We’re not all superhumans who love to workout. Or, at least, I know I’m not. So, when I think about the importance of my upcoming fall soccer season versus the importance of finishing all thirteen seasons of Supernatural on Netflix, Netflix often wins and I find myself leaving the cardio for another day. With that said, I’ve built up a fun yet intensive “training program” over the years for us movie junkies to stay fit for summer. For example, instead of running for two hours on the treadmill, you can burn just as many calories and get just as good of a workout by swimming, either casually or laps. Plus, you can go with friends and get a workout in without feeling like you just ran three miles uphill. Also, jumping in the pool after a gym session is a great cool-down (in both ways).
But, if you did want to go to the gym, what would you do? Some of the best workouts, in my opinion, involve HIIT, or high intensity interval training. Let me break this down: when you exercise with HIIT, your workouts are twice as hard in a fraction of the time. Basically, you can fit in a workout in twenty minutes and still burn as many calories as an hour of steady-state cardio. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be sprinting or running stairs for this type of training. HIIT can involve anything from sets of heavy, close-to-failure weights to fast-paced bodyweight exercises to, yes, full-out sprinting. Typically, intervals are thirty seconds on, thirty seconds off, forty five seconds on, fifteen seconds off, and one minute on, one minute off. When HIIT is performed correctly, your body should be completely exhausted after a fifteen to twenty minute session and should continue to burn calories for up to three hours after your workout, depending on the session length and intensity. This is my personal favorite type of workout because you can just throw all of your attention to your workout for twenty minutes tops and then get on with your summer plans while your body burns even more calories.
Another easy and enjoyable way to workout in the summer is by getting a group of friends together and playing a pickup game of any sport you like. My friends and I love going to the soccer field or volleyball court for a few quick games that usually turn into sweat and laughs. While you may not feel like it, you’ll be burning off all of the lemonade and ice cream you can eat. This can go hand-in-hand with using the pool for exercise with friends. Each of these is a fun and functional way to get off the couch and out of the house this summer and can definitely save your fitness without killing your summer social life. Happy training!