Spring break is just around the corner, which means it’s time to get your beach body ready! Whether you’re getting fit for a spring break vacation or just want to be in better shape when the weather gets warmer, you can use these tips to get in shape over the next few months!
The first step in getting fit for spring break is to set goals. Do you want to trim down your belly? Do you want to tone your arms? By defining what exactly your goals are, you can focus more on the results of your training. But while setting goals is very important to getting fit for spring break, unrealistic goals aren’t going to help you. For instance, trying to drop 100 pounds in two months isn’t realistic. Set smaller, attainable goals like: lose five pounds each month, go to the gym three times a week, or be able to do three consecutive pull-ups. Setting smaller goals will motivate you to keep going instead of giving up after you don’t reach unattainable goals.
If your goal is to lose weight, cardiovascular exercise is the name of the game. Cardiovascular exercise, or simply “cardio,” is exercise that raises your heart rate. Here are a few cardio exercises you can try:
This is the most simple form of cardio; all you have to do is run! But while it may be simple, it’s definitely effective. Try to jump on a treadmill and run a little farther every day. Start by finding a comfortable speed (four to six miles per hour is about right). Set a goal for the day’s run. Maybe try to run for five minutes without stopping or a mile without slowing down. Try to do a little more than you did the day before. If you can’t jog, simply start with walking.
Jogging on the treadmill is simply not appealing to some people. Instead, you can try an incline walk. Most treadmills have the ability to raise or lower so you can run or walk on an incline. Set a comfortable walking speed at two or three miles per hour. Next, set the incline of the treadmill somewhere between five and ten degrees, whatever you’re comfortable with. Then, all you do is walk! Just like jogging, try to do a little more than you did the previous day.
If you have joint pain, you might be looking for an exercise that doesn’t have as much impact on your joints. The elliptical machine significantly reduces impact. Simply step on the machine and start to move the pedals. It’s almost like a standing bicycle. The key to using the elliptical is finding the resistance setting that challenges you without causing more joint pain.
This is one of the best forms of cardio exercise as it involves your entire body. Swimming is also great for joint health. Try swimming these different strokes for a different type of cardio routine.
If “standard” exercising isn’t for you, or if you want to change up your workout routine, give group fitness classes a try. Group fitness classes are exercise groups led by an instructor. You can take classes that focus on cardio, flexibility, strength building, and more. Some group fitness classes are fast and intense, while others are peaceful and soothing. Basically, whatever your fitness goals are, there is a group fitness class for you!
If you’re looking to drop a little weight before spring break, chances are your eating habits need to change. There are a few things you can do to improve your daily eating routine. For starters, cut out the fast food. Sure, it may seem cheaper and faster than making your own meals, but there is very little you can get from a fast food joint that is healthy for you.
An easy way to make sure you aren’t in a rush and hurrying through the drive-through is to pre-plan or pre-cook your meals. Check out these awesome pre-cooking meal ideas.
Wanting to get in shape is a great thing; it means that you want to improve yourself. But why stop after you get back from vacation? Use that momentum you gained while preparing for spring break to continue a healthy lifestyle all year!
With two locations in Lafayette, Indiana, the Lafayette Family YMCA is a community committed to healthy living and social responsibility. For more fitness tips and to stay up to date about YMCA events, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or visit our website here.