Archive for the ‘Spring-Summer’ Category

Top Strength Moves For A Beach Body

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Top Strength Moves For A Beach BodyIf you’re looking to firm up your body so that you can uncover a flat stomach, toned arms, and a powerful lower body when you hit the beach this summer, you need the right pick of exercises to do so.

Many people are good about getting into the gym to perform their workout sessions, but yet don’t select the right exercises to be doing during them.

The exercise selection you choose to use is going to have a very large influence on how quickly you make progress, so this isn’t something that you can afford to overlook.

Let’s have a look at a few of the top strength moves that you must be considering so that you can get that beach body you desire.

The Sumo Squat

The Sumo SquatThe first movement that you should consider adding to your workout program is the sumo squat.  To perform this one you’re going to stand with the feet wider than shoulder width apart, turned outwards.

From there, hold a dumbbell between your legs and slowly lower yourself down until the knees are at 90 degrees.

Pause in that position and then press directly up again to complete the movement.

The sumo squat is perfect for firming the glutes, quads, and inner thigh.

The Decline Push-Up

The Decline Push-UpTo tone up the upper body, go for the decline push-up.  The decline push-up is going to place more stress on the upper body muscles and will also get the abs working and called into play better as well.

Furthermore, the decline push-up will test your balance ability more than a straight push-up would, so you’ll see enhanced results because of this effect as well.

The decline push-up is perfect for anyone who normally performs regular style push-ups and feels they need a quick change of pace.

The Lunge-Curl-Press Move

The Lunge-Curl-Press MoveOne movement that’s going to work multiple muscle groups at once and have you moving through a very large movement pattern is the lunge to curl to press move.

For this exercise, you’re going to perform one standing lunge, holding a set of dumbbells down by your side.

Once you’ve returned back to the standing position, you’re then going to move directly into a curl movement and then press straight up into a shoulder press.

This sequence of exercises is going to hit the quads, glutes, hamstrings, biceps, shoulders, and triceps, so will be a very good full body builder in one.

The Crab Walk

The Crab WalkFinally, the last exercise is a rather non-traditional one but will be a fun addition to your workout program and help to target a number of different muscles – the crab walk.

The crab walk is going to work the core to a very large extent while also helping you to build a powerful lower body and challenge the upper body as well.

When doing the crab walk you’ll want to try and keep the stomach region as elevated off the floor as possible to give yourself the best overall muscular challenge.

Walk all the way across the room and back again to perform this exercise.

So have a good look at your current workout routine and make sure that these are included in the mix.  If they aren’t, get them added in so that you can see noticeable changes in your body as fast as possible. 

 

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The BBQ Diet: What To Eat, What To Avoid

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

bbqAs the summer starts to get underway, one thing that you need to be thinking about is all the BBQ events that are coming up that you’re going to be attending.  BBQ’s are something that many people do enjoy taking in during the warmer summer months, but if you aren’t careful, they can really have damaging impacts on your diet plan.

BBQ foods typically are either very light in nature if you choose wisely or are very calorie dense if you choose poorly, so it’s a great divide that you have to deal with.  With little middle ground, making smart choices will really payoff in terms of the results that you see.

Let’s have a closer look at which foods you should go for so that you can eat right at the BBQ.

Best BBQ Picks

First let’s take a look at the top BBQ choices that you can select.  When venturing through the BBQ event, look for lean proteins or foods that are fruit or vegetable based – but watch the sauces on these because that’s where calories can really add up.

Tamarind-Grilled-Chicken-9Grilled Chicken

The first top pick is grilled chicken.  Grilled chicken is high in protein, low in fat, and carb-free.  Just watch how much BBQ is added on during the grilling process as this could dramatically increase the total calorie value.

Grilled Shrimp

zucchini-pizza-italian-shrimp-132Likewise, grilled shrimp tends to be an excellent option as well.  Grilled shrimp will contain very few calories, be high in protein, and will fill you up faster than many other sources of protein due to its higher volume per calorie content.

Fruit-Salad-Bowl

Fruit Salad

If you need something sweet to eat, fruit salad is the perfect pick.  Fruit salad is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and many other important vitamins that are great for your health.

It’ll be lower in calories than pretty much any other dessert out there, so one you really can’t go wrong with.

