fantastic fitness fixes for summer
The days are getting longer, and nights are getting warmer. As things heat up our exercise routine often gets abandoned. If you are looking for something new to motivate you through the holiday season look no further. Accredited Exercise Physiologist Kathryn Kirchner gives us her top exercise picks for the warmer months.
Tabata Aqua is high intensity interval training (HIIT) for the pool. Think aqua aerobics on steroids. Tabata is low impact style of HITT which is based on alternating 20 second high intensity ‘work’ or exercise periods with 10 second ‘rest’ periods. Like any ‘HIIT activity, tabata aqua is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness while working against the resistance of the water. HIIT training is an excellent supplement to an exercise routine that includes other endurance (longer duration) type aerobic activities. You can work at your own intensity during tabata aqua session so this is a good option for varying fitness levels. Check you local pool for tabata aqua sessions, or if you have access to your own pol or beach nearby, do your own version of tabata. Try exercises like star jumps, running, high kneews and leg lifts in the water.
Did somebody say funky music? Shaking your thing? In the air-conditioning? What more could you want? Dance workouts are designed to get your heart rate up and improve your fitness, while having a great time. If you don’t fancy a gym class, create your own dance class at home. A lot of dance workout videos are freely available on YouTube, so crank up the air-conditioning, set up the computer screen, and invite some friends over and dance until you can’t dance anymore!
Many swimming clubs and pools around the country are now offering fitness- based, swim squad training for all age groups. Don’t worry, there’s no need for a pre-dawn wakeup; the classes are often spread throughout the day to cater to different schedules. Lap swimming is a challenging activity for the body, as we coordinate our movement with timed breathing. Most of these squads incorporate stroke technique instruction which can be useful for the recreational triathlete or the novice swimmer, as it challenges our neuromuscular (brain to muscle connection) systems too.
7 minute workout
The 7 minute workout is a quick and simple exercise circuit which uses your body weight as resistance for the exercises. This means that the exercises are easy to complete anytime, anywhere without the need for special equipment… perfect to do at home in your daggiest workout attire or in your hotel room on holiday. The workout targets all major muscle groups and requires a basic level of fitness. So if you’re a beginner, save the 7 minute workout for when you have increased your fitness to a moderate level. It is recommended to repeat the circuit a few times for a full workout, say two or three times. The real kicker with the 7 minute workout is the value for time. Because it is vigorous intensity, you can do a lesser duration for the same health benefits (as moderate activity). Physical activity guidelines recommend you get 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, or just 75-125 minutes of vigorous activity. So save time and incorporate some vigorous activities if you can! You can download the workout for free from iTunes.
making every step count
10,000 Steps is a free program that encourages Australians to increase their physical activity. Regular physical activity helps lessen the likelihood of developing chronic disease, including cancers, and helps boost your mood, concentration and emotional health. With the help of a pedometer (or activity tracker), 10,000 Steps helps make you aware of how active you are and encourages you to move more every day. So, head to where ever it is cool or air conditioned and make every step count. Visit 10000steps.org.au to find out more.
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