Summer is on the way and with it higher temperatures and longer days. These are all usually reasons to celebrate, but if you're still trying to lose weight after the festive season, you may be less enthused about hanging up your winter coats and cardigans.
Rather than worrying, now is a great time to come up with a fitness plan that will ensure you're looking your best in time for the good weather. Exercise is most effective when you stick at it, rather than putting your body through a fortnight of vigorous working out in order to prepare for a holiday.
Read on for our top tips to create a failsafe summer workout.
Know your abilities
When planning your fitness routine, it is best to be realistic. Don't draw up a plan that will over-exert yourself, rather build up the level of exercise you do gradually. By jumping in at the deep end, you are more likely to find your workout is too difficult, which means you are less likely to maintain it.
In addition, by setting yourself too many challenges, you could cause yourself an injury that means you then have to take a break from exercising. If you plan to go to the gym or invest in exercise equipment you can use at home, start off by walking quickly on the treadmill, or using an elliptical or exercise bike with the resistance set to low.
Use these for ten to 15 minutes each, three or four times a week at first and as you find it easier, increase the speed and/or resistance.
Mix it up
One thing that can have an impact on whether or not you stick to a fitness schedule is boredom. After a few weeks, you might be tired of only using a treadmill, so try out some of the other fitness equipment available.
In addition, take advantage of the summer weather by adding an outdoor run or bike ride to your workout planner. Joining classes such as Zumba or yoga is also a good idea as this will see you focus on different muscles.
Get expert help
If you are investing in equipment to use at home, you can look out for items compatible with iFit SD training cards, which are designed by professional personal trainers and fitness experts. Each card features an eight-week workout, each one focusing on a different fitness goal, such as weightloss, muscle building or general health.
By using one of these, you will have expert advice even when you're at home and because the programmes are designed to get progressively more challenging, you're also unlikely to get bored of them.
You should never feel disheartened if you don't start to see changes right away, as many believe the slower it takes for weight to fall off, the longer it takes to put it back on again.
Remember, not only are you improving your body on the outside but also on the inside, so your fitness plan will also have internal benefits, such as boosting cardiovascular performance.
However, it shouldn't be too long before you notice a difference, such as your jeans feeling looser. This is often a reward in itself, but it is worth congratulating yourself for sticking to a fitness plan.
You can do this by treating yourself to a new top in your new dress size, or by going out for a night of dancing - which also counts as exercise!