5 Tips for Getting Fit for Summer
If you’re anything like me, you woke up one day and wondered where your metabolism went. It certainly was an eye-opening moment for me when I realized I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted to anymore. Starting a new, healthier lifestyle was shocking, and I was completely unprepared. But recently, a friend and I came up with a few healthy habits and “tricks” to maintaining health and getting fit for summer:
1. Drink a lot of water … about a gallon a day. Use whatever method works for you. Some people use an empty milk jug as their daily goal. You can easily tell when you don’t have enough water with a simple back-of-the-hand test. Pinch the skin on the back of your hand, and if it bounces back quickly, you’re hydrated; if it doesn’t, you need more water. Also, the color of your urine is a good indicator; if it’s not clear, you need to increase your water intake.
2. Diet accounts for 80 percent of your weight control or weight loss. If you are exercising six times a week and not seeing results, we recommend keeping a daily food log. The first time I did this, I was shocked by how much junk food sneaks into my daily diet. To help me jumpstart my daily regimen, I joined a 21-day program and was blown away by the immediate difference in my appearance and energy level. Other programs can help, too, such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc. The one thing all of these programs have in common is meal planning and portion control. Awareness of how much you should be eating and the right balance of those foods is key. For example, if you eat pasta for lunch, stick with a protein-rich and carb-free dinner.
3. Second to diet is exercise. You can lose weight by adjusting your diet, but you’ll want to make sure your new, trimmer body shapes out the right way. Muscle tone is key to supporting and protecting your bones, and as a bonus, it keeps your skin tighter. You don’t have to go to the gym to achieve results, although it certainly helps. You can start small by increasing your activity level. We see people walk around the office building at the same times every day. It’s not only heart-healthy to increase your cardio activity, but the improvements in your metabolic rate will begin to be noticeable. If cardio is not your thing, try doing calf raises when blow drying your hair or arm circles while your healthy meal is heating up in the microwave. You will be surprised by how these little daily changes can increase muscle tone.
4. SLEEP! If you’re pushing your body and diet to the maximum, you have to take time to recover. Sleep is not only healing, it’s recharging. There is a reason people who sleep more live longer in life, so don’t skip the sleep!
5. Don’t fall for fads. There are hundreds of books, blogs, websites, and groups out there to use as resources for diet and exercise, and we encourage you to read a few for motivation and more advise. Collectively, the two of us have fallen victim to fads and the “quick fixes” only to discover the same tried and true method still exists: Eat less calories than you burn in a given day if you want to lose weight.
Sometimes, weight loss and exercise can get too complicated with fancy diets and exercise machines. Hopefully, these tips will help you keep it simple and allow you to take a more holistic approach to how you view wellness. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!