Five tips to go from summer slip-up to summer shape-up

Most people plan on shaping up more during the summer.
We are outdoors more in the summer and tend to be more active and burn more calories, but there are also lots of opportunities to let fitness and diet lag. From family parties and picnics, to wedding and vacations, it’s easy to lose the battle of the bulge.
Here are five tips to go from summer slip-up to summer shape-up:
1. Exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes – You need to meet this minimum requirement to be fit, but strive for even more exercise time. You should mix in cardio and strength training exercises.
2. Start simple – If it’s been a while since you exercised, start with basic compound exercises that work multiple body parts: squats, lunges, pushups, bench presses and planks.
Do three sets of 10-12 reps with each exercise two or three times a week – it’s up to you if you do them all on the same day or split them up. Rest for a minute or less between sets to keep your heart rate in a cardio zone.
3. Mix up your cardio – If you find different ways to get cardio exercise it will make exercising more beneficial and fun.
Get moderate to rigorous cardio exercise by doing activities such as using a treadmill, elliptical machine indoors, and also working in outdoor exercise such as bike rides, brisk walks and-or runs and swimming.
4. Upgrade your home workout room – If the temperature is too high outside to exercise, it’s nice to be able to do it inside in the convenience of your own home. Consider buying new fitness equipment, such as a treadmill, elliptical machine, a home gym or free weights. A great way to never miss going to the gym is to have your own gym that’s located just a walk down the hall at your home. Keeping a workout log is an excellent way to track your progress and set goals. A specialty fitness dealer such as At Home Fitness can help you find the best deals and equipment to fit your needs.
5. Enjoy a sensible diet – It’s OK to have some cheat days when it comes to diet, but just limit them as much as possible. If you enjoy several helpings off the grill, then make sure to eat extra healthy the next day. I enjoy having oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, fresh vegetables with a sandwich at lunch and salad and fish or chicken for dinner.
If you are going to be consuming alcohol, mix in glasses of water in between to stay hydrated and help limit how much you’ll drink.
Summer goes strong from Memorial Day to Labor Day and there’s a lot more fun to be had.
If you follow some of these tips you’ll have fun and shape-up. That’s having the best of both worlds – enjoying summer and feeling and looking fit.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. Consult a doctor before beginning any new fitness program. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at

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