Ready to freshen up your seasonal routine? Adding a little variance into our workouts not only keeps us in it for the long haul, but can also do things like improve agility and challenge our endurance in new ways.
Here are some ideas for a fun and challenging summer!
Sign up for a half marathon
Many people will never run a half marathon in their lifetime because, well, it’s a pretty big commitment. 13.1 miles can seem daunting, but having signing up for an end of summer or autumn race will give you something BIG to work towards. By utilizing these training steps and carving out time each day this summer, you’ll be ready to run your first half marathon.
Need a little more of a push? Get your friends involved or pick an event that gives back. Many half marathons encourage creating a team and picking a charity to donate to. So grab your friends and get out there. The first mile may seem like the hardest, but spending the entire next three months working towards that 13.1 mile finish line will definitely get you pumped up.
Focus on flexibility
Fitness isn’t all about being the biggest, fastest, or strongest person out there. If nothing else, focusing on flexibility has been shown to stave off injury. So maybe your goal this summer is to be able to touch your toes, or maybe you’re striving to strike Hanumanasana, a.k.a. “The Splits”. Whatever your goal, studies show that flexibility is a key part of working out and daily health.
There are simple ways to improve your flexibility without having to sign up for an unlimited yoga membership (although that works too). Simple, daily exercises that can be added to your routine will no only help to improve your flexibility but can also help fire up your brain first thing in the morning.
Feeling a little low-energy in the middle of the afternoon? Take a break and stretch! Many of us sit hunched over a computer all day, so while you’re at your desk why not give your shoulder and arms a break. Reach them up over head and take turns pulling one arm across your chest. If that stretch feels pretty easy, try wrapping your arms behind you and around the back of your chair. Link your fingers together and pull down. Stretches like this are perfect for opening your chest and shoulders and lengthening your spine.
Feeling pretty good so far? Then move on to your neck and back. We hold so much of our tension in our neck and back muscles that we often forget what it’s like to feel relaxed. Try these easy stretches from Popsugar to help relieve any stress you might be carrying around and to prep yourself for all those fancy inversions at your next yoga class.
Build your upper body and hand strength
Feeling good about cardio, flexibility and just about everything else but STILL not feeling super confident in your ability to rock out a couple of pull ups?
Building your upper body strength doesn’t have to include daily trips to the gym or even any expensive and heavy equipment. If you have an able body then you’re ready! Give these exercises from Self Magazine a try. They’re easy enough to do right in your living room and won’t take up an hour of your time.
And if you’re looking for more ways to have fun while you fitness, check out your local climbing gym. Climbing is an incredible full body workout and you’ll soon realize (and remedy!) that lackluster hand strength.
Create a game plan
Summer always seems to be busy busy busy! As it should be; the sun is out, the days are longer, and there’s more fun weekend activities to attend than ever. So how do you keep your fitness goals on track? Make a game plan for yourself. At the beginning of each week set aside some time in your jam-packed schedule to go to yoga or train for that half marathon. Chances are writing it down or signing up will make you more likely to get up and go.
Don’t be afraid to get a little help from your friends. Encourage each other to meet up two to three times a week for a fitness class or just a simple walk in the park. The more people you get involved, the more likely you are to follow through with your goals.
Last but not least! Staying hydrated is one of the simplest and most important aspects of daily fitness. If our bodies are not properly fueled and hydrated they aren’t functioning at their optimum level. Drinking more water especially during summer time is key because chances are you’re spending more time in the sun and active–both of which can cause dehydration. The more you sweat the more you need to hydrate. So before you’re heading out of the house for a full day of fun in the sun or you’re just on your way to the gym, don’t forget to pack plenty of water!
There are tricky ways to keep hydration levels optimal. Consider making smoothies or shakes your lunchtime routine. These three options will help keep you fueled, hydrated, and ready to tackle those fresh new fitness goals!