10 Best Fitness Tips For the Summer | Body and Soul

Published March 16, 2009

(www.BlackDoctor.org) -- These are the best fitness tips of the summer! Read the following ten tips to find out find out what you can integrate into your everyday life to boost your level of fitness.

1. Chill out
For post-workout muscle pain, choose cold over hot. Apply a cold compress for 20 minutes every 4 to 6 hours to reduce exercise-induced inflammation.

2. Change of weather? Change your workout
Seasonally changing workouts can help better shape your body. "Without seasonal variations, you could be forever stuck with a body that's never quite where you want it to be."

3. Stretching, the truth
To maximize your workout, warm up beforehand with a few low-intensity reps of the movement you'll be doing. Avoid pre-workout stretching, which reduces muscle strength endurance, according to a report in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

4. Support yourself
To lift saggy breasts, do bench presses with dumbbells or barbells three times a week--three sets of 12 repetitions on a flat bench, on an incline bench, and on a decline bench--so that you hit all parts of the chest muscle. Swimming is also a great way to perk up your underlying pectoral muscles.

5. Tea up your performance
Ingesting caffeine before a race can improve your performance. Tea is better than coffee though; java is less efficient because coffee contains hundreds of other chemicals. Drink 150 milligrams, the amount found in 24 ounces of tea, 90 minutes before start time for maximum effect.

6. Get in the zone
Find your fat-burning zone by subtracting your age from 220 and then multiplying that number by 70 percent. It takes at least 20 minutes to get into the zone.

7. Everyday moves for fitness
Do moves you'd actually make in life, like lunges, to work more muscles and build balance and coordination.

8. Walking wonders
Walking uphill can lower triglycerides and cholesterol, which are linked to heart disease. Walking downhill improves glucose metabolism, which is the key to controlling insulin and preventing diabetes.

9. Eat carbs before and after you work out
To keep your body fueled before and after an intense workout, carbs are essential. Start your day with oatmeal and berries; these fibers have slow-burning carbs that will fill you up. Then, eat a banana after your cardio session; potassium can help prevent muscle cramping.

10. Raise your heart rate to lower your body weight
For weight loss, get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise--walking, swimming, stair-climbing -- most days of the week.

 

BDO (www.BlackDoctor.org) is the World’s largest and most comprehensive online health resource specifically targeted to African Americans.

Written by Nicole Smith, BDO Staff Writer

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