Salad Greens

Salad GreensSalad greens are the next great hit when it comes to BBQ food selection.  Choose a salad that contains cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, spinach, red onions, along with any other vegetables you desire.  Just be sure that you keep the dressing on the side to prevent added calories.

Slow-cooker-corn-on-the-cobCorn On The Cob

One of the most traditional foods that you can feel safe adding to your meal is grilled corn on the cob.  This food is more calorie dense than other vegetables, but contains good calories full of nutrition.  The crunchy texture and sweet taste are a sure-fire way to satisfy cravings and it works great as a side to any lean protein source.

So there you have the main foods that you should be eating when you go to a BBQ this summer.  Fill your plate with these and less of the potato salads, grilled beef or pork, burgers, hot dogs, pasta salads, and cake desserts and you’ll walk away with your waistline intact. 

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Tennis Arms Workout Plan

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Sam-StosurLooking to get tennis arms?  Whether you play tennis or not, there’s no denying the fact that those who are competitive in this sport almost always have a great looking set of arms.

Tennis is a fantastic way to get your body in shape quickly and burn up a high amount of calories at the same time, so if fat loss is your goal, it’s an activity that you very well may want to consider.

If not, that’s okay too – you can still achieve tennis arms with a properly structure workout plan.

Let’s walk you through what you need to know to set up and design a tennis arms workout.

Target The Shoulders

Target The ShouldersThe very first thing that you should be making sure you do as you perform your tennis workouts is to target the shoulders.  The shoulders are going to be the most powerful muscle involved in using a powerful serve in the game of tennis so not a muscle to overlook.

You want to make sure that you’re performing exercises that will hit all three heads of the shoulder muscles – the front, side, and back deltoids.  This will give you the most well-rounded strength level and degree of definition.

Good exercises to include in your shoulder workouts are the shoulder press, as well as the front and side lateral raise.

For the back of the shoulders, the rear deltoids turn to reverse fly’s.  These will quickly tap into the

Hit The Back

Back_4Moving along, you also must make sure that you don’t forget about the back muscles either as you go about your tennis arms workout.  While you are going to be focusing on the ‘arms’ specifically in this workout, don’t think that you’ll miss out by focusing on the back.

The truth of the matter is that by working the back, you’ll actually be working the biceps at the exact same time as these muscles will get called into play in almost every exercise that you do.

Having strong back muscles will also help you become very powerful when performing each stroke you use, which is another reason the exercises must get added in.

Top picks to work the back include bent over rows, the lat pull-down, as well as the pull-up.  Add at least one of these exercises into your workout program.

Boost Your Arm Muscle Definition

shoulders-tagFinally, to finish up your tennis arms workout, you’ll want to be perform some exercises that will specifically target those arm muscles, including the biceps, and the triceps.

This will help to really enhance the definition that you have and give you that arm ‘pump’ effect. For the women doing this workout, it’ll help to give you sleek arms that look toned and fit rather than soft and flabby.

The main exercises to consider including here include bicep curls, hammer curls, and barbell curls for the bicep muscles, and then tricep kickbacks, tricep extensions, and triangle push-ups for triceps.

You don’t have to do all of these in each session but aim for 1-2 of them to round out the workout.

If you can use this info to design your own workout, then you can be sure you’re moving along properly and will be on your way to tennis-star arms in no time. 

Great Summer Foods To Lighten Your Meals

Monday, April 6th, 2015

summer-food-makeoverWith summer right around the corner, it’s time to start taking a look at your meal plan and assessing all the foods that you’re eating on a daily basis.  With so many new foods coming out now that the season has arrived, you can easily start replacing some of the higher calorie choices you used to be making with some lighter fare.

This will not only give you a great change of pace, but also help to keep your calorie intake lower as well.

Let’s take a look at a few delicious summer foods that you should incorporate into your dishes.

Melons

MelonsIt’s the time of year for melons and these can be served up in a number of different ways.  Consider incorporating melons into your main course meal or using them as a sweet dessert to finish things off.

Melons also work great slightly frozen as a cool treat on a hot summer’s day or can even be added into your protein smoothies as well.

They’re all rich in vitamin C, relatively low in calories, and will be a very healthy addition to your diet plan.

