Summer is well and truly here, which means it’s the perfect time to exercise outdoors! Outdoor workouts are great because you can bathe in the glorious sunshine and reap the extra health benefits of the vitamin D exposure from the rays - just make sure you wear plenty of sun cream!
The Sundried Summer Workout can be done anywhere outdoors and doesn’t require any equipment so you can do it whenever the mood strikes. Maybe in your garden, while the kids play, or maybe in the park in an open space. Always remember to warm up properly before a workout and stay hydrated by always having a water bottle with you.
The first round is a small circuit comprising of 5 exercises. Aim to complete each exercise for 60 seconds with no rest. If you are a beginner or you have an underlying injury, take it at your own pace and rest whenever you need. If you want more information on how to do an exercise, click or tap the name of the exercise.
The second round is based on a Tabata style of HIIT training. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is a great way to burn fat and get fit. Tabata consists of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, and you can repeat that as many times as you like with as many different exercises as you like. In this workout, you'll be completing 8 rounds (1 round = 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest) to last 4 minutes with all different exercises. Go straight from one round to the next until you are finished.
Your final round is based more on body-weight strength training. You don't need equipment to have a good workout! Complete 3 sets of 10 reps on each of the following exercises with 30-60 seconds of rest in between each one. This is a full body workout which will target every muscle group. Take the exercises slow and perform each repetition with care, focussing on the muscle under tension.
Well done for completing the Sundried Summer Workout!
On completion of this workout, you should really be feeling the effects. If not, you can either work harder or make the exercises tougher. Remember, exercise is supposed to make you feel good about yourself, and you should fuel your body with nutritious food afterwards. If you find a particular workout boring, don't make yourself suffer by doing it. Find something you love, and you will find that staying fit has never been so easy.
Getting in cold, open water can hold fear or confusion for many athletes, or others just simply don’t enjoy it. Whatever happens, it’s good to be prepared; follow these tips for preparing for the open water.
When you get in open water, take time to familiarise yourself and if you can't get comfortable, at least get acclimatised. The number one issue for panic is people setting off too quickly, either just to get on or to get warm. This spikes your heart rate and your breathing and will likely set off any anxiety that will become more difficult to control. Let your wetsuit float you up in the water and try to relax back so you can float on your back – and then on your front too.
Identify the struggles of swimming in open water
Going off course. Panicking. Swimming into people. Letting your form collapse. Maybe you’re not being used to swimming in a wetsuit. Unforeseen conditions like strong currents and surf/chop.
The number one remedy to the majority if not all of the above is practice, practice, practice.
It's true that it is hard to get a lot of practice in open water because of schedules, weather conditions, and other commitments. So continue to swim your regular sessions every week. But as the race approaches take one or two of those swims into open water, whether it be a lake, estuary, or ocean. Make it as high a priority as possible.
Swimming in the pool is not completely different from swimming in the open water – but it does have its own vagaries. So to get faster at the latter, you need to do it more. And not just on race day.
Use these swims to test your wetsuit, practice sighting, get used to not seeing the bottom, and practice with others. Also, work on longer intervals at race pace. Some people will benefit from maintaining a more constant rhythm – others will need to readjust from having a rest and a push off at the end of every length!
Prepare as much as you can in the pool
Swimming in the pool still has its place. Even though you race in the open water, you should still keep up your regular weekly pool sessions, especially if your form is still weak. Of course, you can work on technique in the lake or sea, but it becomes more challenging. Pool swims are important to develop speed and improve technique without the distractions that open water provides. Use the pool to focus on your form and drill work as well as a few race pace speed sets for time so that you can monitor your splits.
If open water is simply out of the question, simulate the chop, surf, and congestion by trying to swim in a lane with three to four other people at the same time. It is tough but it will mimic that race start well. Also, close your eyes while swimming to mimic losing your ability to guide yourself with the black line (obviously only do this if you have an empty lane!) Turning before the wall is also a great way to simulate the stop-go of open water swimming, and not resting between lengths.
Swimming in open water – at least with a wetsuit – should be quicker than swimming in the pool. So make sure that you are prepared for swimming in open water. Practise putting your wetsuit on so that it fits properly over your shoulders. Get yourself comfortable entering the water so that your heart rate doesn’t take such a shock to the system come race day.
Read more: Tips For Swimming In Open Water
About the author: John Wood is a triathlete, triathlon coach, and Sundried ambassador.
Cycling can get a little scary at times, especially on busy roads or technical race courses. If you find that your training and racing is being hindered by a lack of bike handling skills and nervousness on the roads, we're here to help.
