(Family Features) Whether you want to get your body ready for swimsuit season or stay fit during the summer months, it’s important to find a fitness routine that you can maintain. These tips will help you get motivated and keep moving for a healthier body.
Shake things up – Having a variety of fitness activities works different parts of your body, keeps you engaged in the process, and ensures you have some way to exercise no matter what the weather is like. Lifting weights, swimming, cycling, walking, dancing – there are plenty of ways to have fun as you work out.
Many people choose to include an exercise video game as part of their fitness routine. A study by the University of Calgary Exergaming Research Centre, the American Council on Exercise, and the University of Massachusetts Department of Exercise and Health Sciences found that when used at an intermediate or high intensity level, “exergaming” can improve your fitness.
And another study, commissioned by the American Council on Exercise, found that the Zumba® Fitness program– experienced via a game or class – can burn a significant amount of calories due to its level of cardiovascular intensity. “The dance-based routines within Zumba Fitness Core are specifically designed to sculpt stronger abs and provide an exhilarating total body workout,” said Liz Buckley, general manager of the Zumba Fitness video game franchise at Majesco Entertainment. “In fact, Zumba Fitness Core is the only video game on the market to target your core. With 33 different dance styles, and 40 contagious music tracks, you get an incredible amount of variety as you benefit from ‘exercise in disguise.’” Learn more at www.zumbafitnessgame.com.
Buddy up with someone else – It’s harder to avoid exercising when you’ve made a commitment to someone else that you’ll be there. Partnering with a friend can make activities more fun, and you and your partner can help each other be accountable for working out.
•Set a regular time and place to meet. Set ground rules for when it’s acceptable to miss a session and how you’re to communicate.
•Make sure your partner is equally committed.
•Have common fitness goals.
•Be sure you have similar fitness levels and abilities.
You can also buddy up online. For example, Zumba Fitness Core on Kinect for Xbox 360 enables you and friends to share fitness goals and work together to complete them. Buckley said that “Utilizing the game’s multiplayer feature, two-player on Kinect and four-player on Wii, you can party with friends and work out in a fun, cooperative way.”
Reward yourself – Changing behavior is hard, but little rewards along the way can help you stay motivated. You might enjoy a new pair of walking shoes when you reach 5,000 steps a day or a new DVD after sticking to your plan for 30 days.
•Set achievable goals. It won’t help you to set goals you can’t meet – you’ll either injure yourself or be constantly discouraged. It’s OK to start small and work your way up.
•Make sure the rewards are appropriate. Enjoying a calorie-laden meal or sugary treat after hitting a goal isn’t the way to go. Look for non-food related rewards that will help motivate you to keep going.
•With Zumba Fitness Core, for example, when you reach certain goals, you are rewarded with lifestyle tips, achievements and unlockable bonus videos that give you a behind-the-scenes peek at the celebrity Zumba instructors featured in game.
It’s easier – and more fun – than you might think to get in shape for the summer and find a fitness program you love.