Spring is the time of rebirth and inspiration and can be very exciting but the stress of bathing suit season — just 12 weeks away — can be daunting. Don’t worry, you still have some time to get that summer pool party, beach bash or street festival bod.
Starting your fitness plan now will not only ensure you get an ab by Memorial Day but can also build healthy habits that will stay with you beyond Labor Day.
When it comes to eating right and hitting the gym regularly, “slow and steady” wins the race and your body will thank you. Follow these tips for the perfect summer travel bod.
Planning out your weekly meals helps prevent cheating and that sneaky fast-food breakfast sandwich before work. When you know what is going into your food, you can control the good and bad things, getting your body what it needs.
This might take some forethought, but doing a weekly (or twice weekly) grocery shop will set you up for success. Then planning the menus for the week can guarantee success when it comes to fueling for the gym or dropping a few pounds.
Weigh it Out
Eating the right amount of food is just as important than eating the right foods. Invest in a good food scale so that you can weigh out what goes into your mouth to ensure you are either cutting the right amount of calories or bulking your diet depending on your goals.
Studying the food labels can help guide you when it comes to calories and macro-nutrients so that you know if you are getting the right amount of protein, carbs, and fat. Just know that your big bowl of cereal might shrink a little when it comes to breakfast.
Find a Workout Buddy
Hitting the gym is hard, we know it, so doing so with a friend makes it way more bearable. Not only can you scope out any hotties in the gym together, you will also be able to get a spot when you need it to lift the right amount of weight and get some much-needed pushing when you feel like quitting.
Pre-planning your workouts is as important than pre-planning your meals. Knowing what the agenda is for the week will prevent any skipped or half-assed workouts.
Keep in mind, professionals recommend 30 minutes of activity per day. If you are looking to drop some weight, you may require more.
Find a Professional
If you have the means, enlist the knowledge of a fitness professional. Whether it’s a personal trainer, Pilates instructor, dietician or health coach, these people are invaluable to your success. Your wellness is their business and when you achieve the results you want, they have done their job.
Interview appropriately because not all trainers are equal nor do they suit your needs. So if you want a hard-style military workout, ask for it. If you need gentle, daily motivation, ask for it. You are paying the money and if they cannot do what you want, move on.
Keep your Eyes on the Prize
Distractions come and go and they come in the form of many things like celebrations, weekend getaways, illness, or new relationships. Don’t derail yourself when things go awry and stick to the end goal.
Things come up, we get it, but none are worth sabotaging your Summer bod so it is best to get back on the path to wellness. Storyboards, pictures and motivation quotes can help when things get tough but will keep you going.
Think Big Picture
We know that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we want (or need) to do. If you are pressed for time, think about doing total body workouts 2 or 3 times per week. Large muscle groups from head to toe will burn the most amount of calories and hit every body part to get the results.
Squats, deadlifts, step-ups, lunges, pull-ups, and push-ups are all good movements to get the most out of a time-cramped day. These incorporate larger muscle groups and multiple joints to ensure maximum effort in a little time.
As with any exercise or diet change, consult you physician to see what’s right for you.
Photo by Flickr user Boemski and Drey Messmer used under the Creative Commons Attribution license