Summer is the season most likely to separate the fit from the unfit. Sometimes all it takes is a swimming cossie to confirm this. Other times fitness means the difference between being able to run around and have fun or not. When the sun is out, the water cool and the sand toasty, who wants to look like a sea cow washed up on the beach or just sit around while the rest of the family has fun?
So get in shape now! A good way to start is by taking a jog, playing sport or swimming twice a week for at least 40 minutes without a break. However, if you are really unfit, don’t push it too much to begin with. Not only is fitness important for maintaining physical health, it can help you stay on top of things emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
To maintain physical fitness, you need to keep three things in mind.
The first is nutrition. If you eat a healthy and balanced diet containing all the food groups in the right proportions, then your nutrition will be good. Though it’s okay to eat chocolate and chips on occasion, make sure it’s in moderation.
The second is aerobic fitness. This refers to the all-over condition of your cardiovascular (heart) and pulmonary (lung) systems. For example, if you find yourself huffing and puffing every time you walk up a little hill, then it’s time to get into some aerobic exercise! (But again, go gentle at first.)
The third is muscle strength. This is achieved by pumping iron (lifting weights) or doing strenuous activities that increase muscle mass. Many body builders follow a two-day split routine whereby all muscle groups are exercised over two gym visits. This means that the muscles get a ‘day off’ to recover and grow.
It’s a good idea for your fitness regime to include a combination of aerobic and muscle strength exercises, as each feeds off the other.
So get out there and start sweating!