The 4th of July is a not only a celebration of the red, white, and blue, but it is a time we get together with our family and close friends to let loose and ring in the summer.
Before you help yourself to barbeque food, alcoholic drinks, and desserts, remember that just because it is a holiday doesn’t mean that all your fitness goals are thrown out the window. However, we all should enjoy ourselves and not have to justify having a few drinks, eating a burger, and savoring the sugary goodness of frosted cupcakes.
In life, it is all about finding a balance. Sure you can enjoy a delicious home cooked meal that not necessarily part of your nutrition plan. Just be conscious that you still might want to get your daily workout in. Or you may decide to ditch the gym and instead spend the afternoon swimming and playing volleyball at the BBQ.
With that said, here are some of the best ways to stay active this Independence Day:
We all know that there will be plenty 4th of July traffic. If you plan on waking up early, you might as well squeeze in your morning workout. Exercising in the morning jump starts your metabolism for the day, so that you will burn more calories. Wake up and go for a run, followed by some ab work so that your tummy looks tight in your bathing suit for the day. Not a runner? Burn 100 calories with this workout: 50 jumping jacks, 30 crunches, 20 push-ups, 15 squats. Repeat as many times as you can. Add burpees to burn extra fat.
Start a Game
While 4th of July barbeques are all about the food, encourage your friends to get physical and start a team sport game. Watch the World Cup and then get to kicking around the soccer ball with your friends. You can burn about 260 calories in 30 minutes (based on the weight of a 155 pound person according to HealthStatus.com). Volleyball burns a little over 100 calories per 30 minutes, and the all-American game of baseball can burn off 183 calories in 30 minutes (for a 160 pound person).
Take a Dip
Because it is likely you will be out in the sun all day, what better way to cool off then by jumping in the pool? Swimming burns about 414 calories in one hour (for a 150 pound person). Play games like Marco, Polo to keep moving in the water and have a contest to see how can swim from one side to the next the fastest.
Walk it Off
After filling your stomach with satisfying foods, take a night walk before the sky fills up with the illuminating display of fireworks. If you are at a location that is walking distance to better firework views, gather your friends and set off to trek to the show by foot. You will allow yourself to digest and make a fun adventure out the walk. After seeing the magical display of exploding lights, a nice walk back to your house or car will end the night on the right foot.
Enjoying yourself and still staying close to your daily fitness targets will allow you to stick to your plan to reach your goals. Don’t let one day undo all your progress, but don’t forget to just let go and have fun—that is the spirit of summer. Since this year we have a long, 3-day weekend, make sure that you aim to get in the rest of your normal workouts in!
How are you staying active this 4th of July?