To me, the extra daylight during the summer months means more time and opportunity for exercise. You’re no longer huddled under a blanket at 4 pm when it’s already dark outside (so depressing, isn't it?). The days are longer, people seem happier, salads are more appealing than comfort food (especially on hot, humid days), and the warm weather wardrobe is so much easier than pulling on all those extra layers during the winter it can make you feel lighter.
I find being motivated to exercise is easier, too and the perfect time to experiment with different outdoor workout routines until you find one that is fun to do—and commit to doing—on a regular basis! Like so many things about summer, walking is more enjoyable during the warm weather. There's no ice to slip on and it's daylight at 5:30 a.m. so consider an early morning lap around the park or the neighborhood before work. Experiment using your own body’s weight and do some push ups on a park bench or run up and down all the outdoor staircases you stroll by. Or, turn on your favorite fast song and kickbox your stress away. Jumping rope is another terrific cardio workout and clorie burner and can be done anywhere. Tuck a jump rope into your suitcase before you head out on your next summer road trip.
With summer vacation time coming up, get into a routine now and continue it while your at your vacation destination. Pledge to do something active every day. Regular exercise will enable you to use your body not just today but for many years to come. And who knows, by the time winter arrives again, the good habits you make during the warm weather may even stick around so you won’t be any need to make a New Year’s resolution!
Squat to cross kick and punch is from my Anti-aging Walking Workout (www.nikkifitness.com) and works legs, abs, shoulders and cardio.
From a standing position, squat like you are about to sit into a chair, and use the strength of your quadriceps and glutes to stand back up. Next, raise your right knee and then extend your flexed right foot out into a kick, while punching your left hand toward your foot. Return to standing and squat. Then repeat on the other side with your left leg (lift and kick). Punch with your right hand to complete one rep. Repeat 10-20 times.
Make it harder: Add light hand weights (3 – 5 lbs.) to increase the intensity and chisel your arms for a sexy look in those sleeveless tops and dresses.
Today is the youngest you will ever be again, so make the most of it!
(I’m turning 39 this summer and I’m working out right along with you so I can stay in shape enough to keep up with my 6 year-old-son and year old daughter!)
One MUST HAVE
Wearable fitness devices—the ones that track how many steps you take in a day—are all the rage at the moment. But I say, start with shoes that make you want to move first! Vionic shoes are designed by podiatrists with OrthaHeel ® technology and are a must-have for anyone with low arches like me. I even prefer wearing these comfie, high-tech shoes to being barefoot at home and they're great for walking briskly along the NYC streets where I live.They feel better than anything I have ever put on my feet before.
Vionic’s innovation lab has created walking shoes for men and women to help you increase your fitness level, flip flops to get you out of those un-supportive thong sandals, slippers for cozy comfort indoors, and even wedges and boots for feel-good fashion. Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, is a doctor of podiatric medicine with a holistic approach to foot care. She explains why wearing supportive shoes—inside and out—matters, especially for people with diabetes. "People with diabetes are more prone to foot problems.Think about it. If you loose feeling in your feet, you could step on something without knowing it and damage your feet," Dr. Sutera says. "Thats why investing in quality footwear is important. Aside from protecting your tootsies, good shoes help promote circulation and foot health."
When your feet and legs feel energized and healthy, fitness is more fun! And when it’s fun, you won't dread doing it. Exercise can even make you feel like a kid again—even if you don't have any to chase around like me!