Fitness Tips for Bikini Season
Guys, it’s bikini season. You’re either absolutely enthralled about that statement and reaching for your triangle top, or – like many of us – you’re hating it, hiding under the covers on the couch (like me). Perhaps you had a super comfy winter and didn’t get to that Pilates class as many times as you wanted (does twice in 4 months count for anything?). Well, we’re already in June, folks, and before you know it we’ll be smack-dab in the middle of a 4th of July BBQ rockin’ that bikini that doesn’t quite fit anymore. Maybe that’s what Lana Del Rey was talking about in her song, “Summertime Sadness?” Rest assured, you’re not out of time, but the clock is definitely ticking. Here are the top tips on jump starting your new fitness program to feel confident at the pool this summer.
Drop the Soda
The majority of our bodies are made of water. The quickest way for the average American to drop weight is to cut out sugary drinks. This includes soda, juices, coffee drinks (not black coffee, the stuff with all the sweeteners and cream), and flavored waters. Hydrate your body and flush out all the stuff you don’t want by drinking as close to 8 cups (a total of 64 oz) of plain water as you can every day. If you need to mix it up, add lemon or cucumber to your water. Hydrating the body has to be the first priority. Once the body is hydrated, it will be able to function properly and processes, such as digestion, will become easier.
Pile on the Veggies
It is not a secret that we all need more vegetables and fruits in our diets. The plethora of vitamins and antioxidants aside, another wonderful thing about fruits and veggies is the fiber content. Fiber is absolutely vital to our health and our waistlines. Fiber not only keeps us fuller, longer, but helps get rid of unwanted fat in the body. Pile the fruits and veggies onto your plate and never look back!
Lean & Mean
If you are a meat eater – and some of us are not – make sure you are paying attention to what you are eating! Keep your meat cuts in the appropriate serving size (about the size of your fist) and look for lean cuts! Yes, the fatty parts can really make a steak its ridiculously amazing self, BUT you shouldn’t be eating that every night. Keep your day-to-day portions lean and mean and watch the weight melt off.
Sugar, Salt & Fat
This could probably cover all the good things in life, but you’ve got a BBQ to rock! So it’s time to cut down the sugar, salt and fat in your life. You don’t have to give them up completely, (I mean, there’s such thing as balance) but lowering them will show changes on your waistline. On a molecular level, we need a variety of nutrients, many of which are present in this list. This is why we believe that moderation is key! Instead of reaching for that cookie, grab a piece of fruit! Make some innocent swaps in this department and you’ll be glad you did.
Just Move It
So this wouldn’t be a fitness program if you weren’t physically working on your fitness! Our bodies are simple, it’s an input and output situation: input calories (eat) and get energy; moving, living, thinking, breathing, it all requires energy! And when you add additional movements, like walking, jogging, or dancing, you use that energy. The trick to losing body fat is burning more than you’re eating. So get moving! You’d be surprised how something so small as taking the stairs could have a drastic effect on your body composition.
It’s a fact that more muscle burns more calories to maintain its “muscliness” (you’re welcome). Lifting weights or even doing the middle school trifecta (sit ups, pushups, and pull ups) will help add more lean muscle mass to your frame. Not only will this change the way your body looks, but it will change how it works, too! Your body will require more energy for general upkeep (see section above), so you’re automatically burning more calories! Freaking rad! So maybe you’re thinking, “but I don’t want to get too big” as if you’re Arnold Schwartzenegger or something. Don’t worry – you won’t! Achieving a body like the bodybuilders takes way more than what’s in this recipe for summer fitness. So relax and go lift something!
Getting back into shape after a long winter looks like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Break it down and simply change or add one thing at a time! Maybe you have 10 extra minutes after rocking that sales report, go for a walk or do some push-ups in the office. Instead of buying whole milk, opt for 2%, 1%, or better yet, non-fat. All the little things will add up and make big changes on your body and your life. So keep going! We applaud you for wanting to work on your health and fitness, just take it one step at a time!