Q: I usually walk outside to get my heartrate up, but during this time of year it’s too hot to stay outside long enough to be beneficial. What are some things I can do to get my heartrate up indoors without getting bored? — James M.
A: Great question, James! As I’m sitting at Starbucks on Park Avenue writing this, I can see a significant decrease in people walking and jogging down the street from just a month ago, presumably because of the increasing heat and humidity. I’ve also spoken with a number of our new members at Anytime Fitness who say they’re switching from running outdoors to running on the treadmill. Fortunately, we have a great view of Orange Avenue and the passersby from our treadmills!
So I can see that this is pretty common around this time of year! Let me start with the obvious, since I’ve already mentioned it. If you don’t already have a gym membership, get one and use the indoor cardio equipment, like the treadmills, ellipticals or bikes. With the ability to watch television while you’re doing cardio, time will fly while you’re increasing your heartrate! Bring a friend with you and hit the treadmills. Talk your cardio away! Mix up the cardio routine by doing 10 minutes on the bike, 10 minutes on the treadmill and finish with 10 minutes on the elliptical. Mix it up, keep it entertaining and enjoy the AC!
Don’t stop at the cardio equipment to get your heartrate up. Incorporating some light weights and compound movements can help your heart health and fitness levels even more than doing cardio alone. For example, grab some light dumbbells and hold them up to your shoulders with your palms facing forward and your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Squat down as far as your range of motion will comfortably allow and extend your arms straight above your head. Bring yourself back to the standing position while simultaneously bringing your arms back down to the starting position. Do four sets of these with 10 repetitions each and a 1-minute rest in between each set. This compound movement will help strengthen your muscles, expand your flexibility and increase your heartrate. Triple threat! You can substitute the dumbbell press for dumbbell curls to focus on your biceps and change up the routine.
Short on time and just want to get it done at home? You can do the same movements in the comfort of your home and in front of your own television. If you don’t have dumbbell, you can use cans of vegetables or soup!
If you have a pool at home, beat the heat in there while getting your heartrate up. Invite some friends over and briskly walk from one side of the pool to the other in the shallow end. You can also do modified squats or pushups on the steps. Try wading water in the shallow end with your feet extended straight out from you. Or keep your feet on the ground and feverishly wave your arms back and forth in the water, like you’re making a water angel!
There are endless possibilities to keep yourself cool during the summer heat! If you don’t like any of these ideas, reach out to one of our personal trainers for more ideas. Just email us at [email protected] and together we’ll beat the heat!
@@Patrick McGaha Jr., member experience manager at Anytime Fitness, Winter Park, is dedicated to building a welcoming environment in the club, conducive to helping members and clients reach their health fitness goals. To get your fitness and nutrition related questions answered by a certified personal trainer, or for a free personal training session, call us at 321-972-5833 or email [email protected].@@