Practice your bike handling skills
This is something that all cyclists should be doing in order to improve their training and racing. If you lack proper bike handling skills, you will find that technical courses are a nightmare and that unforeseen circumstances like bad weather could mean a premature end to your race.
Skills such as riding on loose gravel, on wet roads, down steep descents, and round sharp bends are things that come with practice. Start off slow and somewhere you know well and build yourself up; the more you practice, the more your confidence will grow. Other skills such as single-leg riding can be practised indoor on a Wattbike, turbo trainer, or even just a stationary gym bike.
Ride in a group
They say there's safety in numbers, and this can certainly be true when cycling. When cycling in a fairly large group, you'll find that hazards become less scary as you can watch those up ahead tackle them first and motorists should give you more space.
Of course, that's not to say that cycling in a group is always safer and that you're guaranteed not to have run-ins with cars. However, working together as a team to overcome tough conditions can really help with your confidence.
Other skills to practice when riding in a group include making contact with other cyclists and riding very close to others. Your instinctive reaction when touched by another cyclist will be to look around at the person you've touched, but it's important to stay looking ahead at where you're going. Practice making quick contact with a friend or fellow group rider and then move on to practising keeping your hand on their shoulder as you ride. Skills such as this can improve your confidence in mass start events and will mean you know what to expect.
Get comfortable in the saddle
Receiving a proper bike fit from an accredited bike store can make a huge difference to your cycling, and it doesn't have to be expensive. Unless you're looking to really maximise your power output and aero position for serious racing, a basic bike fit can be inexpensive or even free of charge.
If you're comfortable in the saddle and your position over the handlebars feels good, you will feel much safer on the bike. If you constantly feel like you're over-reaching for the handlebars and brakes or that your legs are overstretched and you can't reach the ground comfortably, you might feel more nervous on your bike. Once you feel secure and like the bike is an extension of yourself, you will be able to handle it much more confidently and co-operate better together. Make sure you're in control of the bike and not the other way round!
Do a sportive
If you're nervous to ride on busy roads or in places you don't know well, it's a good idea to ride an organised race or sportive. These will always be well sign-posted so that you can't go the wrong way and you will be forced to face any challenging conditions that you'd usually avoid on your own.
This will be a great way of getting out of your comfort zone by riding somewhere unknown and having to face challenges head-on.
If you dread your workout, chances are you're not going to do it. Slogging away on a treadmill for hours may be good for your body but it's not great for your mind. We've put together 5 awesome ways to get fit and burn calories without even realising it!
Gardening is a great functional fitness workout as it will have you squatting down, stretching high, lifting your arms, and carrying heavy loads, all of which will challenge every muscle group in your body. A 140lb (10st) woman can expect to burn up to 300 calories from 1 hour of gardening!
This is a great way to keep fit as it is free, you don't have to leave the comfort of your home, and in the summer you will be exposed to revitalising vitamin D from the sunlight. Not only this, it's a great skill to develop and you will have a beautiful garden to show for your efforts!
2. Playing a musical instrument
It may not feel like it, but playing a musical instrument can be a very energetic activity. Especially instruments like the drums where you use your whole body to play, you can expect to burn between 100-300 calories in an hour!
Learning to play an instrument is an excellent skill to develop as it'll focus you mentally and this should help you in day-to-day life. Not only this, it can be very social as you can then join a band or orchestra to share your passion with others.
3. Playing with your children
It can sometimes feel difficult to exercise when you have kids as finding time can be almost impossible. Playing with your children by chasing after them in a park or playing football or another sport with them is an awesome way of getting fit yourself while also allowing your kids to expend all their pent up energy. Forget lifting weights, lifting your kids will give you a great workout without having to hit the gym!
Playing with your children gives you an opportunity to bond and you won't even notice how many calories you're burning. Another benefit is that you'll be helping your kids to get active from a young age which will really help them in the long run.
4. Walking the dog
If you have a furry friend or two, you can expect to burn up to 200 calories an hour by walking them. Depending on how energetic your dog is, you could even go jogging with them to help them exercise better.
By having the company of your dog, you won't feel as self-conscious while out and about and knowing that you have to walk them will be all the motivation you need.
Finally, spending time cleaning your house can be a great way of burning calories, toning up, and you'll have a beautiful sparkly house at the end of it! Just like with gardening, cleaning will act as a full body workout as you'll be squatting down to scrub low surfaces, reaching high, bending and twisting in all directions in order to clean. This will mean that all of your muscles are worked – even ones you may never have worked before!
