The dark days of winter are almost over, and before we know it, we’ll be looking forward to sun-drenched days at the beach and well-earned vacations. If you have grand plans for a show-stopping summer body or you simply want to get in shape or feel more confident when bikini season arrives, it’s never too early to start prepping that summer body. Here are some useful hints to help you trim down or tone up.
Step Up Your Workout Regime
If you’re not exercising 3-4 times a week, now is the time to step up your workout regime. Whether you want to burn fat, tone up or build muscle mass before the summer arrives, don’t expect overnight results. It can take time for the rewards of regular exercise to become visible. Choose activities that match your body goals. If you want to lose weight, go for cardio-based exercises and activities that will really get your blood pumping like spinning, sprint training or high-intensity interval training.
If you don’t want to lose weight, but you’d like to tone and add a little more definition, opt for yoga or Pilates, and add light weights to your cardio sessions. If you want to gain muscle and add rock-hard abs or defined calves, you’ll need to increase the intensity of your weight sessions, and try resistance training.
Exercise can get boring if you do the same thing over and over again, so don’t restrict yourself to gym workouts, exercise classes or doing lengths at the pool. You can cycle, climb or run. You can go dancing or surfing with your friends, go riding or even learn how to become a trapeze artist. If you have fun while you’re exercising, you’re more likely to give it your all and stick with the program. I’m personally a big fan of Zumba and OrangeTheory classes.
Change How You Eat
You may think that looking great on the beach is all about crash dieting, but you’d be wrong. Healthy eating isn’t always about dropping dress sizes or noticing results on the scale. It’s about improving the quality of foods you eat, making sure you get a good blend of foods and providing your body with the nutrients it needs. Pay attention to portion sizes, and try and eliminate foods that don’t have nutritional value.
If you want to try diets, you’ll find examples and articles like this great guide online. Take care when you’re choosing diets — go for options that encourage healthy eating rather than those that achieve weight loss by cutting calorie intake dramatically or getting rid of entire food groups. Don’t deprive yourself. After a week of working hard, exercising regularly and sticking to your healthy eating plan, you deserve a treat. Just make sure that treat days don’t turn into treat weeks, and you’ll soon notice a positive difference.
Summer is on the horizon, and if you’ve got body goals in mind, it’s never too early to start prepping. Paying a little more attention to what you eat and how much you move can make all the difference when the long, hazy days arrive.