Well, summer has arrived – for a couple of days anyways. And hopefully, it will be here to stay in a few short weeks. YEAH! Cannot wait for those hot, humid 90+ days. If your bikini body is not quite ready for the beach, don’t fret. A proper diet and the integration of a few key elements into your exercise routine may give you the fuel you need to keep working towards a healthier you. Here are a couple thoughts (thanks James Moffat for a few ideas as well):
- Diet – If you’re planning to shed a few pounds before the summer season, don’t look at your diet to get fit as a temporary change in eating habits. Take this opportunity to learn how to make healthier decisions regarding your food choices. Following a low G.I. diet may give you the results you are looking for – and teach you a healthy eating style for life.
- Exercise – Set some short and long term goals for yourself. Do you want to do a 5K next month? A half marathon at the end of the summer? A sprint triathlon in the near future? How about an Ironman? Once you’ve established your goal(s), you can develop your plan on how to get there. Arm yourself with the proper tools and start your journey to your final destination. Remember, it takes 21 days to develop a habit….that does for exercise too!
- Track Your Progress – Working out is a process and if you are working towards a specific goal, you will want to keep a daily, weekly, or monthly record of your progress. Use pics in your workout gear if you are trying to shed a few pounds; or log your exercise in a journal and track how you are feeling, running times, weights, etc. If you feel like you are not progressing at some point, you can look back at your photos and entries to observe changes.
- Establish a Support System – No one screams, “You can do it! Keep going!” like someone (like me) standing next to you screaming, “You can do it! Keep going!” Look to your family, friends, online community, ME, personal trainers, workout buddies to help keep you motivated and accountable for your workouts and healthy eating.
- Mix It Up – Have a variety of workout regimens so you don’t get bored. Same thing with the healthy eating – try a variety of foods with different preparations.
- Reward Yourself – Yes, baby! Only don’t reward yourself with too much chocolate or potato chips. Perhaps you could try a gold star chart – kind of like the one I used for potty training. Well, maybe not just like that one, but you understand the concept I’m trying to convey. Once you reach a “larger goal” reward yourself with a bigger reward such as a new magazine subscription (to a health mag, of course) or new workout gear, or dinner at the healthiest restaurant in town. Be sure to give yourself those occasional pats on the back for a job well done.
- Stay Motivated – Working out can be hard, demanding and frustrating. Believe me, I know. It’s okay to feel frustrated but it’s all about how you handle your frustrations and your inner ability to self motivate and keep on going. Take time to reflect on your frustrations and find out how you best handle your feelings. Look back at your “positives” and discover how to get yourself back on track. Lean on your support system if you need it. Staying motivated truly is the most important element of your workout plan.
Summer is right around the corner and so is that bikini beach weather. Now’s the time to make the commitment to yourself, and your body, to improve your diet and settle into a stimulating exercise routine that can help you for many years to come. Get ready to take that bikini body to the beach!