Get fit for summer

Did you give up on your New Year's resolutions in early January? Did your excess kilos return once Easter candy hit the stores? If you want to get back in shape for summer, CERG has made an exercise regime to help you catch up to your fitness goals. Dust off your love for exercise, and enjoy spring through physical activity!

(By the way, this program will get you fit any time of year, so feel free to try it even during the colder months.)


As always, remember that the most important exercise is the exercise you actually do! Therefore, if you don't like running, feel free to adapt the program to other activities that you prefer. As long as the intensity stays the same, you can expect the same results – and if you have fun, the probability is higher that you will keep on exercising after you have finished the program.

Exercise program

Jump straight into training with a varied and demanding week. Don't let yourself be overwhelmed if you feel some resistance - rather use it as a source of motivation. Identify your goals for the fitness program, and start a training diary if you think it will help you keep on track. Remember - the most important exercise is the exercise that you actually do, so if you miss a day once in a while, that's okay. Just get up off the couch!

Monday - HIT-IT

  • 10-minute warm-up, slow jog or brisk walk to get you sweating a little.

Find a hill or to get your heart rate up more quickly, and limit the stress on your knees. Today you will complete 10 intervals, each 1 minute long and separated by a 1-minute break:

  • 1 minute brisk walking or running up the incline so you feel tired and think the last 20 seconds are really tough, but not too tough to complete.
  • Walk or run quietly during the break, and repeat until you have completed a total of 10 intervals
  • After the last interval, walk or jog slowly for 5-10 minutes before you hop in the shower.

And just like that, you're done with your first workout session, are on your way to improved health, and have the rest of the evening to relax and recuperate.

Note: It is important that your ten "super minutes" have a high intensity. If you are unable to keep the pace up for a full minute, then you've started too hard, and should go a little lighter the next time to manage to go the whole "distance." Like 4x4 interval training, you should be sufficiently tired and winded that you are unable to maintain a conversation.

Wednesday - 4x4

  • 10-minute warm-up, slow jog or brisk walk to get you sweating a little, preferably on an incline or hill (to get your heart rate up more quickly, and limit the stress on your knees).

4x4 minutes of brisk walking or running up the incline so it feels quite strenuous, and you're very short of breath. If you have a heart rate monitor, you should be at 85-95% of your maximum heart rate (use our calculator to estimate your max pulse, or read how to test yourself). This is how you should proceed after completing the warm-up:

  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 5-minute cool-down - well done!

If you like, you can finish off with 10 squat jumps.

Friday - Booster

  • 10-minute warm-up to get you sweating
  • 4 minutes brisk walking or running so you're very short of breath (85-95% of max pulse)
  • 2 minutes relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 1 minute relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 1 minute relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 4 minutes brisk walking or running so you're very short of breath (85-95% of max pulse)
  • 2 minutes relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 1 minute relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 5-minute cool-down, relaxed walking

Then you can take a deep breath and celebrate the successful completion of today's workout. Well done!

Sunday - Hiking

Go hiking in the forest, or do another less strenuous activity that you enjoy for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy!

After an intense beginning, the second week is a good example of varied exercise training that you can work into a busy schedule. By combining interval training with strength exercises and a family outing, you will strengthen your body at the same time as your mood brightens. Most people find that they can make an integrated fitness program into a good habit in the long run. If you're really short on time, 1x4 intervals can be a good alternative to 4x4 intervals, since the intensity in part is more important for the result than the total time spent.

Monday - Endurance and strength training

  • Jog or walk for 30 minutes
  • 10 push-ups, either with bent knees or kneeling with handholds
  • 15 squats
  • 10 squats with jumps
  • 15 squats
  • 10 squats with jumps
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats
  • 10 squats with jumps

Wednesday - 1x4

  • 10-minute warm-up to get you sweating
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 5 minutes relaxed walking - Well done!

Did you know that 1x4 intervals can have almost the same effect as 4x4 intervals? In a 10-week exercise study with healthy, obese men aged 35-45 years old, we found that 1x4 minutes at 90% of maximum heart rate for three times per week statistically gave an equally good result as a similar program with 4x4 intervals. In other words - you can get good results quickly with short bouts of high-intensity exercise!

Friday - 4x4

  • 10-minute warm-up, slow jog or brisk walk to get you sweating a little, preferably on an incline or hill (to get your heart rate up more quickly, and limit the stress on your knees).

