Get Into Shape For Summer With These 10 Tips
As the days start to become longer and warmer, now is the time to be slimming down for summer. The fortunate thing is you still have time to do something about it, but don’t let yourself become complacent. Before you know it, summer will be here and you’ll still be much heavier than you would like to be. Check out these tips we’ve picked out that can help you get into shape:
First and foremost, you need a clear structure to your diet. You know how the motto goes, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. Many people just decide to stop eating, but any health professional will tell you that never works. All it does is throw your body into starvation mode and slows down your metabolism. Instead, create a monthly eating and exercise calendar so you can track your progress each week.
It can be easy to get sidetracked during training, especially when the sun is out and friends and family are enjoying the outdoors. This is why signing up for a 5k run, triathlon or half marathon are great ways to stay motivated. Why not rope in a friend too? You could train together and help spur each other on when you feel like giving up.
A ton of strength and cardiovascular exercises can be done with limited space. Also if you’re trying to get fit on a budget, equipment such as dumbbells, jump rope and stability balls are all cost-effective options. Make sure to start on a few pieces of exercise items before gradually moving up into something more challenging. Working out at home will save you money, but just like a real gym, it won’t do you any good if you don’t visit it regularly enough.
As well as doing some workouts in the garage, bedroom or wherever, it’s also important that you get some fresh air into your lungs. Walking or running around your local park will increase calorie burn and muscle usage. Alternatively if you live near a beach, exercising on sand brings added resistance which forces the body to work harder.
Apart from nutritional supplements such as multivitamin tablets, you shouldn’t need any additional supplements to achieve fat loss. Protein powders can be used to encourage muscle growth and recovery, but you won’t need anything stronger than that.
If you have a smartphone, you’ll be well aware of the amount of fitness apps that are available to download. Most of them are pretty good as well, allowing you to customize goals, duration and intensity to suit your needs. Apps are also way cheaper than hiring a personal trainer or going to yoga sessions.
The amount of water we drink tends to drop in the winter seasons because we’re not as thirsty. If you half the amount you would normally consume, then try topping that up with herbal tea. There are a number of health benefits you can take advantage of, including lower cholesterol, blood pressure and risk of cancer.
Sometimes we need to overcome mental barriers to reap the benefits of exercise. It can be easy to look out the window and think, “It’s raining outside, might as well have a day off”. What you should be doing is flipping that though into: “Yeah it’s raining, but I know after five minutes of running I’m fine”. By focusing on the positives rather than the negatives, you can keep yourself mentally motivated.
In today’s society, we spend a lot of time being sedentary. Making slight tweaks here or there can add up to a major difference, such as taking the stairs at work rather than the elevator. Why not also trying biking short distances rather than driving, or going for a short walk after meals to boost metabolism. All of these simple tasks can help maintain a healthy heart, build muscle and improve overall mood.
Team up with your mates and create your own “biggest loser” competition. Then, at the start of each month, chuck some money into a pot and the person who loses the most weight in those four weeks takes all. In addition, make sure there’s some sort of fine system in place if someone misses a weigh-in. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to stay motivated when cash is involved.
About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.