Summer's knocking on the door and with it comes the type of weather that begs for performing outdoor activities. After all, who wants to stay indoors when the sun is shining and the temperature is hovering around 80 degrees?
With this in mind, here are a few of the hottest fitness trends for shaping up this summer. Give them a try and you'll soon see that you don't need a gym to stay fit!
Boot Camp Workouts: Boot camp workouts can be a great way to increase your strength and endurance while burning a boatload of calories in the process. In theory (and as the name implies), these types of routines are designed to mimic the training of military soldiers. In practice, however, they can encompass a wide range of aerobic and anaerobic activities.
Mostly, they involve callisthenic activities using only your body weight. Strength moves such as pushups, squats, and chin ups are interspersed with running in place, jumping jacks, and other aerobic-oriented activities for a terrific total body workout. Boot camp exercise programs are often held in local parks or schools. Provided you find the right class for your abilities, they can be a great way to shape up while enjoying the great outdoors.
Beach Fitness: The sand provides a unique environment for getting into shape. Studies show that the energy cost of jogging or running on sand is about 1.6 times greater than running on hard surfaces. Translation: You burn 60% more calories for the same amount of time spent exercising! Moreover, the softer surface isn't as harsh on your joints, reducing the prospect of repetitive motion injury. Better yet, you get to work on your tan and enjoy the sounds of the surf. Pretty cool, huh?
Don't like to run? Consider playing a game or two of beach volleyball. Not only will you have fun, but you'll burn a substantial amount of calories in the process. Just make sure you limit the number of people in the game. Any more than two or three members per side will significantly reduce the energy cost of the activity.
Outdoor Biking: It's widely known that spin classes can be a great activity for shedding body fat. But what often goes unreported is that you can achieve similar metabolic benefits from biking outdoors. Just make sure you mix things up.
Choose a path that has a lot of hills. Spend some time pedaling while standing up from the seat. To really simulate the Spin Class experience, plug in your iPod headphones and listen to some motivating music. And best of all, take pleasure in the fact that you're getting all these benefits while enjoying fresh air and sunshine.
Brad Schoenfeld, CSCS
How do you plan to shape up this summer? Let us know at the new Diettogo.com Community Forum.
Brad Schoenfeld is one of America's leading fitness experts. He's the author of Sculpting Her Body Perfect, 28-Day Body Shapeover and the bestseller Look Great Naked. Schoenfeld is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and as a personal trainer by both the American Council on Exercise and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. He's also been named "master trainer" by the International Association of Fitness Professionals. Check out his website www.lookgreatnaked.com