Spring is here, and summer is in the air; the days are getting longer and the night is full of the sound of chirping frogs (my absolute favourite thing to fall asleep to). We now have the opportunity to enjoy more outdoor activities like golf, hiking, biking, tennis, etc.
What I want to remind everyone of is the difference between activity and exercise. Just because we become more active during the summer months doesn’t mean that those activities can replace proper exercise, namely, resistance training.
Don’t get me wrong, activity has plenty of health benefits, and we should aim to have some level activity every day.
Exercise on the other hand, by definition, is hard, dedicated work on all of the major muscle groups in your body, leaving them significantly fatigued at the end of a workout. This workout will illicit significant positive changes that improve both your fitness and your health.
Keeping up your resistance training during the summer weeks (as little as one hard session every 7 days) will keep your fitness levels at their peak, improving performance in whatever activity you like to do. It will also help to prevent injuries during your activities; and dramatically improve and sustain your strength and stamina.
We encourage everyone to keep up this practice in spite of the nice weather for the reasons stated above. The biggest challenge of course is fitting it in amongst the other things atop your schedule. This challenge is not so daunting when you stop to consider that you really only need to dedicate 20-60 minutes per week to it. Even one 20-minute session can help you to maintain your strength and stamina that you’ve already worked so hard to obtain over the winter months.
Here are a few recommendations for your exercise and activity during the summer:
- Get outside for some fresh air and sunlight on a daily basis, or at least every other day.
- Schedule your resistance training workout in advance and stick to your routine
- Aim to be active daily. Even 10 minutes of walking counts!
- Eat fresh, seasonal and locally sourced foods to maximize nutrient intake
- Get plenty of rest. Naps are good. 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis is better.
- Drink plenty of water
- Get some sun on your skin. Avoid mid-day sun as that is the most intense, but mid-morning / mid to late afternoon exposure will help you to create that oh so crucial hormone, Vitamin D. The rest of the time you should cover up and use sunscreen.
From all of us here at OneUp Fitness:
Stay active, keep lifting and have a fun and safe summer!