By Evan Spargo
Summer is upon us and we all want to achieve our ideal summer body, to enjoy the heat, beach, and holidays. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a more lean, slim body with a 6-pack, and toned arms and legs? Here is the good news: It’s never too late to start exercising and to make a difference in your body shape, just in time.
We should all know by now, what we eat makes a big impact on how our body looks. If your goal is to lose weight, you need to be eating fewer calories than you’re burning each day, known as a calorie deficit. Once you get that under control, the next step is to expend more calories to increase rate of fat loss and tone our bodies up through exercise.
Often, the hardest part in beginning a regular exercise regime is knowing where and how to start. I usually get questions such as: How do I start? What if I have no gym? How do I get the motivation?
Here are five ways to pump up your exercise regime this summer:
1. Start with Cardio. An easy way to get started is to go for a run. Just find a running track, block of land, or go around your neighborhood, and run continuously over a certain distance. Action plan: Run for 20-30 minutes or 3-5km continuously.
To change things up, you can run in intervals. Which means you run for a shorter distance or time, followed by a rest break and then repeat again a few more times. This allows you to run faster, it increases your heart rate hence burning more calories, plus you don’t have to exercise for very long. Action plan: Run 30 seconds hard and then rest for one minute, or, run 100m and then walk 100m.
2. Bodyweight Exercises. Performing bodyweight exercises is one of the best ways to start resistance training because you are resisting against your own body. It will present less strain on your joints and can be done anywhere with no equipment needed.
The best exercises to start with are the ones that use the major muscles in our body, because the more muscles you use in a movement, the more calories you will burn. Start with squats, lunges, push-ups, jumping jacks, triceps dips on a bench, step ups, burpees, planks, and sit ups. Action plan: Pick five bodyweight exercises, perform 10 reps of each, one after the other, for three times with a small rest in between. Check out this Bida Life vlog for a demo.
3. Find a training partner. It’s always hard to motivate yourself to go out and exercise by yourself. How easy is it to make an excuse or tell yourself that you will start tomorrow?
A good way to get around this is to find a training partner and start working out together. That way you keep each other motivated and accountable to exercise, making sure you turn up to the session. Start by organizing runs together around a running track, perform a workout or class together at your local gym, and even play some sports, such as badminton, at your local park.
It is always great fun catching up with a friend, mixing each other’s ideas, and pushing you to complete a quality session. For some example exercises you can do with a partner check out this video.
4. Listen to audio. A great way to motivate yourself to get out and exercise is to listen to something, be it your favorite music track or album, an interesting podcast, or an audio book. Hooking in your earphones and listening to something will help you escape boredom when exercising and gives you mental energy to keep going.
A new playlist of the latest songs I have downloaded or tuning into a podcast by my favorite DJ, are things I cannot wait to listen to and makes exercise so much more enjoyable. I have friends who listen to podcasts, where they can learn about a particular topic, listen to an audio book instead of reading, and even learn material for work. All while they are exercising. This makes exercise productive for your body and also your mind.
What do you enjoy listening to? Why not start listening to it during exercise, from now on!
5. Set goals and measure. Before you start exercising, it may be a good idea to set goals and have something to aim for, as opposed to just exercising with no purpose. We want to set achievable goals, which may be in the form of a certain weight you would like to be, a size of waist line, maybe fit into a certain item of clothing, or even run a particular distance.
Once goals are set, you can decide how you will achieve those goals. For example if you want to decrease your weight by five pounds in a month, you might aim to exercise four to five times a week to help achieve that. As the weeks progress, you will measure your results by weighing on the scales and determine whether your new regime is working. If it is, then you will be motivated to keep going because it feels great. If it’s not working, then it should give you a boost of motivation to work harder and want that goal more.
Having short-term and long-term goals will keep you accountable for those times when exercising is the last thing you want to do that day.
Evan Spargo is a member of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines. He is a fitness professional and works as a host in Manila. Passionate about Health, Fitness, and Sports, he has his own blog called Bida Life which helps inspire Filipinos to live a more fulfilling lifestyle, through becoming fit and healthy, while building self-belief to achieve great things. You can check out his blog here.
PMAP Talks is the official Lifestyle column of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines. Visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
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