Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eight Simple Summer Fitness Tips

I have to believe that world calamity and global economic stress have a lot to do with it, but there's been a distinct theme within a few of the commencement speeches I've tuned in to over the past few days: appreciate life; it's the only one (of this sort) you get! And so, with all of the elaboration around simplicity, it occurred to me that a few simple, basic fitness tips would be in order this week.

Indeed, every once in a while it makes good sense to simply remind ourselves of a few of the most basic things that you can do to enrich your life and enhance your lifestyle. So, here are my Eight Simple Summer Fitness Tips ...

1. Lift Weights two to four times per week. As described in detail a few weeks ago, increased lean body mass increases your metabolism which significantly increases your calorie burn. Load bearing exercise also helps prevent osteoporosis ... a threat to both men and women.

2. Move More. Use the spread office suggestions from my January blog. Cut your own grass. Walk your own dog. Walk down the hallway to check with a colleague instead of phoning her. Park in remote areas of every parking lot you park in. Use the stairs. All of these simple, additional body movements add up quickly in the long run.

3. Ride your bike to work at least once weekly. Check our May blog to begin your new commuting life style. You'll look better, feel better, be healthier, and reduce your cabon footprint all at once!

4. Eat Clean. The June issue of The American Journal of Medicine reports that Americans eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily has gone from 42% in 1988 to 26% in 2006. One thing is for sure: if you don't buy them, you won't eat them, so be sure to spend at least 25% of your total grocery shopping experience in the produce section!

5. Eat Smart. Smaller meals digest better than larger ones. And they help keep your stomach smaller. Don't eat big meals before bed time. Do eat breakfast every day. Don't get crazy on the carbohydrates, and limit or eliminate highly saturated fat content foods from your diet.

6. Get enough rest each day. Proper rest assists with recovery from exercise. It also effects your job performance, and is critical to regulating insulin. Researchers have also found that proper rest can reduce your risk of developing cancer.

7. Stretch Daily. Certainly, you can do yoga to improve your flexibility, but a simple home stretching regimen is plenty sufficient for most people. More important than anything else is that you build a mere 10 to 15 minutes of stretching into your day.

8. Hydrate. Develop the habit of carrying a water bottle with you where ever you go. Drinking plenty of water helps you digest food better, increases muscle and joint flexibility, and helps keep your breath fresh!

But if this all seems like a lot of simple tips, and therefore, no longer simple at all, here's a bonus tip ...

9. Make incremental adjustments. Changing habits takes time, effort, and determination. Rather than attempting to tackle all 8 of these tips tomorrow, pick and seriously focus on just one for each of the next 8 weeks.

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