Perfect Time to Get in Shape
By TJ Watkins
Editor’s Note: We, at GOTG, are working on losing those winter pounds and getting ready for the summer. So we met up with TJ Watkins (and GOTGer Robin Swanson’s trainer) to get some tips. Well, we definitely got more than we expected – we sweated and learned a lot … and were very sore the next day. We thought that it would be great for TJ to share his insights and health tips to get us motivated to shed that winter layer and get healthy. Stay tuned for next week’s installment with specific exercises and hilarious pictures (teaser included to the right) of GOTGer’s performing them.
It’s warming up for working out.
Yes, this is absolutely the best time of the year to get into better physical shape because of the many physiological and psychological drivers. This is easy to verify: just watch how many people are running in parks and joining local gyms. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find the cardio section of the gym brimming with energy at 4:30 in the morning. It seems folks really are inspired to get the day started off well. Here are five reasons why this time of the year is the best time to get into shape…
Getting Out of Bed Early
Warmer weather makes it is a little easier to get out of bed. Getting out of bed earlier is half the battle won for almost all fitness activities. If we combine getting up with exactly the time and type of activity to be performed, our minds do not even have to make a decision: we’ll automatically know to get up and run 5k at 6:00 a.m.
Sunny days = More Activity
As the sun becomes brighter every day, the average person is loading up on the hormone vitamin D. The benefits of vitamin D are that it promotes healthy mineralization, growth, and remodeling of the bones along with modulating neuromuscular function and reducing inflammation. In layman’s terms, it strengthens bones and helps muscles function better, thus creating an overall sense of wellbeing. In sunnier weather, we automatically want to do more activities.
Natural Increase in Metabolism
Another great thing about hot summer days is that our basal metabolic rate increases, meaning that our actual metabolism speeds up to keep our bodies cooler in hotter weather. All we need to remember to do is to stay hydrated, which further helps the metabolic process. This explains the phenomenon of how people seem to lose weight in the summer and have it all packed on again by Thanksgiving.
During this season, the collective energy pushes us to get in shape. People are out and about running, walking, and cycling across parks all over California. What makes this time different from the New Year’s resolution energy is that it is not driven by guilt, but more from an exploration into feeling better and healthier. This combined with a basic game plan will drastically increase the duration of exercise.
Summer Body Image
The summer body image is the final driver. Every person has a desired body image, and this image is usually in the context of summer or some warmer weather backdrop. The pursuit of this ideal body image for this summer is particularly compelling, especially if it did not quite materialize last summer. This is probably the biggest driver that no one will really admit to when embarking on her journey.
Other articles by TJ: