As the summer months draw nearer, some people will be looking at themselves in the mirror or feeling around their waistlines and feel that they need to do something to get in better shape for when the sun comes up, and the beach starts calling.
It’s good to know that there are many great ways to get in shape for the summer – whether you’re a long-time gym user or you’re just looking to lose a few pounds without going hell for leather. Here are eight tried-and-tested methods that’ll have you in shape for the summertime:
Join the Gym
It sounds like an obvious point, but joining the gym is one of the best ways to get in shape for the summer, and it’s not just because of the weights, treadmills and fitness classes. It’s also about the mindset. Once you join the gym, it will give you the up-and-go required to start taking better care of yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much more motivated you can get when you start paying for something.
To give yourself an extra boost, see if you can entice a family member or friend to join with you, or join a gym where you know people who go there already. You can meet at the gym, do your work, then catch up for a cup of green tea or a skinny latte afterward. If you’re a head-down, lone-wolf gym goer, make sure you don’t overdo it from the off. Ease your way in or you’ll risk getting injured or burning out before the summer has got started.
Shake Things Up
If you’re already going to the gym and doing all the fitness stuff, but somehow you’ve plateaued, it could just be that your body has become used to your routine. The answer to your problems is to shake things up a bit. That means switching your fitness class from Yoga to Spin, or Boxercise or Body Combat, or adding some more cardio to your gym sessions if you’re more of a weights person. Your body will soon be working hard again, and you’ll lose weight as a result. The instructors at Kinetix Inspired Fitness recommend switching up your routine on a regular basis.
Watch What You Eat
Ask any Personal Trainer, and they’ll tell you that getting fit and healthy is 90% down to what you fuel your body with. There’s no point burning 800 calories in a Spin class and then going home and having two glasses of wine and a takeaway. You have to be consistent with your good food, and cut those naughty meals down to a minimum.
An extremely popular way of losing weight is to track your food intake with mobile apps, such as My Fitness Pal. When you find out how many calories there are in those snacks and alcoholic beverages you keep treating yourself with, you’ll soon find yourself cutting down, and you’ll start to see the results in no time.
Stay Off The Scales
Your mindset and happiness are powerful tools when it comes to getting in shape for the summer, and the best way to stop all of your positive vibes is to get into the habit of constantly weighing yourself. Your weight naturally yo-yos based on what time you weigh yourself, how much food you’ve consumed, how much water is in your body, etc., so you’re likely to see a mixture of positive and negative results in your weight loss. It’s not a good habit to get into, and people who give up on getting their ideal summer look often do so because they keep stepping on the scales every day.
At the end of the day, it’s not important how much you weigh. What matters is how you look, how you feel about yourself, and whether you feel like you’re making progress with your health and fitness. Some numbers on a scale shouldn’t determine that.
Leave the Car in the Driveway
If your commute to work is longer than 10-15 minutes, chances are you will need to take the car to get there. But if you can just as easily take a walk or dust off the bike to get there, you should definitely consider it, even if it’s just a couple of times per week. See if your work has a Cycle to Work scheme or something similar, and even if your commute is a little longer, why not try getting public transport and then walking the rest of the trip. The name of the game is driving less and using your legs more.
Outside of work, see if you can incorporate more walking into your life. Chances are you will have plenty of good walking opportunities not far from your doorstep, so make the most of them. Walking is great for burning calories, but even better for your mental health and general mindset. You can truly open your mind and let all those bad thoughts drift away when you’re on a walk.
Go Veggie Once or Twice a Week
Exercise isn’t always an issue for people. It’s usually the food intake that causes trouble. Without cutting out too much of the things you like and becoming miserable as a result, you can lose a few pounds for the summer by incorporating a couple of veggie days into your weekly food intake.
You’re more likely to have takeaways and indulge yourself at the weekend, so instead of missing out on spoiling yourself, prepare for the weekend by having ultra-healthy meat-free meals on Thursday and Friday, so you feel good going into the weekend. You might find that you take the healthy momentum into the weekend with you, and forfeit the unhealthy stuff.
Don’t Go Too Heavy on The Booze
As a number of people will agree, the moment the sun starts shining, the beer garden starts calling, the deckchairs and BBQ comes out in the garden again, and the temptations begin to pile up. Fortunately, there are ways to still indulge yourself with wine and beer in the summer without ruining your health and fitness. The size of your drink will reduce the calories significantly, e.g., a pint will be approximately 250 calories, whereas a bottle will be around 150. There are also light and non-alcoholic options that have hardly any calories in them at all. Switch these up on occasion, and you’ll be putting a lot less empty and harmful calories into your body.