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The Ultimate Summer Workout Plan
With summer approaching and the temperatures ramping up, many of us will be looking forward to stripping down and spending long, lazy days by the beach or pool.
With a study indicating that an incredible 35.8% of Americans gained weight during the period of lockdown last year, there could be a significant number of people who feel anxious about displaying their summer bodies this year.
Whatever your shape and size, you should feel happy within your own skin. But if you are hoping to drop fat, tone up or simply enhance your confidence in preparation for the warmer months, here are some tips on how to look and feel fabulous.
Fat loss program
Most people understand that weight loss comes from a calorie deficit. This can be attained through cardio and strength training workouts in conjunction with a balanced diet. When you engage in high-intensity cardio exercise, your heart rate increases, your blood pumps faster and your body burns through calories quickly. Workouts can be intensified further by adding simple tweaks - run faster, walk uphill, jump higher and so on. All of these things have an impact on metabolism and the body's ability to purge those carbs as it engages in high-intensity activity.
For those who are eager to burn fat this summer, a workout program including a mixture of cardio and strength training exercises should be followed at least three to four times a week with rest days in between. On these days, exercises such as running, cycling, squats, mountain climbers and burpees combined with deadlifts, bicep curls, pulling/pushing resistance, push-ups and planks can be carried out to include both cardio and strength training into your routine effectively. Concentrating on certain areas (arms, abs, legs, glutes, full body and so on) on alternating days is also effective.
If you are looking to tone up and add sculpture and definition to your muscles, there’s a good chance you're probably already doing some level of strength or resistance training. In order to see changes and enhance what you already have, experts recommend an intensive four-week program that focuses week by week on form, repetitions, increased weights and completing additional rounds. By doing this four-week program, you are gradually building up your existing muscle mass and creating more pronounced arms, abs or legs, which is what people generally choose to strive for when they know their bodies will be more on show during the warmer weather.
Any summer workout program has to include good nutrition. Exercise simply isn't enough if you're looking to drop pounds or tone up. In order to fuel your body with the vital energy it needs to work out, you need to be providing it with macronutrients - fat, protein and carbohydrates - along with a selection of vitamins and minerals. Protein in particular is important to workout and weight loss programs as it keeps hunger at bay and gives us strength and stamina to complete our exercise challenges. It also boosts the metabolism, which means that our bodies burn more at rest as well as during exercise. Try to include protein in all of your meals through food types such as nuts, natural yogurt, chicken, fish, leafy green vegetables, beans and pulses.
Your summer workout program doesn't just stop with diet and exercise. It's about curating healthy daily habits that benefit your mind and body, making you feel uplifted and ready to work out. People often forget the simple things, like drinking at least 2 liters of water per day or aiming for a certain step target. Good sleep patterns are also essential parts of a healthy lifestyle. Once these habits become the new normal within your daily routine, you will notice a clear shift in your overall wellbeing and abilities.
With any type of fitness plan, it's important to know your motivation. Why do you want to lose weight, tone up or feel better? What is your ultimate goal? Having a strong mindset and tangible end goal will keep you motivated and enhance that sense of achievement when you hit your target. Nourish your mind as well as your body by journaling, planning your meals and workouts in advance, and taking time to reflect on your achievements and how far you've come on your fitness journey. Meditation and gentle exercises such as yoga or pilates can also be great ways of keeping your mental health in check, which, in turn, will benefit your physical health.