Cucumbers

Cucumber and slices isolated over white backgroundMoving along, cucumbers are the next great summer food option that you’ll want to consider.  Cucumbers have an incredibly high water content, making them very low in calories for the amount that you could consume.

In fact, you literally don’t even have to count the calories that you take in from cucumbers if you don’t want to because they really won’t add up to anything significant.

Cucumbers can be served in salads or else raw on the side.

Summer Squash

Assorted Summer SquashSummer squash is the next of the summer foods to consider adding into your diet plan.  Summer squash is lower in calories than many complex carbs and will provide you with a great source of fiber to keep your hunger levels down lower.

Summer squash can be baked, microwaved, or even barbequed if you’re really looking for something unique and original, so get creative and see what you can come up with.

Fresh Fish

Fresh-Fish-OnlineFinally, the last great summer food to add into your diet this season is fresh fish.  If you can get out and catch your own fish – all the better.  If not, then store bought fresh fish will work as well.

Try and use a mixture of higher fat containing fish such as salmon and mackerel which will supply you with a potent dose of omega-3 fats as well as very low fat fish varieties such as cod, perch, or trout.

This will give you good balance with your calorie intake and ensure you’re staying where you need to be.

Keep these points in mind. If you can make smart food choices this summer, weight loss will be a breeze and you’ll be feeling better than ever in your swim suit. 

Healthy Easter Treats That Won’t Ruin Your Diet

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

With Easter right around the corner, some of you may be feeling some slight anxiety with all the goodies lying around at how well you’ll be able to stick with your diet plan.With Easter right around the corner, some of you may be feeling some slight anxiety with all the goodies lying around at how well you’ll be able to stick with your diet plan.

Chocolate is a huge craving for most people and at this time of year, there is definitely no shortage of chocolate to be found.

So how can you stick with your diet and possibly enjoy a treat or two? The key is having a game plan and preparing some Easter treats that won’t ruin your diet.

Let’s have a quick look at some options to consider.

Chocolate Pudding With Mini Marshmallows

Chocolate Pudding With Mini MarshmallowsIf chocolate is what you desire, than whipping up some home-made chocolate pudding is your safest bet.  Since many Easter treats are marshmallow based, incorporate a few mini marshmallows into your recipe for added effect.  At only a few calories per mini marshmallow, as long as you only add 5-10 per serving, this really isn’t going to be too detrimental to your diet plan.

Whip up the sugar-free, fat-free pudding powder mix with some skim milk and a scoop of protein powder for a nutritionally balanced pudding mixture and then top with the marshmallows.

Hot ‘Chocolate’

Hot ‘Chocolate’The second Easter treat that you can prepare that will help you keep your diet intact is some hot chocolate.  Hot chocolate is a great treat to have after dinner while you’re sitting around relaxing with friends and family and won’t weigh you down like other desserts will.

To prepare your healthy hot chocolate, use a small amount of hot chocolate mix, combined with heated skim milk and half a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder.

The added protein boost to this beverage will help you stay lean and ensure that you don’t get the blood glucose spike you otherwise would from the bit of sugar in the hot chocolate mix.

Calorie Free Jelly Gummies

Calorie Free Jelly GummiesFinally, the last healthy Easter treat that you can prepare if you’re the gummy type and aren’t craving chocolate is calorie free jelly gummies.

These are very easy to make and won’t do any damage at all to your diet.  To prepare them, purchase a package of sugar-free Jell-O pudding powder and prepare it using about half of the water that’s called for.

Pour the mixture into small molds to form your jellies and let set overnight.  These will have a thicker, chewier texture than regular Jell-O would and still be calorie free.

If you’d prefer to infuse them with added protein content, consider adding a scoop of fruit-flavored protein powder in. This will still keep the calorie count down but is an excellent way to take in more protein for those that struggle with this.

Don’t let diet fears get you down this Easter season – get smart with your food choices and you can enjoy the holiday and maintain your lean body without a problem. 

Summer Diet Disasters: Get These Out Of Sight Immediately

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

summer-diet-disaster-464x307As you move through your diet this summer, it’s going to be incredibly important that you take into account which foods could do your diet harm, only causing fat gain to come on at record speed.

