Fitness

Jenni Falconer: “It’s the best time of year for being active”

This is without doubt my favourite time of year. With long sunny days, early sunrises, late sunsets, barbecues and salads, what’s not to like?

I thrive in sunshine – it’s almost as if I’m a form of Duracell bunny, where my battery is charged with warm, bright rays. I love the summer and am happier, healthier and (if it all goes to plan) more tanned than in winter.

Plus, it is the best time of year for being active. I really enjoy going to the gym but in the summer months there is so much more to offer as an alternative to working out indoors. What’s more, if you are smart, your summer workout won’t cost you a thing. Here are my top fitness activities for summer…

Running:

All you need for this are a decent pair of trainers (trust me on this, you need to avoid injuries) and a good, supportive, sports bra (to avoid damaging breast tissue with excessive bouncing), and then off you go.

The hardest part is getting up off your garden sun lounger or dragging yourself out of bed an hour earlier, but once you’re out the front door, you will be so pleased you made the effort – especially when your endorphins start pumping round your body giving you a definite feel-good status. Before long, you will become addicted to this buzz and experience a sense of pride that you have committed to the activity. Deny it all you want but I guarantee that you’ll soon start boasting about your running!

Hill training:

You can also find a hill near where you live and run up and down as many times as you can without stopping – or with minimal stopping. This will get your blood pumping, and you will seriously sweat. You will definitely feel like you’ve done something cardiovascular by the time you stop. A residential road which is pretty steep or a slope in the park can both work.

Circuits:

Of course, there are other activities as well as running. Why not head to the park and start doing circuits when the sun is out? There are plenty of miniworkouts available online to give you ideas on how to tailor your own programme and done properly, they will tire you out, tone you up and burn calories.

A park bench can be used within your workout and you could incorporate your own body weight as resistance with this – try press ups and tricep dips off the bench, for example. Or do lunges with one leg stretched behind you resting on the bench and the other in front. Bench squats where you sit up and down are excellent for toning too.

Take advantage of these summer months when you can be outside – not only tanning and toning but also saving money. If you don’t do it now, the clocks will change before you know it and the days will be shorter, darker, wetter and colder. Suddenly we’ll all be back on the treadmills in the gym wishing we’d taken advantage of the better weather! Go on, do it – you won’t regret it!

Health & Wellbeing