Summer is quickly approaching, and we all know what that means: sleeveless tops, shorts, and of course… swimsuit season! But no worries, because with these 10 fitness tips on looking your best this summer season, you’ll be feeling great in your skin again in no time!
1. Eat light, but more importantly, eat clean!
When most of us think about trimming down for summer, we’re probably thinking about slashing calories by eating smaller portions and simple carbohydrates. However, it’s just as important to eat clean as it is to eat light, if you’re looking to keep extra weight off in the long run. Cut out sodas (yes, even diet), reduce processed sugar and oils in your diet, and add in more of the good stuff: raw or lightly steamed vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruit. Not only will you likely lose some of the weight that accumulated over winter, but you’ll feel great and energized at the same time!
2. Take it one step at a time.
One mistake we too often make in trying to get in shape for summertime is doing too much, too fast. You can’t just go from living off of fast food and other processed, high calorie foods, to the other extreme overnight. Start in early spring, and make small changes along the way. And most importantly, listen to your body. If you’re feeling hungry or lethargic, don’t deprive yourself! Just try to load up on more healthy foods.
3. Think circuits.
One the best workouts for fat loss is circuit training! Instead of doing a straight jog, try a 5 minute warm-up walk, and then alternating between a comfortable walk and a brisk run for the remainder of your workout. Or if you’re at the gym, alternate between two tracks around the gym, and two minutes of weight-lifting.
4. Don’t overwork a specific area.
You may have a “problem area” you’d like to work on, but don’t put all of your focus on that one area during your workouts. Unfortunately, we can’t target weight loss in one specific part of the body by exercising the area more; fat loss happens in the body more generally. Also, overworking one muscle can lead to injury. Instead focus on balancing your workouts between each part of your body, and eat clean to encourage more fat loss.
5. Take care of your skin.
Taking good care of your skin obviously won’t lead to weight loss, but it does make a huge difference in looking healthy and in shape! Make sure to exfoliate your skin at least a few times a week and keep well moisturized. Use a moisturizer with SPF during the day, and take advantage of self-tanners! As some say, if you can’t tone it, tan it!
6. Swim your way to health.
Swimming is an excellent exercise, as it gives you cardio and strength training in one. It also burns calories faster than power-walking or jogging, and tends to work the entire body all at once. Many people also like swimming because they find it more entertaining or fun than running, so take advantage of your neighborhood pool!
7. Stay hydrated.
It might sound a little silly, but staying hydrated is huge when it comes to weightloss and optimal health. Staying hydrated will keep you feeling fuller longer and with fewer cravings, and will encourage weight loss and radiant, summer ready skin. If plain water isn’t your thing, try coconut water, which is loaded with potassium which keeps you hydrated longer than just drinking water, or try infusing your water with fresh vegetables and fruits like cucumber and lemon.
8. Don’t neglect those triceps!
One of the muscles neglected the most during workouts is the triceps, but toning them up will make a huge difference when sleeveless weather hits! Try some simple tricep dips (bend your elbows over your head and hold a free weight in both hands, and dip the weight down to your shoulder blades and back up), or hit the bench press to get those triceps working.
9. Find support and motivation.
If you want to get fit and stay fit, motivation is key. Try finding a friend with whom you can share motivation and workouts. Or find an online health and fitness group, for daily motivation and advice. There are so many resources out there nowadays, it isn’t very difficult to find support!
10. Hold yourself accountable.
Another important key to getting weight off for the summer and sticking to workouts is to hold yourself accountable. Keep a food diary or log what you eat on an app like myfitnesspal. That way treating yourself to an indulgent treat every now and then won’t lead to binge-eating and giving up. And plan your workouts; put them in your calendar or planner, and stick to them as much as possible. It’s easy to deny it when you start to slack on your diet or fitness regime, but you’ll be noticing it come mid-summer!