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Maintaining Fitness Goals During The Summer

By JEFFARAH GIBSON

Tribune Features Writer

jgibson@tribunemedia.net

THE summer is here and many pitfalls await those who are striving to stay fit during their vacation time. It’s hot outside, so exercises like walking are not as appealing. And then there is the problem of overindulgence when it comes to the culinary temptations.

But Craig Walkine, a local fitness trainer, says there are little things that people can do to ensure they strike a balance during the summer months and avoid gaining unwanted excess weight.

“People work so hard to get that ‘summer body’ and then they go on vacation and throw all caution to the wind. Research shows that some people will put on four to eight pounds while on vacation. They feel like they deserve to overindulge so they stop watching what they eat and how much they eat. And they totally abandon any type of exercise routine they previously followed,” he told Tribune Health.

But people can combat this by starting things off with a well-rounded diet.

“They can eat something they want and totally enjoy the food, however, they have to set some boundaries,” Mr Walkine said.

“They can’t have dessert after every meal, or eat heaping plates of food every day. If they overindulge one day they should balance that out by eating relatively ‘clean’ the other day. Clean eating means lots of vegetables, fruit, healthy carbs, lean meats and healthy fats. Balance and moderation are the keywords to maintaining fitness levels while on vacation.”

And physical exercise should also not be neglected during vacation time.

“Secondly, they need to engage in some sort of moderate to intense physical activity,” Mr Walkine said.

“No, meandering around the mall eating a corn dog does not count. They need to have a planned time of 30-45 minutes where they get to elevate the heart rate with some cardio and/or resistance activity two to three times a week. Almost every hotel has a gym or fitness centre or there’s a park nearby where they can get in a jog or go through an exercise routine that they created or was given to them by a fitness trainer. It is imperative that they stay active while on vacation.

“Thirdly, they need to eat smaller meals throughout the day so there’s no gorging at dinner. Fourthly, they need to increase their water consumption. The heat and humidity increases during the summer months so drinking more water keeps the body hydrated, cool and satiated so they’re not as hungry,” he said.

Mr Walkine is the operator of Outdoor Fitness Bahamas which dubs itself the nation’s leading “nature-focused” fitness organisation. All fitness activities with the group are done outdoors at different locations around Nassau.

Given that the summer months are particularly hot, breaking the “it’s too hot outside to work out” mindset is what can help people to stay fit.

“People need to get rid of the excuses. We hold weekly sessions on the beach where it is always shaded and a cool breeze is always blowing, and it is the best setting to exercise in that you can imagine,” Mr Walkine said. “The scenery, fresh air, cool breeze and camaraderie provides the ideal workout environment for someone serious about improving their fitness level and, by extension, their health. You’ll be working out in the best nature has to offer.”

He said there are numerous activities that can be done outdoors, the key is finding cool areas to work out in.

“Once you have located a cool area outdoors there are dozens of compound exercises and fun formats that you can perform that will engage all of the major muscle groups and give you a total workout in as little as 25-30 minutes. These formats include circuit training, where you perform each exercise for a period of time, say 30 seconds, take a 15-second break then perform another exercise for 30 seconds; Tabata training, a real fun and effective four-minute format where you perform an exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds and repeat for four minutes, and Ladders, where you build one exercise upon the previous exercise. You can perform two to three rounds of these formats using four to five basic exercises and be done in less than 30 minutes. Excellent exercises to use in a circuit format are jumping jacks, ab crunches, squats, push ups and high-knee runs,” he said.

Mr Walkine said that when it comes to fitness, commitment and consistency will get people to their goals.

“And, conversely, there’s one word that will always keep you from reaching your goals – excuses,” he said.

• For more information, contact Outdoor Fitness Bahamas at 432-4026, 424-0032 or e-mail outdoorfitnessbahamas@gmail.com and visit outdoorfitnessbahamas.com

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