Summer Body Booster Series Part One
With Summer just around the corner, it’s time to start putting the work in NOW to ensure you feel confident, healthy and happy when the long evenings in short sleeves, bikini bodies, sizzling summer weddings & beachside barbeques start to roll onto our social calendar yet again!
Over the next 4 months prepare for plenty of tips to start implementing so that come July you’ll be fit as a fiddle & glowing with a little self-love. Most individuals tend to leave it a little too late to shape up, and in an attempt to change all their habits overnight prior to that summer holiday, may end up worse off than where they started. Getting into shape for Summer doesn’t have to be as complicated or gruelling as some may think! Just focus on getting a little resistance training in weekly, your daily activity levels up, and ensuring you fuel your body correctly for the changes you implement!
Lets begin with some simple daily activity improvements to focus on this month, followed by a detailed look at breakfast tips & tricks, and lastly two workouts which you can do from the comfort of your own home! Over the coming months prepare for more workouts with a little added “oomph”, plenty of useful tips, and a dive into lunch, dinner and snack ideas to get you feeling like your best self yet just in time for Summer.
How to easily increase your daily activity levels?
Depending on your weight, you may burn approximately 80 calories/hour watching TV, but 216 calories/hour walking, and even more if you add a little incline or speed to this walk! Lets face it, we all love a good Netflix binge from time to, so why not make use of that hour a little more efficiently by watching it on an exercise bike or treadmill?
Here are 5 more ways you can unknowingly burn a little extra this month:
- Ban the use of elevators and lifts for the next month, where possible. Use the stairs rather than the lift with every opportunity you get. How many times a month do you get in a lift or use an elevator? Aim to use the stairs instead.. it all adds up at the end of the month!
- Park far away from your destination. Don’t be greedy parking as close as possible to the doorway of the supermarket, you may add an extra 200 steps to your day by parking at the far end of the carpark. Do this each day, at work, at church, out shopping… and watch that step count jump up!
- Plan two outdoor adventures. Take the time now to plan an outdoor activity this month with some family and friends such as a cycle (I suggest the Waterford Greenway), a hike/stroll (have you visited Glendalough or Giants Causeway?), or a visit to an adventure centre (such as Castlecomer or Tayto park).
- Try a new exercise class! Broaden your comfort zone and have a giggle in the process by trying out a new local class such as Zumba, yoga, circuits or maybe stretch as far as the running club, a great way to get active and socialise.
- Get 20 minutes outdoors at least 5 days a week. As our evenings lengthen, get out for a stroll, some gardening, or even hand wash your car and allow your body absorb some sunlight creating vitamin D in the process! Remember Vitamin D will be a crucial requirement to ensure your body can absorb calcium to keep your bones strong & healthy.
How to boost your Breakfast?
This month’s meal focus is breakfast. Firstly, ensure you make this part of your day to set you up with energy to tackle the activities ahead and keep your concentration levels up. It is important to ensure your breakfast is full of nutritious foods which provide you with calcium, iron & B vitamins, as well as protein for satiety. It’s easy to tick many nutrient boxes when you include a serving of dairy in your breakfast, and it doubles over as an excellent pre workout or post workout recovery meal! Here are some of my top favourites:
- Oatmeal – Mix a serving of oats with some milk over the hob or in the microwave for a great start to an active day. I suggest sweetening this with some honey or stevia, and adding toppings such as heated or frozen berries, a dollop of yogurt and a spoon of your favourite nut butter.
- Omelettes – Who doesn’t love the smell of a freshly cooked omelette in the morning? I suggest whisking up 2 eggs, plus 2 extra egg whites, with a half glass of milk and 25g or cheddar cheese. Throw some vegetables’ in such as tomatoes, scallion or spinach, pour into the pan and voila! A calcium, protein and fibre rich breakfast.
- Yogurt – A great option if you are tight for time, 125g of whole or low fat yogurt which can be topped with some fresh fruit, nut butter, seeds, Manuka honey or cinnamon to fuel the day ahead.
- Smoothie – The best option for those rushing or with a low appetite in the mornings, which also can be an excellent source of protein and calcium as a post workout shake! Here are the ingredients for one of my favourites to blend and enjoy… (Lola approves):
- 1 sliced banana (freeze slices for a better consistency)
- 200ml whole/low-fat milk
- 1 tspn peanut/powdered peanut butter
- ½ scoop whey protein (I recommend vanilla flavour!)
- 1 handful of blueberries
- 2 tspns yogurt
Home/Gym Workouts twice a week!
I am going to be sharing two simple but effective full body workouts with you monthly that only require a kettlebell, dumbbells, mat and step. Pop these into each week where possible, just set that alarm clock 25 minutes earlier and get to it! Remember to recover with a nutritious post workout meal, such as any of the breakfast options above.
Perform 4 rounds of the following:
- 15 Squats
- 12 Stepper Split Jumps
- 10 Stationary lunges per leg
- 8 Caterpillar Burpees
- 8 Toe Taps into Commandos (or 16 toe taps)
- Finish with a wall sit challenge – how long can you hold it?
Perform 4 rounds of the following:
- 15 Kettlebell Swings
- 16 X Toe taps (use Dumbbells if possible)
- 14 Alternating Lunges (try to add a jump!)
- 20 Pike to planks
- 10 Split Jump Reaches
- Finish with a burpee challenge – how many can you do in 20 seconds?
Remember, there is no time like the present to start making a change!
DYK: Milk is a great choice post-exercise. It has lactose to help to start the refueling process, high-quality proteins, whey and casein to assist muscle growth and repair, and, as it’s a liquid, milk helps with hydration. Check out some simple post-workout meals here.
Nathalie Lennon is a Personal Trainer, Online Coach and Ambassador for The Complete Natural. You can find more from Nathalie on Instagram and YouTube!