Regular physical activity can have a multitude of benefits to your day-to-day life. A daily exercise routine can improve your overall health, reduce the risk of disease, improve mood, boost energy levels and promote better sleep. However, in search of that ‘summer body’, the main reason most people choose exercise is to lose, or control, their weight.
According to the NHS, being overweight comes with a long list of potential problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, some types of cancer, and even back pain. Thus, losing weight can benefit your life now and in the future, and there is no better way to do this than by embarking on a summer exercise routine.
However, keeping fit is nothing without a healthy diet. Improving your diet and eating the right foods will give your body the nutrients that it needs to keep going, which is especially important when undertaking, and sticking to, a summer exercise routine.
When you don’t have the time to think about nutrition, it can be tempting to reach for convenience foods, and start losing motivation in your exercise routine. But don’t worry - that’s where we come in! Diets 2 Go offers plenty of meal prep options to help you smash your weight loss goals or diet plan.
After all, it is not just about losing weight - a healthy diet is also recommended by all health organisations across the globe for protecting against disease. The World Health Organisation cites a healthy diet as including a combination of cereals, legumes, fruit and vegetables, animal products, and alternatives. It also recommends that you reduce the consumption of salt, sugars, and saturated fats.
With this in mind, the team at Diets 2 Go have put together our favourite exercises to include in your summer exercise routine, as well as tasty meal prep ideas to properly fuel your body with no extra stress. You could say that we’re determined to make sure that you stick to your exercise routine this summer.
Our Favourite Exercises That Are A Must Have For Your Summer Routine
Cardio for Beginners
Whether you opt for a quick morning exercise routine before work or a home exercise routine, as opposed to heading to the gym, everyone has to start somewhere. Therefore, here are some of our favourite cardio exercises which can suit people of all fitness levels, and even complete beginners.
Beginners may benefit from starting with longer low-intensity cardio workouts during their summer exercise routine. This could be something as simple as taking long walks in the summer sunshine, which is a lot less intimidating than jumping straight on the treadmill. Walking promotes overall health, eases joint pain, boosts immune function, and helps you lose weight.
If you prefer breaking out in a sweat, try shorter high-intensity cardio workouts. Adding burpees, skipping, star jumps or short sprints to your summer exercise routine can lead to lower blood pressure, improved blood flow, and a stronger heart and lungs.
Firstly, determine the size of the weight you feel comfortable using. If the weight is too light, it becomes an endurance aerobic activity rather than strength training. A good rule of thumb is that if you can lift the weights 15 or 20 times before you rest, the weight you are using is too light.
Start with exercises that are nice and simple to ease you into your summer exercise routine. Crucially, make sure that your daily exercise routine is manageable. Try lunges, shoulder presses, bicep curls, and weighted glute bridges for 3 sets of 10-12 reps each.
What should you eat when beginning your fitness journey?
In addition to your new daily exercise routine, you must make sure that you are eating healthy meals to see the benefit of your summer exercise. To achieve summer weight loss, we recommend choosing fish or chicken over red meat, drinking coffee or green tea over alcohol, and looking out for foods that include whole eggs, cruciferous vegetables, soups, nuts, and salmon.
Top meal for beginners: Grilled Sea Bass with Brown Rice | 24g Protein, 21g Carbs, 3g Fat, 243 kCal.
Low in calories and fat, but high in protein, this expertly seasoned fillet of sea bass is flavoured with a unique blend of herbs and spices, and served with an in-house sweet vegetable relish, and nutrient-rich brown rice.
Once the beginners’ summer exercise routine becomes too easy, it is time to move on to the intermediate cardio. This goes for anyone who has completed our beginners summer exercise ideas, or is already at a higher level of fitness and is wanting to add to their pre-existing daily exercise routine.
Now that you are comfortable with shorter high-intensity workouts, why not try high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT includes 20-30 seconds of high-intensity cardio, such as sprinting, followed by 3-5 minutes of rest, for up to a maximum of 20 minutes. HIIT is scientifically proven to improve muscle strength, body composition, gait speed, and quality of life.
