Getting in shape for summer

Published 10:43 pm Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May is the month when I hear many of our Suffolk Family YMCA members talking about getting in shape for the summer. Many have weddings to attend, vacations to plan for or are just haunted by a pair of shorts or a swimsuit hanging in their closets.

Whatever, the reason, late spring is a great time to revamp your fitness routine or begin a new fitness program to improve your health and your body image. The easiest way to improve your exercise results is by altering your workout. If you are consistently doing the same routines week after week your muscles will become used to your regimen, and your results will slow.

If you work out consistently, you may want to consider changing up your workout routine. Do you cycle five days a week? If so, you will see better results if you confuse your muscles by adding weight training to your schedule. If you need the support of a group exercise class, try our strength and tone or cardio circuit classes. Both classes use light weights and stretch bands to increase muscle strength.

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If you are not a fan of cardio and focus solely on weight training try adding several cardio sessions during the week. A brisk walk on the treadmill or a 30-minute workout on our new AMT will help you slim down and gain better results.

Water exercise is also a great option for members who want to alter their workout. Deep-water group exercise classes and lap swimming both offer a great cardiovascular workout, while toning muscles using the resistance of the water to gain strength. I recently added lap swimming to my exercise routine and found muscles I never knew I had! If you need assistance with stroke techniques, don’t hesitate to ask our aquatics director for pointers.

Finally, consider going back to the basics to increase your fitness results. I have added push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks and jump rope to my weekly routine and I am amazed at the results. I feel stronger and leaner and have seen a change in my muscle definition in just a few weeks.

For more information on building a fitness routine or to schedule your free Suffolk Family YMCA member fitness evaluation, call the member services desk at 934-9622. I look forward to seeing you trying different activities at our YMCA soon.