Health

Get That Summer Body

The first day of summer is only a matter of days away. It’s that time of year when people wear light layers, have picnics, hang out on their porches or front stoops, and spend time outdoors. If you’re hoping to wear a swimsuit or short shorts or a new crop top, you may be wanting to tone and tighten up your body. Here are a few tips to get you started!

Diet

If you’re wanting to trim up, the best way is to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet. As the saying goes, “Core is made in the gym; abs are made in the kitchen.”  There’s no healthy way to lose weight quickly (and especially to keep it off). The only real option is to stick to a long-term lifestyle diet that includes plenty of vegetables and whole foods and very little sugar. But if you’re looking for an immediate boost, you do have a couple of options. One is to augment an already healthy diet and exercise regimen with a trusted weight-loss supplement like ephedra. Another option is to reduce any bloating you may be experiencing. Make sure you’re eating enough fiber and exercising frequently. Stay away from salty foods and carbonated beverages, and also avoid artificial sweeteners. Consume probiotics and drink peppermint tea. Do not resort to a laxative! Reducing bloating is no replacement for actual weight-loss, but it can be a temporary fix if you’re putting on that crop top in, like, two days.

Targeted Exercises

If you’re looking for a last-minute quick fix, focus on toning up the “vanity” parts of the body: abs, thighs, and upper arms.

Tone triceps with tricep dips (either on the floor or using a chair), Pilates arm pumps, and skullcrushers. Tighten up abs with The Hundred and then isolate your oblique muscles with bicycle crunches and single-leg stretches. Push-ups will tone both your arms and your abs. You can do them in a full plank or on your knees. For thighs, do a set of lunges and squats, and then get on the floor and do a few sets of clams and inner-thigh lifts. Confused by all these terms? Don’t worry; they’re classic exercises that you can easily find online.

Cardio exercises burn fat and quickly burn calories. Aim for at least thirty minutes of cardio three days a week. It takes 20 minutes for cardio to start burning fat. But remember not to focus entirely on cardio — muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you build muscle, you’ll actually burn more calories while resting than you would if you only did cardio. And always remember to stretch! In addition to preventing injury, stretching helps keep your muscles long and lean.

Don’t Quit After Summer!

The best strategy for gaining a “beach bod” is to work for it all year, not just the few weeks before your vacay. The reality is that establishing a permanent healthy lifestyle is the only way to get — and keep — the body of your dreams. When summer rolls around, you won’t be stressing out!

Additionally, during those dark winter months, we don’t get enough sunlight. Sunlight is one of our primary sources of vitamin D, which plays a major role in producing serotonin and regulating our mood. The winter blues are a real deal! One way to keep endorphins and serotonin levels high is to exercise three to five times a week.

The point of dieting and exercise should never be to lose weight, unless you are overweight or obese and therefore face a major health hazard. Rather, the point should be to stay healthy and strong, both in body and mind.

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