Complete 4x4 intervals as last week. If you have a heart rate monitor, you should be at 85-95% of your maximum heart rate (use our calculator to estimate your max pulse, or read how to test yourself). This is how you should proceed after completing the warm-up:

  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 5-minute cool-down - well done!

Add a finishing touch by tacking on 10 (very low) squat jumps and 10 squats before calling it a night!

Saturday - Hiking

Go hiking in the forest or another activity of your choice for at least 1 hour at a comfortable pace. Consider bringing family or friends, so you can share the good experience!

The third week starts on the offence with 1x10 intervals, followed by strength training and more interval training. Grab your running shoes, and get ready to go!

Monday - HIT-IT

  • 10-minute warm-up, slow jog or brisk walk to get you sweating a little.

Find a hill or to get your heart rate up more quickly, and limit the stress on your knees. Today you will complete 10 intervals, each 1 minute long and separated by a 1-minute break:

  • 1 minute brisk walking or running up the incline so you feel tired and think the last 20 seconds are really tough, but not too tough to complete.
  • Walk or run quietly during the break, and repeat until you have completed a total of 10 intervals.
  • After the last interval, walk or jog slowly for 5-10 minutes before you hop in the shower.

Wednesday - Endurance with strength training

  • Jog or walk for 30 minutes
  • 10 push-ups, either with bent knees or kneeling with handholds
  • 15 squats
  • 10 squats with jumps
  • 15 squats
  • 10 squats with jumps
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats
  • 10 squats with jumps

Well done!

Friday - 1x4 with a bonus

  • 10-minute warm-up to get you sweating
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 5 minutes relaxed walking - Well done!

The finishing touch: add 10 push-ups, 10 squats with jumps, 10 squats and 15 sit-ups - 3 sets of each.

It's time for another booster week, so get ready! You're halfway through the fitness program, and might already feel the difference? Outside, spring is in full bloom, so consider getting some variation by exercising outdoors, getting out your bike, bringing the kids, or something else exciting - as long as the intensity is the same, the effect should be equally good.

Monday - HIT-IT

  • 10-minute warm-up, slow jog or brisk walk to get you sweating a little.

Find a hill or to get your heart rate up more quickly, and limit the stress on your knees. Today you will complete 10 intervals, each 1 minute long and separated by a 1-minute break:

  • 1 minute brisk walking or running up the incline so you feel tired and think the last 20 seconds are really tough, but not too tough to complete.
  • Walk or run quietly during the break, and repeat until you have completed a total of 10 intervals
  • After the last interval, walk or jog slowly for 5-10 minutes to cool down and get rid of lactate.

Remember that it's important that your ten "super minutes" are of a high intensity. If you are unable to keep the pace up for a full minute, then you've started too hard, and should go a little lighter the next time to manage to go the whole "distance." Like during 4x4 interval training, you should be sufficiently tired and winded that you are unable to maintain a conversation.

Wednesday - 4x4

  • 10-minute warm-up, slow jog or brisk walk to get you sweating a little, preferably on an incline or hill (to get your heart rate up more quickly, and limit the stress on your knees).

4x4 minutes of brisk walking or running up the incline so it feels quite strenuous, and you're very short of breath. If you have a heart rate monitor, you should be at 85-95% of your maximum heart rate (use our calculator to estimate your max pulse, or read how to test yourself). This is how you should proceed after completing the warm-up:

  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 5-minute cool-down - well done!

Friday - Booster

  • 10-minute warm-up to get you sweating
  • 4 minutes brisk walking or running so you're very short of breath (85-95% of max pulse)
  • 2 minutes relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 1 minute relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 1 minute relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 4 minutes brisk walking or running so you're very short of breath (85-95% of max pulse)
  • 2 minutes relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 1 minute relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 5-minute cool-down, relaxed walking

Then you can take a deep breath and celebrate the successful completion of today's workout. Well done!

Sunday - Hiking

Go for a hike in the forest, or do some other activity you enjoy for 30 minutes at a comfortable pace.

You can also tack on a little extra:

  • 15 sit-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 squats
  • 10 deep squats with jumps

Do 4 sets of the exercises, then you're all set for an exciting week 5!

This week will be a little different; next up is endurance training with a special bonus! Consider bringing your family or a friend when you head out. Perhaps you can make it a standing agreement to exercise together once per week/month? Exercising with others is both social and fun, and can give an extra boost to your motivation.

Monday - Endurance training with a boost

Do an activity you enjoy for at least 45 minutes.

