Get Your Summer Body Ready!
1. Watch what you eat
Your diet plays a huge role when it comes to health and fitness. If you’re hoping to hit the beach as soon as the temperature rises, you’ll have to be smart about what you eat. That means no late-night eating, dining out less, and cutting out foods with high sodium and sugar.
Many health experts recommend eating your heaviest meal at lunch and not dinner, so you have time to burn off the calories. Focus on a high-fiber diet and lean proteins so you’ll feel fuller for longer. Incorporate antioxidant-rich food and drinks like berries and green tea, and healthy fats like salmon and olive oil. If you’re very serious about losing weight, consider downloading an app like MyFitnessPal, which tracks your weight and calculates a recommended daily calorie intake.
2. Focus on workouts that really work
If you feel like your normal gym routine just isn’t cutting it, it’s time to up your game! The trendiest workout today, known as HIIT, is one of the most effective and efficient ways to exercise. HIIT, which stands for high-intensity interval training, was recently voted one of the top fitness trends for 2020 in a survey by the American College of Sports Medicines. Designed to burn fat and increase metabolism in a short time, HIIT workouts involve bursts of intense exercise with breaks or periods of lower-intensity exercise. High-intensity exercise can include everything from squats and burpees to running and lifting dumbbells. For the best results, exercise at least three times a week.
3. Get at least seven hours of sleep each night
Along with eating right and exercising, another important factor in weight loss is sleep. Good-quality sleep is essential to building muscle and getting fit, and many studies have shown a link between sleep deprivation and weight gain. According to several published studies, insufficient sleep is known to cause changes in hormones like ghrelin (which increases appetite) and leptin (which lets us know when we're full). A lack of rest can also make you crave food and ups the chances of late-night snacking, a big no-no when it comes to healthy eating. So how many zzz’s should you be getting a night? The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to eight hours of sleep for people over age 64 and seven to nine hours for ages 18 to 64.
4. Make exercising fun by doing it with a group
Don’t go on the journey to an epic summer body solo - do it with a group! Talk to your family, friends or coworkers about setting a fitness goal and see if they are up for the challenge. If you find the idea of going to a gym or a fitness class daunting, going with a friend can make it less stressful and more enjoyable (not to mention you’re more likely to burn more calories). Researchers have found that people who exercise in a group tend to work longer and harder than those who train solo. Not exercising alone can also be great for your mental state, as you’re more motivated by a communal atmosphere.
5. Take the stairs
Exercise doesn’t have to be just time spent in a gym. Find creative ways to burn calories outside of the gym, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, standing on the bus instead of sitting or going to a nearby park during your lunch break. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, try some easy yoga postures that will stretch your back, neck, hands...even eyeballs! Being sedentary isn’t going to get you that summer body you’ve been hoping for, so get up and get moving!
What are some of the ways you get your body summer ready? Let us know in the comments below!