Summer is here — there’s more skin everywhere and not much time to prepare for that beach vacation or swanky pool party. Face it, it’s time to really buckle down and get your booty in gear. Meredith Miller of Level 10 Fitness offers these tips to get ready for the bikini.
Make a pledge to up your exercise ante.
For best results, try to do about 40-50 minutes of cardio per day, four to five times per week, before or interspersed with strength training.
- If you want to do more than this, just make sure you give your body at least one day off per week to recover.
- Don’t skip the weights — resistance training is one of the quickest ways to get more toned and build muscle, and for every pound of muscle you add to your frame, your metabolism burns an extra 50 or so calories per day (enough to prevent a five-pound per year weight gain).
- Grab a partner if you can-studies show people who have workout buddies experience some of the best results.
Many complain there is not enough time in the day for exercise. If your day is one big juggling act, then split your workout time into two, three or even four mini-workouts.
- Research shows you’ll burn the same amount of calories whether you break up your workout or do it all at once.
- You can do a brisk 10-minute walk before work, climb your office stairs for 10 minutes at lunchtime and have a dance party in your kitchen while making dinner (my personal favorite).
Switch it up
Don’t do the same routine every single time you hit the gym. In fact, try to alternate your different types of cardio on alternating days.
- Implement interval or circuit training for rapid results.
- Add yoga, dance, kickboxing or Pilates into your regimen a few days a week.
- Even a brisk walk will give you significant benefits-for every mile you walk, you will burn 80-100 calories, nearly the same as if you ran the same distance.
The weather is getting nicer, so no excuses. Get out there and enjoy it.
- Pick an activity that feels like play, and throw yourself into it.
- Whether it’s tennis, golf, surfing, hiking, roller skating or just walking on the beach, add some outdoor activity into your routine to supplement your cardio and resistance training.
- Having a variety of activities will ensure that you can do something regardless of the weather or time of day. Plus, it’s an easy way to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Make sure to stay hydrated.
- Water fills you up, curbs food cravings and flushes the toxins out of your system. We’ve all heard the adage about 8-10 glasses of water per day, but don’t forget to factor in extra for your workouts.
- Mix it up by drinking green or white tea, both of which are reported to boost your metabolism and burn fat.
- Really watch the juices, sodas, and alcohol, due to their high sugar content.
Up Your Fiber Intake
A high-fiber diet can lower your caloric intake, while making you feel full and less deprived.
- Experts state that fibrous foods promote weight loss in myriad ways: they require more chewing and thus slow down eating, speed the passage of food through the digestive tract, and boost satiety hormones.
- Try to eat 45 grams per day. Some high fiber foods include oatmeal (try steel cut rather than instant), grapes, black beans, lentils, apples, pears, baked beans and peas.
- Throw away the candy and chips, and replace them with raw vegetables like carrots and celery, or apple slices, raisins and the like.
- Nuts and seeds are excellent choices as well, as they are rich in omega-3s and arginine, and very satiating.
- Other good choices include almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and pistachios, as well as watermelon, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Sleep it Off
Make sure to get a good night’s sleep.
* Studies link adequate sleep with better control over the body’s “hunger hormones.”
* Also, working out without enough sleep is almost as bad as not working out at all, so get your Zs in.
Give yourself a cheat day once a week, to indulge in your cravings so you don’t feel deprived.
- A weekend day is probably best. Making behavioral changes is difficult, and rewards truly motivate.
- In addition to your cheat day, plan a reward for when you reach your goal. Whether it’s a spa retreat, some sexy stilettos or a trip to the movies, rewards will help you stay motivated.
- Do whatever works for you.
Work Your Inner Goddess
Last but so not least, be confident.
- Create a positive inner dialogue, and tell yourself how great you look on a daily basis.
- Own whatever you’re rocking to the beach, pool or park.
- Nothing is sexier or more attractive than someone who knows they look good.
Chaton Anderson is a Writer and the Publicity Director for TheSavvyGal.com. A product and pop culture addict, she is always looking for the coolest, hippest things on the market. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or leads on products and services on the cutting edge.