If you (like everyone else) gave yourself a goal to get in shape by summer, then the clock is ticking! The first day of the season is right around the corner, so what are you waiting for? Start the sunny months on a fit and healthy note. Here are some quick, easy ways to tone-up for summer.
1. Amp up your outdoor routine
Walking, running and biking are great ways to get your heart rate up outside. However, if you insert strength-training exercises into those cardio sessions, you’ll not only burn more calories but sculpt more muscles.
Every 5 or 10 minutes in your routine, try doing 15 repetitions of one or two bodyweight resistance exercises—squats, push-ups, planks, lunges, triceps dips or burpees. You’ll see right away: a few sets of these exercises make a big difference. Or let someone else do the thinking for you and sign up for an outdoor bootcamp that combines cardio and strength into every workout.
2. Savor the tastes of the season
Local farmers markets are in full swing, so why not ditch the processed, boxed goods in your pantry and start eating as natural as possible? Check out the farmers market nearest you in Washington and Oregon, and then get cooking! The Portland Farmers Market website offers recipes for appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts, using seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients found at your local market.
3. Incorporate activity into your day-to-day
When it’s raining outside, running errands on your bike can be pretty unappealing. But you have no excuse when the sun is shining.
Pick a few of your weekly (or daily) errands and opt to complete them in a more active manner. For example, if you usually take the elevator at work, take the stairs. Or if you tend to email your co-workers, walk to their desks. Do squats while you cook dinner, park as far away from the mall entrance as possible, ride your bike to the coffee shop, even walk to the post office. For more ideas, check out our post on easy ways to have a healthier work day.
Bottom line: The more activity you can cram into your weekly routine, the more fit and ready for summer you’ll be.