Summer is a great time for getting fit, most people are more motivated due to the warmer weather, longer days and more outdoor activites. So, with all this in your favor, if you are looking to get fit, there is no time like the present. As a matter of fact, that really should be the motto for getting fit anyway, no matter what time of year, but increased energy certainly does help with "getting started."

"Getting started" is the hardest part to any lifestyle change. Keep in mind once you do start, it will be easier to maintain than you think; here are some great ways to get motivated.

Walk: Since the weather is nicer, there is definitely more of a reason to walk. Some of you may recall from the “Power of Walking” article that there are simple ways to increase the amount of time you spend walking, like parking your car further from the location you are going and walking the extra bit. You can also choose to walk to the corner store instead of driving to it. If you have a lunch break at work, walk around the block. All of this adds up and not only burns extra calories, it also keeps you active and motivated, which might inspire other regular exercise activities.

Take the Stairs: It is a simple, but very effective way to help get those thighs and buns into shape. In the mall, office building or apartment building, if there is the option of stairs over the elevator or escalator, take it; you'd be surprise of the difference it can make.

Garden: If you have a place for it, it is really fun and can usually use up quite a few calories. If you don't have a place of your own, perhaps there is community garden that you can participate in. Another thought is planting in various pots on a porch or even in the house. Every little bit helps and if you plant vegetables, you will also get the reward of eating your creation.

Dance: Dancing is hands down one of the best ways to burn calories and it is also equally good for the spirit. You don't have to know "how" to dance; you just have to move to the beat. Even a swooshing back and forth gets the heart going and the blood pumping. It is also great fun, getting silly with a friend or family member will create fond memories as well.

Play: That's right, if you got kids around, play with them, even if they are not yours, borrow the neighbor's kids, they'd probably love to throw a Frisbee or play a game of bad mitten or hide and seek. Like dancing this kind of activity will reduce stress levels.

Swim: Okay, maybe swimming would win over dance in the calorie burning area, since it takes the use of almost every muscle just to stay afloat. Even if you don't have a pool or live near a lake or ocean, most places have a community pool open to the public. It is a great way to get fit and stay cool.

Hike: This closely resembles the walking tip, except this one is a little more premeditated. You have to put a side the time, find a good place to hike and also preferably find someone to hike with. The good thing about hiking is you get closer to nature, which means it feels bit less like exercise and a bit more like a day or afternoon of time out. If you hike up a hill or mountain just be sure that it is not too much for you to do if you are a beginner, other than that, take plenty of water and maybe an orange to enjoy along the way.

These are just a few ideas, but ultimately it is about getting up and getting out. Life is short, so enjoy all of it and you will enjoy it much more if you are fit and healthy.


Melanie Tooker


This article is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical advice if you have any concern about your health or physical condition, and you should always consult your physician before following the recommendations presented here.  


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© Melt Magazine 2005