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Stay Fit For Summer
by Bob Bonham


Bob Bonham's - Stay Fit For Summer

The dog days of summer are here, and everyone is spending their weekends heading to the beach, park and other outdoor destinations. And as the beach season kicks into high gear, many guys fear that thrill never make it out of the summer sporting the six-pack they started on back in January. As a result, many go on unhealthy crash diets and frantically try to shed a few excess pounds at the last minute so they’ll look great shirtless on the beach. But just as you need to ease back into a regular fitness routine after time off in the winter, you also must avoid faddish diets if you want to get in shape sensibly, says fitness expert Bob Bonham of Strong and Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, N.J. He offers the following tips for getting fit before summer :
Bob is a regular contributor to many bodybuilding magazines.


If you’ve been inactive for even part of the summer due to extended vacations and so forth, you simply cannot start our exercising at the same level you did last winter. Studies show that it can take as long as six weeks to establish a workable fitness base. It is okay to start out slow, whether you're doing cardio or weight training, and you're less likely to injure yourself if you don’t push yourself to levels you may not be physically prepared for. Once you’re back in action in the g)'m, try going to the club every other day, but no more than four days per week in the beginning. Remember to keep a journal to track your progress (such as how much weight you lifted during a particular workout, or how long you ran on the treadmill). This way, you’ll know it is time to increase the amount of weight if an exercises starts to become too easy.

It is futile to try losing body fat from just one area of your body, no matter how hard you train it. Exercise and fitness are all about training the entire body - not just the parts you think need work. Remember, your body loses fat and builds muscle proportionately. So don’t spend all your time just training your abs or pecs. Train your entire body, but never train any body part more than once a week (especially if you're starting over at the gym after a mid-summer hiatus). Also keep in mind that muscles grow when you're resting and recovering, so be sure to take a day off between training in the beginning so your body will have to time to heal and grow stronger.

A recent study from the American College of Sport Medicine said that people should lose no more than two pounds per week. If you're losing more than that, you're probably starving yourself, and will most likely put the weight back on once you go off the diet. One or two pounds a week may not seem like much, but over a period of weeks your weight loss could be substantial. For best results, eat more protein and vegetables, and fewer carbs and sugars. Remember to eat good complex carbs like oatmeal and rice for long lasting energy. Combine your healthy diet with regular cardio and strength training with weights, because the combination will increase your metabolism and help you burn more fat. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t rely on dieting done just to look better on the beach. Instead, try to stick to a healthy diet and exercise regimen that you’ll be comfortable with year-round. That way, come next spring or this time next summer, you'll already be looking your best!

The best thing about the summer is that you can try new activities and still gain fitness benefits. But this shouldn’t be confined to runs on the beach or biking on the boardwalk. When you go to the gym, investigate some new fitness options you haven't explored before: Try taking a spin on the elliptical machine, cross country skier or upper body ergometer. How about testing our some new resistance machines in place of free weights, or taking a fitness class for a change? The more you challenge yourself and the more opportunities you pursue, the less chance you’ll have of becoming burned out. And that means staying in better shape all the time. *

Scott Harrab is Media Director of Strong & Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, N.J. The gym boasts 334 workout stations, with over 40,000 lbs. in free weights and 72 cardio machines.
For more information, visit www.strong-and-shapely.com



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