Add a little extra at the end:

  • 20 sit-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats
  • 10 squats with jumps

Do 4 sets of the exercises, and then your week is off to a great start!

Wednesday - slightly tougher endurance training

Do an activity you enjoy for at least 45 minutes, but vary the intensity so you get 1-2 minute periods where you're approaching a high enough intensity where you don't feel like speaking in long sentences.

Friday - 1x4 with a bonus

  • 10-minute warm-up to get you sweating
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 5 minutes relaxed walking - Well done!

The finishing touch:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 deep squats with jumps
  • 10 deep squats
  • 15 sit-ups - 3 sets each

It's the second-to-last week of the exercise program, so spend this week reflecting on what motivates you to exercise. You probably prefer some of the activities we've introduced over others, and since the most important exercise is the exercise you actually do, it's important to keep a long-term perspective. Identify which activities you enjoy, and keep doing them after the program ends to maintain or continue improving your fitness.

Monday - 4x4

  • 10-minute warm-up, slow jog or brisk walk to get you sweating a little, preferably on an incline or hill (to get your heart rate up more quickly, and limit the stress on your knees).

4x4 minutes of brisk walking or running up the incline so it feels quite strenuous, and you're very short of breath. If you have a heart rate monitor, you should be at 85-95% of your maximum heart rate (use our calculator to estimate your max pulse, or read how to test yourself). This is how you should proceed after completing the warm-up:

  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 3 minutes of relaxed walking
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 5-minute cool-down - well done!

End with 10 squat jumps.

Wednesday - 1x4 with a bonus

  • 10-minute warm-up to get you sweating
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 5 minutes relaxed walking - Well done!

The finishing touch:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 squats with jumps
  • 10 squats
  • 15 sit-ups - 3 sets each

Friday - 1x10

Gear up for the weekend with a super workout!

  • 10-minute warm-up, slow jog or brisk walk to get you sweating a little.

Find a hill or to get your heart rate up more quickly, and limit the stress on your knees. Today you will complete 10 intervals, each 1 minute long and separated by a 1-minute break:

  • 1 minute brisk walking or running up the incline so you feel tired and think the last 20 seconds are really tough, but not too tough to complete.
  • Walk or run quietly during the break, and repeat until you have completed a total of 10 intervals.
  • After the last interval, walk or jog slowly for 5-10 minutes before you hop in the shower.

Now take the weekend off to recuperate and charge for the final week!

Congratulations on your hard work! You've reached the final week of the fitness program, and should be in much better shape than when you set out initially. Get ready for an extra push this week, and write down a specific, tangible fitness plan moving forwards. Remember that exercise is best fresh, so take all the possible opportunities to make your life an active one.

Monday - Endurance with strength training

Do an activity you enjoy (jogging, bike ride, playing in the park with your kids, etc.) for at least 45 min. Then:

  • 10 push-ups, either with bent knees or kneeling with handholds
  • 15 deep squats
  • 15 stk sit-ups
  • 10 deep squats with jumps
  • 15 deep squats
  • 15 stk sit-ups
  • 10 squats with jumps
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats
  • 15 stk sit-ups
  • 10 squats with jumps

A great start to the week, and you're ahead of the game!

Wednesday - 1x4 with a bonus

  • 10-minute warm-up to get you sweating
  • 1 x 4 minutes of walking or running so you're very short of breath
  • 5 minutes relaxed walking - Well done!

Remember to tack on a little extra, for the full effect:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 squats with jumps
  • 10 squats
  • 15 sit-ups - 3 sets each

Friday - Booster

  • 10-minute warm-up to get you sweating
  • 4 minutes brisk walking or running so you're very short of breath (85-95% of max pulse)
  • 2 minutes relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 1 minute relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 1 minute relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 4 minutes brisk walking or running so you're very short of breath (85-95% of max pulse)
  • 2 minutes relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 1 minute relaxed walking
  • 1 minute walk or running so you're very short of breath, last 20 seconds should be a little uncomfortable
  • 5-minute cool-down, relaxed walking - and then you can call it a day.

Sunday - Hiking

Go for a hike in the forest, or do some other activity you enjoy for at least 1 hour at a comfortable pace. Bring your family or friends and make it a real outing!

You can also tack on a little extra - do 4 sets of the exercises:

  • 15 sit-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 squats
  • 10 squats with jumps

 

Finally, we'd like to wish everyone a happy and active summer!

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