Do’s & Don’ts: Summer Fitness for Women

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

ExerciseWarm, sun-filled days can jumpstart your fitness routine. Try these tips from area experts to make this your fittest summer yet.

• “Try to work out in the morning, when it’s not as hot and there’s less sun so you won’t get as dehydrated.

• “Try biking, running, swimming, even walking.

• “Whatever the activity is, if you want to consider it exercise, do something above what you’re doing. If you walk the dog every day, you need to exert yourself beyond that. Get in 30-minute increments five times per week. But that doesn’t eliminate the necessity of strength training. Many women don’t strength train.

• “Muscles need to be conditioned to avoid injury. Sometimes, you jump into a running program or biking program and if your body’s not conditioned to that, you’re at high risk for injury. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself so you can’t do as much. and you get even more de-conditioned.” If you’re new to biking, you may use pedal-assisted or electric bikes to avoid straining your muscles.

Kevin Silverman, certified personal trainer with Brighton Personal Training, Brighton.

• “Hydration is a huge thing. Drink plenty of fluids and water, even if you’re not doing a lot of outdoor activity. Many people miss this. The outside heat factor makes a big difference. Exercising near the canal or by the lake, it’s a little cooler.

• “We like to go to the park with our kids and do a workout while they’re playing. You can use the monkey bars and take advantage of things that aren’t in the gym.

• “If you have a pool or can get on the lake, swimming is a good, full-body workout and you stay cooler. “

John Nizamis, owner of Studio 22 Fitness, Hilton.

• ”As a gym owner, we want people to come in the gym, but biking and activities outside are beneficial to health.

• “In the gym, it depends upon what type of workout they’re doing. It’s important to work with a partner if you are lifting heavy weights so you have a spotter. Working with another individual helps with motivation and for safety.

• “In the heat, short blasts of working out when you’re outside is better and then cool off. Some workout all day outside, and it’s about hydration. Don’t get overheated.

• “If you’re pregnant, be careful about the strenuous exercise and the heat for safety. Do what your doctor says to do and avoid overdoing it.

• “You’ll see guys in the gym working on muscles and women working on step machines, treadmills and cycling. Men could do more cardio and women could do more weightlifting to stay toned. I hate walking and running, so I’m guilty of it, too. I will go for the bench press, not the treadmill.

• “Many people don’t lift weights properly. You should lift less weight and perform more repetitions. That is better for building muscle tone instead of lifting 250 pounds three times. You don’t use the muscles it’s meant for.”

Matt Garver, general manager and part-owner of Atlas Body Development Center, Spencerport.