After getting comfortable with weightlifting, add in some more intermediate dumbbell exercises to your daily exercise routine. Bent-over rows, the floor chest fly, and an Arnold press (popularised by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger) take things up a notch without seeming too unfamiliar.
At this point, you may like to start working with a barbell. Though this might seem a bit more intimidating, the bar of the barbell is weighted all on its own, so don’t feel pressured to add any weights onto the barbell until you are ready. Weighted squats and deadlifts will be a super beneficial addition to your summer exercise routine.
How to fuel your body at the intermediate stage
Fuelling your body at the intermediate stage is down to your personal diet goals. Where do you want to go from here? Is your goal to lose weight, or are you wanting to bulk up and gain lean muscle mass?
Some experts suggest that eating small meals 6 times a day can help you to lose weight. On the other hand, to gain lean muscle, you should make sure to eat at least 3 energy-dense meals a day, including lots of fat, carbs and protein. This is why our meal prep plans can be tailored specially for your diet goals, whether you need to eat two, three, four or five meals per day.
Top meal for intermediates: Chicken Thigh Curry with White Rice | 15g Protein, 37g Carbs, 15g Fat, 425 kCal.
High in healthy carbohydrates, fat, and proteins, this energy-rich dish will keep you going all day and help you towards your diet goal. Chicken thighs are cooked in a mild curry sauce, partnered with spinach and basmati rice.
If you’re looking to take the next step (literally) on your cardio journey, we recommend going for a good old-fashioned run. Whether you make it part of your daily exercise routine, perhaps even taking your dog with you for a jog, or you prefer a 10km run as your weekly summer exercise. Heading out on a good long run around your village or neighbourhood in the sunshine is perfect for any summer exercise routine.
If you thought walking had its major health benefits, then running is even better. Taking it slow and steady for even five to 10 minutes per day is enough to extend life by several years compared to not running at all. Although, the recommended time to reap the most health benefits is to run for around 2.5 hours a week.
Weights for Bodybuilding
If you are looking to build muscle by weightlifting, otherwise known as muscular hypertrophy, you need to have both mechanical damage and metabolic fatigue. This means that for maximum gains, you must place significant metabolic stress on the muscles, plus a moderate degree of muscle tension.
In short, muscular hypertrophy is achieved by damaging the muscle proteins, which stimulates a repair response in the body, increasing muscle size. Therefore, it is important to get your exercise routine just right to avoid doing any permanent damage.
Firstly, make sure that you are lifting enough weight and aim for 6-12 reps per set. However, add variety to your exercise routine and allow for 60-90 seconds of rest between sets for recovery. Depending on your diet goals, you can alternate between upper and lower body, and aim to lift two to three days a week, allowing your muscles to rest and recover.
Best bodybuilding meals
To make sure that your muscles are recovering from your summer exercise routine, it is key to make sure you are eating the right things. For example, salmon and other fish contain Omega-3, which helps to support and maintain the muscle-building process.
Other healthy meals for bodybuilding meal prep includes those containing chicken breast, rump steak, tofu, and quinoa. All of these are protein-rich and packed full of nutrients.
Top meal for bodybuilders: Cajun Tofu with Sweet Potato Wedges | 24g Protein, 27g Carbs, 28g Fat, 456 kCal.
Tofu is made of protein, and a great source of amino acids, calcium, iron, and zinc, which helps to tone your muscles. This pan-seared Cajun classic packs a punch and is served with sweet potato wedges, broccoli, red cabbage, petit pois, and soya beans for some extra protein.
Order Your Healthy Meal Prep From Diets 2 Go Today
Here at Diets 2 Go, our menu is regularly changing and updating, using quality seasonal ingredients so you know exactly what you are putting in your body. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, expert runner, or bodybuilder, our meal prep service can be personalised to fit your fitness and diet goals.
Place your order now for healthy meals delivered straight to your door, tailored to work in perfect tandem with your new summer exercise routine. To speak to the team or for more information, contact us by emailing INFO@DIETS2GO.CO.UK or by calling 0333 360 0278.
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