Just because the gyms are closed, doesn’t mean you still can’t get fitter in time for summer. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people are finding themselves working from home. At the same time, many local businesses (including gyms and fitness centers) have temporarily closed their doors, creating a situation where some may becoming less active than they normally are. The timing doesn’t help either, considering many people were still recovering from the holidays. “Ideally, most people start thinking about their summer bodies right after the holidays in December,” physical trainer Marvin Toney told Fox News. “During this time, people tend to put on an average of five to 10 pounds of weight from all the delicious food they have been consuming.” For people still looking to get in shape in time for summer, or who are just trying to prevent putting on extra weight while stuck at home, Toney said it’s still possible — even at home. As far as exercising is concerned, Toney recommended starting with a full-body workout to stimulate all of the muscles. After that, your workouts should vary based on your specific goals. “If you ask most women working on an exercise goal, you will find that many want to trim their legs and tone their hips,” he explained. “Some examples of this would be: basic squats, hip abductors, leg extensions, and bicep curls to tone up arms. You would be keeping the reps high, the weight low to moderate, and do three to four sets of these on a rotation.” For men, however, Toney said he’s noticed they often want to increase strength and muscle mass. “The reps would be lower (around four to five), the weight would be higher, and the sets would be the same (three to four). Some popular body parts for men are chest, arms, and back.” Some examples of exercises that target these areas, Toney said, include “bench press, seated cable row, cable rope extensions (both bicep and triceps), and band chest fly. You can also include squats and leg press for building up muscle in the quads. Seated machine exercises for these body parts are also a great way to build muscle and strength for both sexes.” In the absence of those machines, however, gyms and fitness influencers are taking their workouts online — sometimes for free — to help folks stick to an exercise regimen using weights or resistance techniques. Diet also plays a big part in your fitness, Toney said. “For women wanting to tone and firm, you would be consuming good protein such as lean meats, protein powder, nuts, and eggs,” Toney explained. “Your carb intake should be low to moderate, and water intake should be increased. This helps to burn fat, increase metabolism, and promote lean muscle growth that leads to that ‘toned’ look.” If you’re looking to bulk up, however, he recommends increasing your protein consumption along with carbs and “good fats.” “How much protein you should be consuming is a widely debated topic in the exercise community, and there is no clear answer,” he continued. “For men, a good rule of thumb is 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. For women, this would be slightly lower.” Lastly, if you do get in shape for the summer, how do you prevent yourself from falling apart again during the winter? “The key to maintaining anything is consistency” Toney answered. “Although we all have a good degree of determination about our goals, it can change depending on our mood. Consistency never changes!” For anyone struggling to work out while at home, many fitness companies have opened up their online catalogs for free, with several providing “no-equipment workouts” to a wider array of people.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have every day be one of those “perfect” days? You know, the kind of day that includes a peaceful walk in the park, a heart-pounding workout, a playful few hours with the kids, and healthy, delicious eats at each meal—all the good stuff, in other words. While somewhere in a far off land that may be reality, here on planet Earth, it’s not. Most of us spend our days meeting deadlines at work, shuffling the kids to and from school (and soccer practice, ballet, and baseball too), and hoping to have the chance to actually sit down for a meal. Finding the time to work out and cook healthy meals is easily pushed to the wayside in our ordinary, busy lives. But sneaking it in isn’t impossible if you prioritize it. Fortunately, I’ve found some no-fail, simple strategies that will help keep you on track, no matter what life’s throwing at you. Here are my top 8 everyday tips that work for busy people (aka, everyone).
To read author Jennifer Cohen’s tips, which begins with the most basic tip…drinking water…click on the text above.