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Summer is just around the corner. Here are some different activities to keep you motivated to be in the best shape possible for summer!
Staying strong and fit takes dedication every single day, so keep these 34 tips in mind to keep you confidently chugging along on that healthy path.
Take the first five minutes of your run to warm up. Go a little slower to work out the kinks and mentally prepare for your run.
Learn to breathe deeply
maximize your oxygen input.
If you’re trying to run at a certain speed, use music to set your pace.
Run with someone faster than you to push you to increase your speed or distance. It could be a workout buddy, a stranger on the treadmill at the gym, or that runner just up the trail from you.
Run faster up hills by focusing on the top of the hill, not your feet. It’ll help open your airways, and when it’s easier to breathe, it’s easier to run.
aise the incline on the treadmill to increase your calorie burn. A
five percent incline will burn almost 100 more calories
, so pump it up!
Switch up your route or workout every time you run to keep your muscles guessing and to beat boredom; run your outside loop backward.
Don’t run every day. Vary your cardio to prevent overuse injuries and to strengthen other muscles.
Work on your
to avoid pain or injuries.
To avoid injury when increasing your mileage, follow the
10 percent rule
: never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent of the previous week.
On longer runs, aim to have a negative split. The second half of your run should be faster than the first to avoid bonking and to finish strong.
Running outside not only boosts your mood, but the uneven terrain, especially when trail running, requires more balance, agility, and coordination, which makes your muscles work harder.
Don’t skip the cooldown — it preps your body for your next workout! Do this
postrun stretching sequence
to target the hips, hamstrings, and lower back.
Push yourself to go five extra minutes —
you’ll burn close to 50 calories more
Burn more calories on the elliptical. Turn up the resistance and aim for
140 to 160 strides per minute
(SPM). Pull and push the handles to work your upper body; go backward, pushing into your heels to target your glutes and hamstrings; and challenge your core by pumping the arms without holding on.
Intervals aren’t just for running! Aside from reducing belly fat, they also build endurance and increase your speed. Do sprinting bursts during all types of cardio, whether you’re cycling, jumping rope, dancing, or swimming — it also works for all types of cardio machines.
HIIT (high-intensity interval training) burns tons of calories in a short amount of time. Try
, which combines 20 seconds of intense bursts of activity with 10 seconds of rest in four-minute rounds.
Mix up cardio machines within a workout to target different muscles and keep your workout exciting. This
workout combines the rowing machine, elliptical, and treadmill
Combine strength training and cardio into one workout for serious metabolic conditioning. Try this
that mixes jumping rope with bodyweight exercises.
Proper form is more important than number of reps; use a mirror to check your form.
If you want to see results faster, do at least three strength-training sessions per week.
Save time and burn more calories by doing supersets, working opposing muscle groups back-to-back, and moving quickly from one exercise to the next without resting.
Don’t just lift dumbbells. Explore all types of equipment including resistance bands, kettlebells, stability balls, medicine balls, and barbells, as well as
moves that require no equipment
Bodyweight exercises are shown to
burn more calories
than moves that use dumbbells — think full-body exercises like push-ups vs. bench presses.
Work harder by creating instability. Stand on one leg, or balance on a BOSU ball or stability ball while doing strength-training moves.
Multitask! Don’t just stand there doing bicep curls when you could be doing squats to tone your lower b
Do a light cardio warmup before strength training to help prevent injury and post-workout soreness.
ody at the same time.
Play with speed to keep your muscles guessing. Lift slowly and lower quickly, or pause in the middle of the rep.
Keep two to three different-sized dumbbells on hand so you can reach fo
r heavier weights when working larger muscle groups.
Add more weight as you progress. Your muscles should feel fatigued within two reps of the number called for in your program. If they are not, increase the dumbbell weight by two or three pounds.
Keep things balanced and work your back as much as you work your abs to keep your entire core strong.
Treadmills aren’t just for running. Slow down the speed and try these calo
Take rest days! If you did arms Monday, do legs Tuesday. Rest days allow your muscles time to heal and get str
Yoga should never hurt. Push your muscles to the point of being worked, not overstretched.
Deep and even inhalations and exhalations should be your main focus. Use your breath to guide your movements and to know how long to hold poses. Move at your own pace — it’s OK to go out of sync with the rest of the class.
Your soft drishti (focused gaze) is important. It relaxes the mind and helps you stay balanced in challenging poses.
In standing poses like Warrior 1 and Fierce, make a mental note to relax the toes. Clenching the mat for dear life puts unnecessary strain on the feet.
Borrowing a mat for your first class is fine, but after that, it’s time to buy your own yoga mat to reduce your exposure to germs and bacteria.
Bring a h
and towel to wipe sweat from your face and to place on the top of your mat to prevent slippage.
Wear capris or pants. The fabric will absorb more sweat and will also make arm-balancing poses easier (slippery skin-on-skin contact is dangerous!).
It’s OK to speak up if an instructor’s adjustment is hurting you or if you don’t want to be touched at all.
to work your triceps even more during vinyasas and Sun Salutations.
Choose faster-paced styles of yoga such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa to burn more calories while also getting a goo
POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson
April 27, 2015 4:10pm
by Yvonne Sherwood