Summer is fast approaching and one thing on many minds is the desire to be ‘beach ready.’ So, how do we get there?
Unfortunately, some people jump on the fad diet bandwagons and hit the pavement. Sure diet and exercise is the answer but there is a right way and a wrong way, or to put it better there is a smart way and a silly way.
The simple equation of energy in versus energy out is correct. In order to lose weight the amount of energy you consume needs to be less than the amount of energy you use. To do this safely, you shouldn’t be losing more than 1kg per week, ideally 500grams. This might seem like it will take an eternity to achieve your goals but this is the healthiest way to go about it.
There are a few important exercise tips to remember which will help anyone along their ‘beach ready’ journey:
· Aerobic exercises are the best for spending energy,
· Interval training is great too,
· Keep the body guessing,
· Strengthening exercises for base-line energy use,
· Avoid injury with strengthening and stretching exercises,
· Consistency is key!
Interval training is a type of fitness training which incorporates periods of higher intensity exercise with periods of lower intensity or recovery. An example of this might be for every 90 seconds on the treadmill: 30 seconds jogging uphill with 60 seconds slowly jogging or walking briskly on a flat. Try dropping 10 minutes of this into your 30 minutes of cardio and see how you go. Some research has even recently emerged suggesting that interval training tends to selectively assist with fat reduction from the mid-section (not a certainty, but one can only hope).
Keep the body guessing
Keep your body guessing by mixing it up. If you continue to repeat the same exercise routine over and over, your body is intelligent; it will learn to achieve the same movement in the most efficient manner. This is great if you are striving to be an elite athlete, but for most of us trying to get back into shape this is somewhat counterproductive! So once a week try a different activity, or alternate between a range of exercise activities.
Strength exercises need to be included in every good routine. A slight increase in muscle mass not only improves your bone health and your ability to perform daily tasks. Increased muscle means your body needs to use more energy to activate that muscle, which increases how much energy you need on even the laziest of days. This is an increase in your basal metabolic rate, the amount of energy your body uses at rest.
Avoid injury by stretching
Simply running every day might cause repetitive strain injuries and with poor biomechanics many things could go wrong. Talk to your physiotherapist or exercise physiologist about what you will need to be doing to avoid causing yourself an injury during your planned exercise. These are typically a range of strength exercises in conjunction with some stretching exercises to create a physical and biomechanical balance for your body.
Consistency, habit and motivation
The last tip is to keep it up! If you don’t see the results you want in the first couple of weeks this doesn’t mean that nothing has changed. Keep up the work you are doing and you will be sure to reap the benefits soon enough. And remember that there are always people who can help you out if you have questions or are unsure about something.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Bodytrack health and fitness