Wednesday, February 26, 2014

[Guest Post] 10 Tips on How to Prepare Your Body for Summer

As the final countdown to that long-awaited summer holiday begins, you'll have nothing to worry about if you've been preening and pampering all winter!

If on the other hand, smooth skin, hair-free legs and a subtle sun-kissed shimmer were the last things on your mind during these bitterly cold winter months the good news is that you don't have to spend a fortune to give your body a much-needed overhaul.

Prep your body for summer with the following tips.



1. GET YOUR SWEAT ON WITH FITNESS TRAINING! 

If you want to feel good in your bathing suit, this is non-negotiable: Fit your workout in, no excuses! Commit to a full-body strength & fitness training program at least three times a week to burn calories during the workout, boost your metabolism's calorie-burning power for 24 to 48 hours after, and develop lean muscles that look and feel better than flab. Perform exercises that use more than one muscle group such as squats, pushups, rows, and lunges in a circuit to 
make your workouts most efficient. TIP: Try working out in the morning to get your metabolism revved up for the rest of the day. 


2. START WALKING

If you don't do anything else, get yourself to walk at least 15 minutes a day. Walking is a great way to exercise, and studies show that even 15 minutes can increase your lifespan by three years. So you'll live longer and look better to boot!

• Take the stairs instead of the elevator when possible. Walking up stairs is a great way to work your leg and glute muscles.

• Find excuses to be outside! The more you're outside, the harder it is not to walk. Especially when it's nice out, eat lunch outside, take a walk after dinner, or walk your dog regularly in the morning.


3. EAT FRESH

Cut back on processed, starchy carbohydrates such as breads, pastas, bagels, cookies, and crackers. Most of these foods are loaded with extra sodium and preservatives that can contribute to water retention and bloating. Instead, opt for a serving of one of the many fresh fruits and veggies in season, with lean protein to keep you satisfied. Go for vegetables that have lots of color in them: beets, carrots, kale, tomatoes, and broccoli. Combine them in a salad or eat them with hummus if you don't have a taste for them. TIP: Don't starve yourself. Starving yourself will actually hurt your chances of losing weight, because your metabolism slows when it doesn't get food. (It's preparing to save more energy.) So eat regular, small portions if you want to lose that extra weight.


4. DRINK MORE WATER

If you are like most people, chances you aren't drinking enough water. So start amping up your daily H20 consumption today. Being adequately hydrated means you have more radiant skin, more energy, and all-around better health--all three qualities that are important to bikini beauty. 


5. REDUCE YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE

If you're used to having a glass of wine or pint of beer every night, try cutting back to two or three nights a week. You'll reduce your total calorie intake and set yourself up for a better night's sleep to energize you for your workout the next day. TIP: When you do indulge, always sandwich your drink with a glass of water before and after to avoid alcohol's dehydrating effects. 


6. GET MORE SLEEP

Many women (and men) go obsessively to the gym, eat like vegetarian monks, and still don't see a reduction in their waist size. Getting a good night's sleep is an important part of shedding those extra pounds.

• Sleep deprivation hurts your ability to lose weight. This because your body produces the glucose and insulin levels of some diabetics when you don't sleep! So depriving yourself of sleep is a no-no for healthy weight loss.

• Less sleep kills your motivation to work out and eat well. Getting a good night's rest helps keep you energized and motivated, so that when it comes time to hop on the treadmill, you're perky as can be!


7. SORT OUT DRY KNEES AND ELBOWS

Address any dryness or tough skin by exfoliating once a fortnight. The most common areas for dryness are elbows and knees. Take to your trouble spots with a loofah or body scrub in the shower and follow up with rich moisturising lotion.


8. BOOK A PEDICURE

One good pedicure is all it takes to get your feet ready for flip-flops. Once professional hands have done the basic hard work, you can get by for weeks and weeks, however cack-handed you are with the nail polish.


9. TACKLE BODY HAIR

Summer’s about showing skin, so it’s time to sort out your body hair. Legs and bikini lines are the most common targets, but why not try an eyebrow shaping as well? Also, if you’re after something more permanent, there’s always the option of laser hair removal. It’s best to undertake this quite some time before summer as multiple sessions are usually required and you need to leave a few weeks before exposing skin to the sun as it can be quite sensitive after treatment.


10. TRY OUT THE FAKE TAN

If you can’t get by without a tan in summer then look to a bottle, not the sun for a summer glow. We all know about the dangers of excessive sun exposure, and it’s important to look after the skin we’re in. Also take preventative measures by applying sunscreen and covering up in the sun.


Prepare your body for summer by starting early. Avoid a mad panic just before summer hits by slowly easing into a summer body preparation routine. Shed the winter blues by getting outdoors and moving more, and look after your body adjusting your skincare regime. It’s all about creating healthy habits and, come summer, your body will love you for it!


AUTHOR BIO: Mark Taylor is a freelance blogger and web enthusiast with a keen interest in Martial Arts & Fitness. Mark is a regular blogger for UMA, Melbourne based Ultimate Martial Arts & Fitness school.


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