While many people know the obvious ‘weight loss losers’ when it comes to their food choices – high fat snack foods like chips and chocolate, fast foods, and baked goods, there are many other foods that often sneak right by simply because you aren’t aware they are so devastating for your diet plan.

If you hope to see optimal success, it’s a must that you pinpoint these and remove them from your day.

Let’s have a quick peak at some of the top diet disasters that you must know about.

Commercial Burgers

whopper-burgerThe very first food that you will want to think twice about adding to your diet plan is commercial burgers.  While you may think that these are a fast source of protein, think again. If you stop and take a look at the actual fat and protein content of these burgers, you’ll come to find that they’re often more fat than they are protein. 

If they have 60% fat content and 40% protein content, it doesn’t take much to realize that these are just not going to be ideal for your diet plan.

Prepare your own instead using extra lean ground beef or even better, lean ground turkey.

Pasta Or Potato Salads

potato-salad-The second food that you should avoid on your diet plan is pasta or potato salad.  While potatoes themselves can be an okay option for those seeking fat loss results, the problem with these is that they’re preparing with very high calorie dressings that includes mayonnaise.

Instead, prepare your own pasta salad using whole wheat pasta, sliced veggies, and an olive oil based dressing. It’ll be a totally different ‘feel’ compared to the other varieties of pasta salad, but be a far healthier one.

Trail Mix

Trail MixWith many people out and about throughout the day, snacking tends to increase.  You want something that’s easy to take with you on the road or wherever you may be so turning to trail mix is often what you’re doing.

While there are definitely healthy components in trail mix, the problem with it is that it is higher in calories and often contains simple carbs in the mixture.  If it has pretzels, cheerios, or other non whole-wheat foods in it, it’s one variety that you can do without.

Prepare your own trail mix instead using nuts, shredded wheat squares, as well as dried fruit.  This will be a far better and lower calorie option.

Fat Free Ice Cream Or Frozen Yogurt

Strawberry-Frozen-YogurtMoving along, fat free ice cream or frozen yogurt is the next food that you’ll definitely want to banish from your summer diet.  Many people see these and think they will be a good choice because they are lower in saturated fat.

But not so quick.  When the fat is removed, sugar is often added, making them just as detrimental to your diet plan.

Instead, seek out some of the low-calorie fruit pops out there that contain just 40 calories or so per pop.  While they won’t be the healthiest option you could choose (real fruit is still going to be far better), at that low calorie value, they aren’t’ going to do much harm.

So stay on the lookout for these foods this summer. If you see them creeping into your meal plans, make sure that you quickly give them the boot. 

Your Back-Yard Spring Workout Plan

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

100_1266With spring right around the corner, many of you will be thinking about shifting your workouts outside of the gym, adding more interest to them and challenging your muscles in a new way.

Outdoor workouts are a fast and easy way to get in shape and will target different sets of muscles than normal gym activities would do.

Let’s have a quick look at how you should go about structuring your back-yard spring workout to get you started on the right foot.

Alternate Between Cardio And Strength Moves

45-Minute-ClassesThe very first thing that you should do when designing your back-yard workout program is to alternate between a cardio based exercise and a strength based movement.

For example, you might perform some push-ups and then go right into a minute of jumping rope.  Or, you could perform walking lunges across the length of your yard and then perform a sprint all the way back.

Alternating the exercises like this will send your metabolic rate soaring, helping you burn more calories during the workout session as well as immediately after as well.

Plus, this will allow you to get both cardio and strength benefits so that you don’t have to include any other cardio training in your weekly workout program as well.

Add Plenty Of Bodyweight Exercises

body-weight-620x350When looking at the specific strength movements that you’re going to do, unless you plan to bring a set of dumbbells outside, you’ll want to rely largely on bodyweight based movements.  Good examples of these would include push-ups and all their variations, floor dips, lunges, squats, crab walks, dog walks, and if you happen to have a bar somewhere near where you like (in a playground) or an overhead tree branch that you know can support your weight, pull-ups would be an excellent choice.

Keep in mind that if you do invest in a simple set of kettlebells, this will also increase the total number of exercise options you have as these are highly versatile forms of external resistance.