Imagine your dream and aspiration is to be a lawyer. It means that you have to do a three or four-year law degree in law school. You’ll need to get some hands-on experience in a legal setting and follow the right path that arouses your interests. You’ll then need to follow the right steps that’ll ensure a long and fruitful career for yourself.
This simply means: there are no random actions; success requires a concrete plan.
The same applies to fitness. When you establish your fitness goals and how you’ll achieve them, you’re sure of success. You may have your goals written out and detailed. Maybe not. But know this, without these goals, you’re just like someone walking through the Sahara without any compass or guide. There’s no way you’ll find your way. You’ll only continue to wander around without reaching your destination.
To ensure fitness success, you need to take charge. There are sure-fire tips you can adopt that will help you stay on track and get the best out of your fitness training. Want to know more? Stay with us.
Identify and set your goals
The first step is to identify your goals. It’s useless wanting to achieve goals you haven’t identified yet. To identify and set your goals, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do I want to keep fit?
- What should I expect in the end?
- For how long am I going to do this?
Since your goals are futuristic, it is all you should think of. You need to note that there are short-term and long-term goals. To make it easier, you can set your long-term goals. These are the goals you want to achieve in the long haul.
After setting your long-term goals, you need to identify how you’ll achieve them in bits and pieces. The results you look forward to in the short-term, are your short-term fitness goals.
Write down your goals and make yourself accountable to achieving them. Place the paper that contains your goals somewhere you can see it regularly. It’ll serve as a constant reminder for you.
Besides, ensure your goals are measurable. It’s the best way to determine if you’re right on track or you’ve lost your way.
Enrol in a gym
Even though more trainers are moving to online personal trainer certifications, you’ll have a higher chance of achieving your goals if you enrol in a physical gym. First, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art equipment. Also, socialising with others who are trying to get back on track with fitness won’t be an issue for you.
This way, you can share insights and learn different tips and methods of getting the best out of your fitness training. Also, when you meet people who share similar objectives with you, your confidence level soars.
Furthermore, enrolling in a gym means that you won’t come up with flimsy excuses that can impede you from achieving your fitness goals. You’ll be amongst other training enthusiasts. That means you’ll have to engage in fitness programs too. It is vital that you have more confidence in the gym too.
There are general misconceptions that all supplements are bad for the body. This is not entirely true. Supplements like vitamins and minerals are beneficial for the human body.
For instance, if you ever feel stressed as a result of fitness training, you can use these supplements to get back in the swing of things. Also, you need food to ensure your fitness training is productive. If you ever struggle with eating, you can use supplements to boost your diet. However, you should be careful not to replace your meals with these replacements.
Eliminate or reduce stress
No matter the amount of training you undergo, you might likely not reach your fitness goals if you’re always stressed. Stress impedes productivity. It is why you need to avoid it at all costs.
To eliminate stress, you need to engage in fun activities. These activities ensure you loosen up. You can watch movies, visit friends, go to public places, play games, have meaningful conversations, etc.
Furthermore, you can engage in enough rest to eliminate or reduce stress. When you’re idle, some of your body systems aren’t functional. You’ll feel relaxed after and raring to go.
That’s not all; sleep is a good way to eliminate or reduce stress too. When you have a night of adequate sleep, the body repairs cells and replenishes energy in the body. The recommendation is that you should have a quality sleep every day, especially after engaging in fitness. You can have seven to eight hours of quality sleep every day. You’ll feel invigorated and motivated to participate in more fitness training. You can learn how to manage stress with exercise too.
The truth is that engaging in regular fitness training isn’t an easy thing. No one wants to stress himself or herself on purpose. The main reason people are willing to participate in fitness training is the benefits they are poised to get.
Therefore, motivation is crucial in ensuring a person reaches his/her fitness goals. One way to stay motivated is by getting support from the right people. When your loved ones encourage you constantly, you’ll find enough motivation to continue your training.
In the same vein, you can watch sports movies from which you can get motivated. Movies like Creed, Creed II, Rocky, etc. can help you stay motivated and learn the importance of regular fitness training.
Hire a Personal Trainer
The best way to reach your fitness goals is to hire a personal trainer. Personal trainers possess the necessary skills required to provide premium fitness training to clients. Asides that, they’re the best people to motivate you. It is because they understand the rigours associated with fitness exercise.
Furthermore, personal trainers help you set up a training regimen and alternate them to avoid you hitting a training plateau. With a personal trainer, you’ll achieve your fitness goals in due course.
About the author: Tyler Read is the owner of ptpioneer.com which is a website dedicated to helping people get started in the personal training industry. He helps people discover, study and pass their fitness exams.