Taylor Norris, B.S., NSCA-CPT, ISSA-CFT
Spring is upon us. Trees are budding. Flowers are blooming. The weather is getting warmer and people are beginning to spend more time outdoors. Being outdoors is a great place to start incorporating more physical activity.
And girls, it’s beginning to become swim suit season.
Experts agree that exercising outdoors can not only motivate you to exercise, but also aid in the enjoyment factor a bit more. I enjoy being able to take my workouts outdoors. There is a middle school with an outdoor track surrounding a football field close to our home that I utilize when the weather starts turning nice. I utilize the track to run and do plyometrics and I utilize the football field to perform various sprinting drills and other plyometric exercises. There is even a mini bleacher available to run up and down. (Anyone ever do that for a sport in high school or junior high??)Here are some exercise tips to get ready for swim suit season:
Cardio: When trying to slim down, I recommend at least 4 days per week of cardiovascular activity, but no more than 5 days per week.
Some great outdoor cardiovascular activities include (but not limited to) hiking, running, biking, swimming and walking. As far as time is concerned, a minimum of 30 minutes but no more than 45 minutes of good, heart pounding activity. You want the bulk of your time spent around a 7 on a scale of 1-10 (1 being sitting on a couch doing nothing and a 10 being climbing Mt. Everest).
Strength: I recommend 2-3 days per week of strength training exercises. Plyometric exercises are the best to choose from when working out in the outdoors. These exercises can be virtually “aparatus” free but if you have workout bands, kettle bells or medicine balls, then by all means, utilize these as well. When I work out, I like to do a full body workout each time. I utilize a simple rotation method: upper body exercise, lower body exercise and then a core exercise…then repeat. If you are wanting to slim down, you want lots of reps and lighter weights (or use your bodyweight).
If you have access to an outdoor space (a track would be a bonus), you can create your own workout “gym.” Lunges, squats, pushups, burpees, plyometric drills, sprinting drills can all be done in an outdoor space. The world is your oyster when it comes to working out in the outdoors.
And last, but definitely not least: Diet. And I don’t mean get on a diet. I mean pay attention to what you are eating. Proper nutrition is such a huge part to a getting to that Swim Suit body. If I had to put a percentage on it, I’d say it’s 60% of getting to that goal (or any weight loss goal for that matter). I am not a Registered Dietitian and I don’t make any Nutrition calls for people because that’s the work for the professionals. I highly recommend seeking out a Professional (and I don’t mean someone who calls themselves a Nutritionist…there is a big difference…anyone can call themselves a Nutritionist) to fine tune your Nutrition program to make sure you are eating right for your goals. If its not in the budget, Weight Watchers has proven to be a highly effective Nutrition program for people.
Want to give one of my workouts a try? (Please note this workout is for those who do not have any limitations. If you have any current or previous injuries, please make modifications.)
2 laps around the track (I walk at a brisk pace to get my body warmed up.)
Laps around the track for 30 minutes, alternating running the straights and walking the curves
Lunge to Reverse Lunge…30 total (15 each side)
Toe touch crunches with feet straight up in the air…15 reps
Plie Squat Jumps…30 total
Tricep Dips…15 reps (Can be done without a bench)
Single leg, straight leg, dead lift…30 total (15 each side)
Inverted V-Pushups…15 reps
Alternate Leg Lowering…30 total (15 each side)
Squat + hip extension…30 total (15 each side)
Hand Walk…15 reps
Front Bridge (Plank)…30 seconds to 1 minute
Repeat this entire strength section 2-3 times.
Walk 1-2 laps and then STRETCH!
Working out in the outdoors is always more enjoyable if you have a workout buddy. Not only to have the moral support but to have an accountability partner to keep you going when the going gets tough. Take a break from being indoors and enjoy being outdoors during this beautiful time of year. It’s nature’s way of saying it’s time to get moving!
All images courtesy of my FitnessBuilder Pro Account...For access go to www.fitnessbuilder.com
Whew, I'm tired just reading that post! Great advice though, right? Thank you so much Taylor for the great advice. I expect you all to try these and get yourselves bikini ready! And don't forget to head on over and check out Taylor's blog at Goings On in Texas where she posts about a lot more than working out!