Think Non-Traditional Exercise To Burn Calories Fast

Day 5 - Photo 2Finally, the last thing to keep in mind is that you can venture into non-traditional forms of exercise as well.  For example, gardening, mowing the grass, or raking leaves will all burn massive amounts of calories and double as a workout session.

Most people think of these more as ‘chores’ than as workouts, but shifting your viewpoint may get you doing them when they need to get done.

Likewise, don’t forget about all the outdoor spring activities as well – bike riding, playing Frisbee, going for a long hike, and so on.  These will all get you out and active, helping you maintain your body weight.

Your Sample Workout Plan

49de624f38b6998b_IMG_5158.previewSo let’s leave you off with a spring back-yard workout to try out.  Perform this anytime you have 15-20 minutes.

Alternate between the following exercises. Once one round is completed, run through it a second and third time.

Push-ups – 20 reps
Skipping – 1 minute
Walking lunges – 20 reps/side
Burpees – 1 minute
Pull-Ups – 10-20 reps
Jumping jacks – 1 minute
Bodyweight Squats – 20 reps
The Plank – 1 minute

Get outside this spring. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish outside of the gym. 

The Summer Dress Workout Plan

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

c089caeef76fc984_92028464.previewWith summer drawing near, many of you may be thinking of all the different summer dresses that you’d like to wear over the coming season.  Summer is definitely a time to shed some of that bulky clothing that you’ve been covering up with over the winter months, so by lightening up your diet and making a few adjustments to your workout program, you can ensure that you are right on track.

So what should your summer dress workout plan be?  What moves should you be including into the mix?

Let’s run through how you can create a summer dress workout plan to get started on the right foot.

userimage-268499Perform Waist Slimming Exercises

The very first thing that you should be doing is working to firm up your waist and create the illusion of a thinner figure.  If you want that hourglass look, you’ll want to focus on adding more muscle tone and definition to the upper body, which will then make your waistline seem smaller.

To do this, turn to the shoulder press exercise as well as lateral raises. If you can perform these three times per week, you should see noticeable improvements shortly.

In addition to that, keep all your abdominal exercises focused on the direct up and down movement.  While it may be tempting to add in some twisting exercises to target your ‘love handles’, these exercises are actually more likely to add bulk to the waist and cause you to appear thicker.

If you have love handles that you need to get rid of, look at your diet for assistance there instead.

Tone The Upper Body

29377e65b4d3a8b6a580566b01d460aaSecond, another must-do in order to see success is to make sure that you perform plenty of exercises that will tone your upper body.  Since many of the dresses you’ll be in this season are going to be sleeveless, it’s important to firm this area of the body.

Good moves to include will be the shoulder press again, bent over dumbbell rows, chest fly’s to help enhance your cleavage, and tricep kickbacks or overhead extensions to firm up the under arms.

Perform two sets of 15 of each of these exercises.

calf-musclesDon’t Forget The Calves

Finally, last but not least, make sure that you don’t forget your calf muscles.  Since you will likely be wearing heels or at the very least have the bottom portion of your leg showing, it’s important that you firm this area.

Standing calf raises are great for this and if you want added intensity, try doing them on one foot.

There you have some of the key concepts and exercises to add into your summer dress workout plan over the next few weeks.  It’s always a good idea to add these to other exercises that target the other muscles in the body as well such as lunges, squats, and the chest press for a well-balanced workout that burns calories fast. 

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How To Get Washboard Abs For Men

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Washboard

If you’re a man on a mission to get washboard abs, it’s helpful to keep a few factors in mind for how to reach this goal in record time.

When most men set the goal to get washboard abs, they begin doing an endless series of crunches that never seems to let up.

In the process, they end up feeling frustrated and upset that they just don’t seem to be moving closer to success.

So how do you get washboard abs? What secrets to success don’t you understand?

Let’s have a quick look at the main points to keep in mind with regards to how you can get washboard abs quickly and easily.

FnH-1200-Calorie-Diet-1Focus On Your Diet First

First things first, if you really want to get washboard abs, the very initial thing that you will have to do is focus on your diet.  Diet is going to play the largest role in helping you shed excess fat around your middle, so if you aren’t taking care of this, you aren’t going to see progress.

You should be focusing on a diet that is full of lean protein sources, healthy fats, and carbohydrates coming mostly from fruits and vegetables.

