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24 Sep, 2015

Shape up, summer's coming!

It's time to shape up because the sun is back… and with that comes long summer days on the beach, pool parties and sizzling hot dance floors. Even more than looking good, you need to feel good, shed that winter skin and be proud of your physique. So here are four essential tips to prepare you for summer, summer, summer time…

1. Fun
The easiest way to get in shape is to find a form of exercise that you truly enjoy doing. Working out does not need to be a painful, miserable experience. Just take a look at all the most successful, fittest, strongest, healthiest athletes in the world – chances are they began their careers purely having fun. Find out (or re-discover) what form of exercise you're most passionate about. It could be cross-fit or sumo wrestling; the point is that every individual is different and needs to discover what they are passionate about. Seek out like-minded people to share the lifestyle with and explore ways to push yourself (and your peers) to take the sport further.

2. The Time Myth
We live in a manic world where time is hard to come by, and fitting exercise into a busy schedule may seam impossible. However, according to Nike Master Trainer, Joslyn Thompson, "Results aren't based on time spent training. It's about training smarter – not harder."

Thompson explains that short, intense training sessions (like sprints) produce incredible results, burning body fat, building muscle and increasing natural growth hormones.

Try these:
Run 10 x 100m all out sprints with 2 minutes rest in between
Swim 10 x 50m sprints with 30 seconds rest in between
Row 4 x 500m sprints with 2 minutes rest in between

Even the busiest man/women on the planet can make time for a 20-minute training session! Remember to warm up and warm down, you don't want to induce rigor mortis.

3. Sunshine life
A study carried out at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry concluded that exercising in the natural environment benefits mental and physical well being.

As little as 15 minutes of sun exposure each day is enough to help our bodies produce enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a potent healer – it prevents high blood pressure, wards off bone diseases, boost your immune system, lowers your cholesterol, improves digestion, increases metabolism and can even help your skin build a resistance to eczema, acne and psoriasis. New research is suggesting it can also reduce the risk of cataracts, rheumatoid arthritis and even multiple sclerosis.

So go run around in the sun… Doctor's orders.

4. Be different
You don't necessarily need to go to the gym or sweat it out with hairy old fellows on the squash courts to get fit. Popular alternative sports in Mzansi right now are mountain biking, trail running, cross-fit, surfing, roller blading, skateboarding, hiking and martial arts. Adrenaline is better than any flashy supplement on the market! And next time you're introducing yourself at a bar, you can tell stories of your capoeira (Afro-Brazilian martial art) pilgrimage to Rio de Janeiro.

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