Ahh Summer! The air is just lighter as we all take a collective sigh of relief that winter is over. We can relax for a while and enjoy being outside, recreating, vacationing.
As we do each year here on the Keep Moving Weekly blog, lets pause and check in on how our exercise needs to adjust to this change in season. Why? Because….
Consistency is the holy grail of exercise.
~ Michelle Segar, PhD
It is the consistency that makes it exercise. Exercise is defined as “something practiced in order to develop or improve a specific capability or skill” If you practiced something sporadically, would you expect to keep that skill? It is not how our body works. Our body gets used to what we give it, in both directions.
I find summer can be tricky when it comes to consistency with exercise. We have this greater sense of optimism. Life will be easier when the weather is better. Well, parts of it yes. But there is no denying some changes in summer that make getting enough exercise a challenge. Schedule changes, vacations, entertaining, travel and that “its summer!” mindset. These are all wonderful parts of this time of year, to be enjoyed to the fullest. We might justify taking time off from exercise because we are more active in the summer. However, we know that physical activity is not exercise. We want to get to the fall feeling great because we have maintained our fitness level. The good news it, it does not take as much time to maintain your fitness level. It just takes some extra planning and attention during those lazy, hazy (sometimes crazy) days of summer.
- Cardiovascular exercise: do some form of cardio at least every three days. If possible, exercise at your usual intensity, even if you can only fit in 10-15 minute sessions to maintain your stamina level.
- Strength training: one day a week will maintain your strength, twice a week will continue to improve strength.
- Stretching: frequency is important when it comes to stretching. However, Stretching is “portable” enough to do anywhere. Stretching makes great movement breaks to avoid the stiffness that comes from being still for a while (like on long car rides).
When the weather changes, its time to put some extra attention on how our exercise changes too. Keep exercising through the summer by prioritizing consistency. The payoff is enjoying the benefits of exercise year-round!
Keep moving, be well,