Summer has arrived, and it’s brought its shorts, swimsuits and tank tops with it. Baring more skin in the hot months often leads people to think about weight loss, since there are fewer clothes to hide behind. The great news is that summer is the perfect time to begin forming good habits, and prioritizing your health. The warm weather means you can get out more, and the longer days mean that pre or post-work exercise sessions are much easier.
We don’t want any expensive equipment standing between you and better health, so here is our list of the best, and most accessible exercises for summer weight loss.
Yes, walking! So many jobs today demand that you sit down and stay seated for hours. Human beings were made to walk. Our skeletons, musculature and metabolism are all built from the ground up to support this kind of movement. A sedentary job could be harming your health. You’re not burning the calories you take in, your posture may be suffering, and your energy levels can plummet.
But the damage can easily be undone by simply putting one foot in front of the other. This is a low impact activity as well, so if you’re currently babying an injury, walking is a great way to stay active and build up some strength and stamina as you heal. You can expect to burn between 60 to 100 calories per mile that you walk.
If walking is low impact, then swimming is zero impact. Swimming offers a full body workout in a semi-weightless environment, meaning you can push much harder without risking injury. Swimming is so gentle, and so healthy, it’s even perfectly safe for pregnant women (who have their doctor’s permission, of course).
You don’t have to worry about becoming the next Olympic swimmer. You can still expect to burn a whopping 500 – 700 calories per hour from a continual dog paddle, or even treading water. If you want some expert advice, check to see if your local pools or gyms offer adult swimming lessons.
One of the fastest ways to blast away fat is to replace it with lean muscle. Free weights are a straightforward and non-gimmacky way to change the composition of your entire body. You can expect to burn 200 – 300 calories during your workout, and then continue burning calories all day as your body repairs your muscles.
Begin with low weights, and remember to work alternating muscle groups on the same day – so if you work your biceps, also work your triceps. Other common combinations are chest and upper back, quads and hamstrings, and abs and lower back/glutes. You’ll be amazed how quickly you see results. If you’ve been shy about trying weights, here’s your official invitation!
So, with little more than a pair of sneakers, a swimsuit, and a few light dumbbells, you could be well on your way to a leaner and healthier body. Above all, your workouts should be fun. The more fun you’re having, the easier it will be to stick to a routine. So, get out there, and have a great time.