vilga, author of Yoga for Suits and a yoga instructor from New York City. One move to try for perpetually tight hamstrings: Stand and bend forward from the waist, reaching toward the floor (if you're not flexible enough to touch the ground, put your gym bag or a tote in front of you and touch that). Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. To stretch your hips -- another inflexible zone -- sit with one leg crossed over the opposite thigh and bend forward, keeping your arms outstretched; hold for 5 to 10 breaths.8. Practice random acts of fitness
Sneak in little bits of exercise with some summer-friendly activities. For example: Washing the car for 30 minutes burns about 100 calories for a 140-pound woman; gardening burns 128. Other options: throwing a Frisbee, walking the dog, playing a game of volleyball (all about 100 calories), mowing the lawn (176 calories), biking around the neighborhood (192 calories), or hula-hooping, which burns about 50 calories in just 10 minutes.9. Protect your head
A mesh visor is a great way to shield your face from the sun while still allowing excess heat to escape from your head. One good option: the Nike Feather Light Visor ($18, nike.com), which has a Dri-Fit terry sweatband to move moisture away from the skin and mesh insets to keep cool breezes flowing. If you're biking, consider one of the new helmets that have deep vents to provide breezy airflow, such as Specialized's new Decibel bike helmet ($170, specialized.com) and Giro Pneumo ($145, giro.com).
They're more than 80 percent water, so fruits such as grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are a tasty way to replenish fluids and boost your energy post-workout, says Leslie Bonci, RD, director of sports medicine nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Keep 'em frozen for a refreshing treat. Other good options: Smoothies, frozen yogurt, or Jell-O with fruit chunks. "They provide the perfect mix of carbs and fluid and they're easily digestible in the summer heat," explains Bonci. If you've lost a lot of salt (hint: your clothes have white sweat stains after a workout), replace sodium by drinking V8 or a sports drink.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July 2007.
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