Summer is a time for relaxation, connecting (virtually) with friends and getting outdoors. It’s also the perfect moment to develop new habits for a healthier, happier you! This badge will help you create a sustainable workout plan that fits your goals, whether that’s wanting to walk 10,000 steps or reduce stress. Every step has a few choices. Complete at least one of the five steps or all if you’re really inspired!

Your program should last at least two months to earn the badge. After completing step one, choose how you would like to continue your cross-training program over the next several weeks. You could stretch for the first week, then do cardio the next two weeks, then toning and strengthening the next two weeks after that, then spend the remaining weeks do a combination of the three. It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as you try all three, and then create a plan that works for you! Remember that you can change your plan at any time to fit your needs and to keep it fun and engaging.

SET YOUR CROSS-TRAINING GOAL

Let’s get started by figuring out what it is you want to achieve. Do you want to release stress? Learn a new sport? Just get stronger? After talking to your friends and family, create a fitness statement that defines your goal and the steps you’re going to take to achieve it over the next two months. To better visualize your goal, you can create a goal board using an online resource like Canva. Choose photos that inspire you, such as someone running through a finish line or motivational quotes. Getting advice from a professional to assist you in shaping your goal helps, too. You can talk to a coach, a personal trainer or maybe your gym teacher. They can provide you with the tools you need to get where you want to go.

START A STRETCHING AND FLEXIBILITY PROGRAM- 15 minutes per day

Before you get started, don’t forget to stretch! You can take a yoga or Pilates class. There are plenty of free online courses (like Yoga With Adriene) or apps you can use. If you like yoga or Pilates, make it a regular part of your workout. You can also choose to research and develop a customized program. Research online to discover what stretches will help you reach your cross-training goal. Then, create your routine.

ADD A CARDIO ELEMENT- 30 minutes per day

Get your heart rate up! Find out what your target training heart rate should be for your age. Take 220 and subtract your age, and you have your maximum heart rate. Your heart rate while exercising should be at 50 to 75 percent of that maximum number. While doing cardio, pause every so often to assess. Count your pulse on your wrist or neck for 10 seconds, then multiply it by six to get your BPM or beats per minute. Do the math to find the range of bpm that’s between 50 and 75 percent for you.

Now that you have your target heart rate, it’s time to find a cardio-related activity. Enjoy the outdoors? Head outside! Maybe it’s riding your bike, jogging, hiking or walking briskly in your local park (don’t forget to maintain six feet distance between yourself and others). You can try virtual gym classes, too.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up. You certainly don’t have to choose just one activity to do each day for two months. To keep it interesting (and therefore easier to stick to), switch up your workouts. Maybe you change your cardio activity each week, or even every day! Whatever works best for you and helps you reach your goal!

ADD A TONING OR STRENGTHENING ELEMENT- 15 minutes per day

You can get expert help from a specialist that can help you meet your goals. Or you can set up a free-weight plan using barbells or kettlebells. Don’t have access to a gym? No problem! Research five body-weight exercises and come up with a routine you enjoy.

STAY MOTIVATED TO REACH YOUR GOAL

Now that you have a plan put it into action to reach your goal! To stay motivated, record your workouts in a journal. Write down what you did, for how long, and how you felt afterward. You can do this online or writing in a journal. You can get creative and add before and after photos of yourself as you progress, motivational quotes and images. Don’t forget to tell a friend or family member about your goals and plan. Work together to help you find inspiration to keep going.

Conclusion

Get going! If you start to have problems sleeping, feel extra tired or lose your appetite, you may be overtraining. Cut back on the intensity for a little while. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint! You’re going for long term results. You can gradually increase the intensity again as your body recovers.

Good luck and happy training!

Questions? Contact Kerri Kelley, Health Programs Manager, at kkelley@girlscoutsem.org