Summer Fitness Do’s & Don’ts
Don’t Wait for Your Thirst to Tell You When to Drink
Once you start thinking about a nice, cold glass of water, you’re probably already 1 to 2 percent dehydrated, says Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
DO use the “lemonade test.” When you peek in the toilet immediately after you urinate, you want to see liquid the color of pale lemonade; if it’s a vibrant yellow or looks like apple juice, you need more fluids. ACE’s general recommendation is to drink 17 to 20 ounces of water (a typical single-size bottle of water, like you’d buy in a convenience store, is 20 ounces) two to three hours before exercise on a typical day—this takes into account the fact that you’ll probably hit the loo before heading outside. Then, during your workout, try to drink an additional 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes (this is especially important on sweltering days).
One more thing: Remember that you still sweat even when you’re swimming, doing water aerobics or surfing, so leave a bottle of water on the shore or at the side of the pool.
2. Don’t Protein-Load Before Your Workout
Some research has suggested that too much protein before a sweat session could elevate your basal temperature, making you feel even hotter. You’re better off saving the protein bar for after your workout, when it will help you rebuild muscle.
DO cool off your insides with a slushie. Researchers have known for some time that lowering core body temperature before and during exercise can help athletes perform better, says Rebecca Stearns, director of education at the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut—and now we have a tasty, science-backed idea of how to do that. A study published in 2010 in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that when Australian athletes drank a flavored slushie before running on a treadmill in a hot room, they were able to keep up the pace for an average of 10 minutes longer than when they drank cold, flavored water.
One more thing: Don’t plan to stop by the 7-Eleven on your way to the track; Stearns points out that the slushies in the study were more like frozen Gatorades than convenience-store Slurpees. The sodium in sports drinks can help the body retain fluid that is lost through sweat, so for the ultimate workout refresher, try combining your favorite sports drink with some crushed ice.
7 Benefits Of Circuit Training
Get Maximum Results in Minimum Time
Unless fitness is your job, nobody has hours a day to spend in the gym. Circuit training is the perfect workout for the time-crunched fitness fiend. You can set up as many or as few stations as you like (Get a quick tutorial here) and then continue through the circuit until your time runs out. You can fit it in effective, total-body workout whether you have 15 minutes or an hour.2. Challenge Your Whole Body
Ever found yourself just wandering around the gym floor and winging your workout? (It’s ok, we’ve all done it!) By incorporating individual “stations” as part of a whole-body circuit, you’re guaranteed to hit every major–and minor–muscle group.3. Mix Cardio and Strength Training
You love cardio but know you should do weights too (or vice versa), and forcing yourself to do an entire workout you don’t enjoy can be tedious (and much easier to skip). Circuit training offers the best of both worlds by allowing you to combine intervals of high-intensity cardio with heavy weight lifting for a comprehensive–and seriously kick-butt–workout.4. Send Your Metabolism Soaring
Thanks to the many benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and heavy weight lifting, circuit training kicks your fat-burning furnace into high gear. You’ll torch more calories in 20 minutes than you would in an entire hour on the elliptical reading a magazine. Plus, the afterburn effect will have you torching calories for up to 48 hours after your workout ends.5. Never Waste Another Minute
Waiting in line for your favorite machine or trying to avoid conversation with the chatty musclehead camped out by the dumbbells are fast ways to kill your motivation. With circuit training, it’s easy to swap out one station for a different exercise and still get the same great workout.
6. Try All the Latest Fitness Tools
Have you ever been curious about a new piece of equipment but weren’t sure how to use it well enough for an entire workout? Circuit training allows you to mix in short bits using cutting-edge gym tools such as the TRX, Bosu, or kettlebells so you can get comfortable with new equipment without having to commit.
7. Beat Gym Boredom
Because circuit training is such a flexible format, the options in how you set up your workout are limitless. Whether you like to stick to one routine for a while to measure your progress or prefer mixing it up every time you go to the gym, having a plan will make you more confident and efficient. Need a few ideas to get started? Check out our article on how to create the perfect circuit here!
The Only Downside of Circuit Training
Circuit training can take up a lot of equipment and/or space. It won’t be a problem if you’re in your basement, but if you’re monopolizing half the equipment on the weight floor, just remember to be a good sport and let people work in with you. Who knows, they might even inspire you to try something you’ve never done before
Homemade Slurpee Recipe
- 3 cups water
- 2 bananas
- 2 6-ounce cans frozen orange juice concentrate
- 2 6-ounce cans frozen lemonade concentrate
- 2 12-ounce cans pineapple juice
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 large bottle of club soda
- In a blender, combine the frozen concentrates, bananas, pineapple and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Combine the syrup and the blended juices and pour into a flat plastic container or glass baking dish. Freeze until solid. This could take up to 24 hours.
- To serve, scrape out the frozen juice and serve it in a glass, topped with club soda. You determine the sweetness of the finished product by how much club soda you use. If you use a tiny bit of club soda it is extremely sweet and tart. Add a little more and it is a bit more mellow.
|•||¼ tsp vanilla extract|
|•||¼ tsp Stevia (optional)|
|•||¾ cup egg whites, Liquid|
|•||1 tsp protein powder, vanilla|
|•||½ cup all bran cereal|
|•||1 ½ tsp cocoa, unsweetened|
|•||2 tsp oil, high oleic safflower|
Spices / Flavoring
|•||¾ cup strawberries, fresh or frozen|
|•||1 ¼ tsp syrup, lite|
Drain juice from thawed strawberries, and set aside
Crush All Bran cereal, mix with egg whites and remaining ingredients
Pour mixture to pancake form in oiled skillet. Cook over medium heat until golden, flip over
Place crepe in serving dish, add strawberries to the crepe, then roll up
Pour syrup over top
Per serving: 351 calories, 30g protein, 11g total fat, 33g carbohydrates.
Source: Healthy Transformations Recipes