By Matthew Petrone and Kristin Edwards, Mosier Physical Therapy Clinic, Kenner Army Health Clinic August 15, 2013
FORT LEE, Va. (Aug. 15, 2013) -- A lot of people wish they had a body fit for the beach during this time of the year. Some regret that healthy diet and exercise plan that never happened, and others wonder why those first fitness steps they took a while ago eventually wandered back into the same unhealthy habits.
Worry and regret, however, won't get you anywhere. There is still time to get beach ready before the end of summer, and it's never too late to adopt healthy habits that will produce benefits all year long.
Here are a few simple exercise tips to be the best you that you can be:
• Slow and steady wins the race, and it helps you get to the finish line later in life. Studies show that as little as 10 minutes of moderate physical activity daily can lead to a healthy heart. One study found that 60 to 90 minutes of weekly exercise reduced heart disease risk by up to 50 percent.
• Running or walking is a great way to improve cardiovascular health and comparable alternatives like hiking or playing games outside is a good way to reap the same metabolism-building rewards. Start a walking or running routine with short, realistic goals and gradually increase the distance and time. One safe way to transition to full running is to begin with four minutes of walking followed by one minute of running, and slowly alternate the two until you're able to run without walking.
• Don't get frustrated if you can only run for 30 seconds or get winded after a short exercise period. Any physical activity is a health benefit, not how much you accomplished.
• The weather will continue to be hot for many months, so keep in mind that your body needs to adjust to the changes. When starting an outdoor exercise routine, pick a time in the day that is cooler to decrease the chance of a heat injury.
• Dress appropriately for the activity and take more breaks when the temperature rises. In warmer weather, remember to increase the fluid intake throughout the day, not just during exercise.
While you are trying to get beach ready keep some of these tips in mind. A smart start will help you enjoy your new fitness lifestyle for many seasons to come.