Grains should be placed right around the workout period for optimal fat burning effects and energy maintenance.

Lift Heavy Weights

bad-form-benchNext, when looking at your workouts, make sure that you keep the weight you’re lifting on the heavy side.  When some people start to turn their focus to fat loss, they get caught up in lifting lightweights for high reps.

Don’t let yourself do this. Not only does that set you up for lean muscle mass loss as you proceed on your reduced calorie intake, but it’s also going to have a lower metabolic effect on the body.

For males especially who have the testosterone to generate lean muscle mass relatively quickly, heavy weights are a must.

Perform Weighted crunchesPerform Weighted Crunches

When looking at your abdominal workout sessions, you can’t go wrong adding in some weighted ab work. While females are very concerned with building a svelte waistline and thus are better off keeping weight out of the picture, if you’re a male who is looking to make your abs ‘pop’, weighted ab work is the way to go.

This will help to build up the ridges that the six pack abs are made of, increasing your ab appearance.

Limit Your Alcohol

Reduce-Your-Alcohol-IntakeFinally, keep your alcohol intake as low as you possibly can.  This is a hard one for many people as alcohol is something that they do enjoy indulging in, but keep in mind that alcohol will set you back.  As soon as it enters your system, fat burning comes to a halt and won’t continue on again until it’s oxidized off.

If you can keep these points in mind as you continue to go about your fat burning workout program, you can ensure that you see the success that you’re after and attain flat, defined abs. 

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Summer Heat: Exercising Safely Outdoors

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

exercising-outdoors_0As you gear up for the coming summer months, you may start take into consideration the idea of exercising outdoors.  Outdoor workouts can be the perfect opportunity to refresh your mind, challenge your muscles in a new manner, and enjoy the warmer weather.

Plus, if you can spend some time outdoors for your summer workouts, this will enhance your motivation come the fall when it’s time to head back into the gym.

That said, there are some important things that you need to take into consideration when exercising safely outdoors.  If you don’t, you could be in for some problems ahead.

Let’s have a quick look at a few of the main points to remember so that you can stay safe at all times.

Hydrate Yourself Before, During, And After

7448_mangiare_allenamento_bigThe very first thing that you should be doing is making sure to stay very well hydrated.  If you aren’t hydrating well before the session and enter it already in a state of partial dehydration, you are definitely headed for trouble.

Always have at least 8 ounces of water about 30 minutes before you head off to work out and then another 8 ounces during the workout as well as after.

This will ensure dehydration doesn’t become a factor for you.

Wear Proper Breathable Clothing

cutest workout clothesSecond, make sure that you also wear some breathable clothing as well.  It’s important that you don’t let yourself overhead as that is what will trigger heat stroke and cause fatigue to rapidly set in.  You want clothing to wear clothing that is designed to wick sweat away from the body, rather than cotton-based clothing that tends to trap the heat next to you.

If you can, also wear a hat while exercising as well as this will help to keep the sun off your head, which can also help to keep your body temperature down.

Understand The Beginning Stages Of Heat Stroke

4207709075_5aace799acThe next important thing that you should be taking into account is what the initial signs of heat stroke are.  When you know what to watch for, then you can stay on the lookout should they begin to occur.

One of the first symptoms to take note of is a full-body fatigue sensation. If you feel fatigued everywhere and not just in a certain muscle group, there is a very good chance that this could be heat stroke at work.

Heat stroke tends to hit everywhere since it’s a central nervous system issue rather than just muscular, so this is why you’ll feel this way.

Second, you may also notice that you feel very light-headed and dizzy, so if both of these set in, that’s your signal to rest.

Stopping immediately at these initial stages will help to prevent it from becoming much more severe.

Exercise At Non-Peak Hours

photos.demandstudios.com-getty-article-56-50-86810353_XSFinally, the last thing that you can do to help avoid heat stroke is try and exercise at non-peak hours.  Rather than exercising mid-afternoon when the sun is the hottest, try and early morning or later night workout.

If you can exercise during these hours, the sun won’t be directly upon you so your chances of heat stroke are much lower.

Keeping these points in mind as you go through your workout program will help ensure you stay safe and that you enjoy each session that you do.