When swimsuit time comes around, even the fittest women can become frantic, looking for a program that will give them really astounding results, from flatter abs to a firmer body in general. To get your body ready for the beach, you need to:
Take it outside. Walk, hike, run, cycle, mountain bike or incline skate for an exciting aerobic escapade that will actually get your lower body and abs bikini-ready. Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise. Hiking burns mega-calories as you increase your elevation and really work those legs. Running is also a great way to exercise – all you need is a good pair of shoes and you can do it anywhere.
Running, walking and cycling are the best exercises to trim your waist, believe it or not. This is because you can't "zap" fat off your middle with target-toning exercises like crunches. If you have surplus fat layering around your middle, crunches won't help much, all they do is strengthen and firm the area. Losing weight overall will help you lose from your middle.
- Get on the ball. Buy an inexpensive fitness ball if you don’t already have one. Use it to perform abdominal and leg toning exercises 5 days per week. Do 5-10 minutes in the morning and 5-10 minutes in the evening. There are hundreds of exercises you can do on a ball from beginner to advanced levels, so the variety will keep boredom at bay and ensure you keep your body challenged.
- Get strong, get slim. Are you frightened by the thought of starting strength training? Building muscle carries a lot of benefits, including:
- Improved stamina and suppleness
- Protection for your joints
- Increased bone mass
- Better energy level
- Improved metabolism
- Target muscle groups. By working the large lower body muscles, you help the body to burn fat everywhere, not just the area you are training. You will actually improve the look of your arms, back and stomach if you concentrate on the glutes, quads and hamstrings.
- Stop storing new body fat. A lot of people begin a training program to lose weight and yet wind up just packing on some new fat later that day or the next. Frequent eating conditions the body to use fat for energy since it is accustomed to getting fuel and doesn’t need to store as much fat. By eating smaller and more frequent meals/snacks you avoid the odds of providing too many calories at one time, and this makes it much less likely for you to store new fat.
- Combine weight training with your cardio. Particularly when maintained at a high intensity, aerobic activity will burn a large amount of calories, and you’ll realize greater success by combining it with resistance training. This is because correct resistance training stresses all of your muscle fiber types. When you stress your muscles effectively, you either maintain and strengthen your current muscle mass or you even gain some.
- Stay motivated to stay active. Vary your routine or change your scenery. Try something entirely new. Find a workout buddy. Set a new goal. Treat yourself to a workout gadget or accessory. Keep an exercise log to track your progress, and reward yourself when you meet your fitness goals. Finally, focus on how good exercise makes you look and feel.
- Stay hydrated. When you’re exercising, you shouldn’t wait for thirst to strike before you take a drink. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Drink at least 16 ounces of water, sports drinks or juices two hours before you exercise. Then drink 8 ounces an hour before and another 4 to 8 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. Finish with at least 16 ounces after you’re done exercising.
- Fine tune your diet with these tips:
- Shoot for 25-35 grams of fiber per day.
- Eat a few ounces of protein to tide you over until your next meal if you get hungry.
- Eat at least two servings of fish per week to get healthy fats.
- Spice up your food with red pepper, which boosts metabolism.
- Drink green tea liberally – it helps burn fat.
- Deal with diet weaknesses. The solution to losing weight while still eating the comfort foods you grew up with is learning how to prepare them with fewer calories. Start with intelligent choices: lean cuts of red meat such as top round, sirloin and London broil average 240 calories per 3-oz serving compared with their fattier cousins: prime rib, T-bone and filet mignon, which weigh in at 340 calories for the same size portion.
Name brand diet programs spit out thousands of weight loss success stories every year. However, making some easy changes to your eating behavior can be enough to help you get rid of surplus pounds if you’re ready to lose weight but not prepared to engage in a rigorous program. The basic rules are that you:
- Eat protein at every meal
- Eat no white (rice, potatoes, bread, etc.) at night
A few simple changes can make all the difference, not only to how you look on the beach, but also to the long-term health of your body. Choose meals and snacks that are kind to your body. Choose a form of exercise that suits you and that keeps your moving parts in good working order. Finally, find time each day to relax - once or twice a day for just 15 minutes is sufficient.