While it may not be all sunshine and braais just yet, summer is on its way. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or simply want to rock your summer wardrobe with confidence, the time to get moving is definitely now. But where to start your summer training?
- Understanding your fitness level (and taking any injuries or health challenges into consideration) is important before starting a focused training plan.
- Whatever summer training you do, remain hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day – take a water bottle with you during your workouts.
- Remember to start slowly and gently increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to let your body adjust, adapt and get stronger without injury.
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1. Know Your Fitness Level: Do you spend lots of time sitting at your desk? Can you easily jog up flights of stairs while talking on the phone? Or are you toned and strong? Doing too much too soon can cause setbacks while not doing enough can result in boredom and a lack of progress.
If you’re not sure where you stand when it comes to your fitness, chat to a fitness professional or personal trainer to help you get a sense of where you currently are and help set realistic goals for your summer training.
2. Your Routine: The key to starting something new is to carve out set times in your week. This way, it’s easier to stick to a training plan and your friends and family will know that this time is your time (unless they train with you!) and can support you on your way.
3. Have A Plan: Including a mix of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility work is a great way to keep things interesting, prevent burnout, and work different muscle groups. This is where joining a gym can really helps. Most good gyms will have a range of equipment, classes and trainers who are ready to help. Add hiking, mountain biking or Padel into the mix to make the most of warmer days.
4. Gear Up: Get off on the right foot with the right shoes. They’re essential for providing the support you need and protecting against joint damage or stress. There are different shoes for different activities, for example, long-distance runners will need very different footwear from a tennis player. Chat to a good sporting goods store for advice, or a Personal Trainer for gym workout shoes.
When it comes to clothing. Keep it breathable and if you’re taking your summer training outside, remember the SPF and reflective or hi-vis colours so that motorists can easily see you.
5. Dish Up: Fuelling your body with the right nutrients helps you get the most from your summer training. Each person is different, but a rule of thumb is to include a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats on your plate. Also, when you’re actively training, eating smaller meals more often is a good way to maintain energy levels and help you recover from your sessions faster.
6. Listen To Your Body: Pay close attention to how your body is feeling. Some stiffness and tiredness are to be expected, but if you experience pain, discomfort, or extreme fatigue, you may need to give yourself more time to rest and recover between training sessions. Seek medical attention if things really aren’t feeling as they should.
7. Stretches: Many coaches will agree that warming up before a session and cooling down after training is as important as the training itself. Pre-training, do dynamic stretches (move and activate) to increase the blood flow to the muscles and boost flexibility. After each session, do static stretches (stretch and hold) to improve flexibility and reduce post-exercise soreness.
8. Track Your Progress: Are your clothes fitting a little better? Are you sleeping more deeply? Keep track of your summer training progress and celebrate your achievements as you go. Small victories go a long way to boosting your motivation and helping you stay committed to your goals.
Virgin Active believes that every journey begins with a bag. When you pack your bag to train, you’re making a commitment. A promise to yourself to show up, to level up and to live life well. So gear up and Box, Cycle, Run, Dance, Sweat or be Zen at one of their many clubs, 5 of which are in greater Sandton. They help to get you on track to be summer-ready.
Take a look at the Virgin Active clubs and the monthly special offers, near you.
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