What does summer mean to most Americans? For many it’s the warm and relaxing days of fun spent with family and friends at the beach or by the pool between Memorial Day and Labor Day. As we approach those glorious months, now is the time to take action so you can fully enjoy a summer’s worth of fun and activities with confidence.
Here are some tips to make summer 2016 one to remember:
Set a goal and stick to it
Whatever your health objective, athletic aspiration or fitness goal, you need to commit to setting a goal with a deadline. Whether it’s to feel better in your swimsuit, lower your body fat percentage or participate in an athletic event, find something that motivates you to stay on track when life gets busy and you lose focus. The key to sticking to it is by measuring your weekly progress and sharing the good news with family, friends, your trainer or a workout partner.
One of the most overlooked aspects of improving fitness or getting into shape is understanding how to properly use your metabolism as a tool and not a barrier. Many fitness clubs have onsite assessments to accurately show you how your metabolism works at rest and during exercise. Using those results will help you to work smarter, not harder and eliminate frustrating guesswork.
Eat to live and not live to eat
When it comes to your “summer prep plan” you must grapple with the most difficult exercise there is—exercising discipline with your nutrition. The four ways to master this are to eliminate processed foods from your house, prepare healthy meals ahead of time, look at menus in advance and eat meals that properly fuel your body for daily activity and exercise. Once you get started, it gets easier.
Consistency is key
To achieve results, you must be more active throughout the week than inactive. This doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with two-a-day workouts or wind sprints, but it does mean dedication to spending more days sweating and keeping your body in motion compared to sedentary. A general recommendation is to work out four to five days a week for best results and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases or other health complications.
Sign up for a challenge
Weight loss and body transformation challenges abound these days and if you can find a reputable one with real tools and support, you’ll find much greater success. Motivated yet?
Have a mantra that resonates with you
Positive self-talk has been shown to improve performance while training for long durations by decreasing anxiety and increasing self-confidence. This will allow you to stick with the program and also get back on track if you happen to fall off. There are plenty of online tools to help you create one for yourself.
Book a trip
More often than not, when you book a vacation that includes lots of sun and little need for too much clothing, it’s easy to find some extra motivation to get yourself beach body ready. However, booking the trip won’t guarantee results. Follow the other tips above and you’ll have earned the trip and your confidence.
Try this metabolic conditioning circuit for serious calorie burn and great results.
5 rounds of:
20 overhead lunges
20 push ups
Prowler push 40 yards with or without weight
20 TRX rows
20 Kettle Bell swings
20 rope circles
Rest 1 minute
Gerred Tolson is the personal training manager at Life Time Athletic Garden City.