Summer is a great time to increase your workouts, but remember to build up gradually. If you have only been exercising sporadically, start out every other day for a few weeks, and then add a day each week.
But, for those of you who are already in good shape, here are some tips to get you super fit and faster if you run or bike and enjoy participating in fun runs or fitness walks.
- Interval training is a key. Once or twice a week you need to vary your normal 3-mile walk or run by picking up the pace in short segments. This type of training is a little more intense but since you are only pushing the pace for short periods it’s not overly taxing. For example, after you walk or jog slowly for a ½ mile or 5 minutes, then alternate picking up your pace a little faster for 1 minute then slowing to your normal pace for 1 minute. Alternate these 1-minute pick-ups for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on your ability, then cool down by walking or jogging slowly. Afterwards, stretch. You can do the same thing on a bicycle or aerobic equipment.
- Pick one day a week to do a longer walk or run. You might do the first mile or so easy, pick up the pace a little in the middle, then slow down the last part.
- Variety. Interval training adds variety but also try a different activity once a week or every other week. Try a yoga class or ride a stationary bike instead of using a treadmill. This will give you a physical and mental break and will cut down on an injury.
- Set goals. Time yourself on a distance like a mile and then give yourself six to eight weeks to see if you can do it faster. Don’t time yourself on the mile every week. Give yourself a little time.
- Sign up for a walk-a-thon, 5k fun run, or hiking series for motivation to keep working out.
- Stretch more! And drink more water to stay injury free and healthy.
- Keep your shoes in good shape; buy a new pair twice a year.
- Keep a log of your workouts.
- Workout with a group for motivation
- Sign up for a Get on Track class or get a personal trainer.
Summer and Seniors
Too hot to trot?
Summertime is a great time to exercise with more daylight hours, but you need to take precautions since the heat and humidity can cause problems.
And in general folks past the age of 60 have to be a little more careful. As we age our bodies ability to dissipate heat weakens. Everyone is a little different, so check with your doctor, and especially if you are on medication check with him/her, since some elevate your heart rate etc.
- Best time to exercise is in the morning before 10 am. Even in the late afternoon, the pavement may still be very hot from hours in the sun.
- Stay in the shade when possible.
- Acclimatize. Your body takes a few weeks to get used to higher temperatures.
- Drink, drink, drink! You need to drink water before, during and after you exercise. If you are getting sore calve muscles etc, it could be a sign of dehydration. Fruits are loaded with water so eat lots of them too.
- If you have had problems in the past of heat exhaustion etc. you are more prone to a repeated event so check with your doctor.
- Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing. And white or light colors best to wear. Dark colors hold in the heat.
- Wear sunscreen at all times and use a visor to block the sun off your face.
- Limit your exercise to shorter distances on hot days, or try inside walking, or a 50 plus fitness type of exercise class. These classes are indoors and most are air-conditioned. Call for a schedule if you need a summer list! 541-4500
- Try to keep excess sweat off your body. If playing tennis, keep a towel close by to wipe off sweat. Too much sweat on your skin holds in the heat!
- If the temperature and humidity add up to over 160 then it is a hot, dangerous day to exercise. It may be “too hot to trot”.
Summer Family Fitness
Summertime is the best time to get the whole family in shape. We have no excuses that it is too dark when we get home from work as the sun sets close to 9 p.m.!
- Take a family walk after dinner. If you eat a light dinner around 6 or 6:30 p.m. you could still fit in a walk around the block at 7:30 or 8 pm. We often walk (and now jog as she is getting faster) with our five-year-old while she is on her bike.
- Pick a park once a week to take a picnic and make sure you involve an active game like soccer, or volleyball before you eat, or a leisurely stroll after you eat.
- Plan vacations that are active. If you love the beach that is a great place to take more than one walk a day. We check to see if they have lots of bike trails around to stay fit.
- Camps for kids that involve sports and fitness are great to keep your kids active. And if they are playing a game of baseball, you can use that time to walk 20 minutes around the outside of the field or park.
- KTC (Knoxville Track Club) has a great track program for this area that is inexpensive and introduces kids to running and field events. Also, check your local Park and Recreation department who offers free or inexpensive activities for children.
- Exercise with me on Fit and Fun at 7 a.m. on ETPtv M-F or try my new show “Teenage Fit and Fun w/ Missy Kane” at 1 p.m. on your local PBS Stations.
Studies show that parents who are regularly exercising are more likely to have kids who also participate in fitness activities and will value the importance of fitness as adults.