The sun is shining and there’s a cool breeze in the air – which means you’re obviously no longer in scorching Dubai (hello 42°C). If you’re away on holiday and enjoying the luxury of a temperate climate, your workout options have just shot up sky high. Whether it’s running, swimming lengths, outdoor biking, or HIIT sessions on the beach, there are endless ways to get moving and boost your metabolism this summer. When it comes to burning fat and gaining muscle tone, however, some workouts are more effective than others, so read on to find out how to get the most out of your summer sweat sessions.
An amazing non-impact exercise, swimming is brilliant for mobility. It’s a great activity that works the entire body, but the way to get the most out of it is to create a high-intensity training program. Instead of swimming gentle lengths for one hour, opt for “sprint” lengths for two minutes, followed by a 30-second recovery period. This will make the muscles work harder to increase power and optimize the fat-burning effect of the exercise.
Running is high in impact, but also the perfect way to exercise without any fuss. All you need is a pair of sneakers and a bit of space, and you’re good to go! Although runners are thought of as some of the fittest athletes around, this exercise does lack in its muscle-building and toning potential. Running is a cardiovascular activity and, unless there is a very steep hill or weights involved, the demand on your muscles is relatively low. The good news is that hills and stairs are easy to come by! Boost the intensity of your run by incorporating some hill or stair sprints, or performing some leg exercises every 20 minutes. Better yet, turn the run into high-intensity sprint sets for the best results.
Bike riding is now more popular than ever as it combines the best of both worlds by being both cardiovascular and demanding on the muscles. Unless it’s a flat, man-made cycling path, you can pretty much guarantee that there are going to be different gradients and types of terrain throughout your route, all of which increase the intensity of the exercise.
It may seem like the odd one out, but beach volleyball is a very popular way of getting your daily workout in during the holidays and summer months. It’s dynamic, fun, and the best part is that it doesn’t even feel like you’re exercising! It’s the perfect way to burn off a slightly indulgent lunch, boost vitamin D levels, and tone those legs.
This classic sport works the cardiovascular system and helps to tone and develop the upper body and – surprisingly – core strength. Good balance requires solid core strength, and a lot of the power that a tennis hit can create comes from that stability.
As a rule, the high-intensity workouts are most effective for burning fat. However, all workouts are great for health, cardiovascular training, and overall fitness, so give them all a go!
Carly Rothman is the blogger behind LeanLivingGirl, a health and fitness website based in Dubai.