How to Get in Shape for Summer in 3 Easy Steps
Summer is coming! Are you ready? Mentally you probably are, but how about physically? We can help you with that. Get beach body ready and prepped for the summer swimsuit season by following these three simple steps and be well on your way to getting healthy and fit. Not only will you look great, but you'll feel pretty good too. Whether it's the summer season you're prepping for or your next beach vacation, you're sure to find success if you have a plan of action.
Ready? Let's do it! It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. Set realistic goals.
You're probably not going to realistically lose 50 pounds in a matter of months. Try not to set yourself up for failure with unreasonable and unattainable goals. Instead, set realistic goals with a doable action plan to guarantee successful results. You'll want to challenge yourself, of course, but don't make it so difficult that you burn out or get frustrated with because it's something you can't maintain or realistically do.
Consistency is key. Slow and steady over the long-term is better than fast and furious in the short term if your motivation, energy and desire quickly fizzle out. I think we all remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady wins the race!
Choose one singular goal to start with. You can always add more along the way. Don't overwhelm yourself with too many commitments from the get-go. Keep a laser focus on one big change and decide how you're going to go about doing it. Give yourself real, measurable strategies. Increase your goals as time goes on and build upon your successes. Use each accomplishment to motivate you onto the next!
2. Change your daily habits.Big change often comes in the small, everyday choices we make. The same goes for diet and exercise. All of your decisions throughout the day in these two categories add up to either the success or failure of your fitness goals.
Pick one or two daily habits that you're willing and able to commit to change. Reflect on what you do or don't do every day and see where you can make modifications in your lifestyle for the betterment of your health and ultimately your happiness.
Need some ideas? Try these.
- Add exercise to your every day to increase your daily calorie burn (30-60 minutes is ideal).
- Eliminate extra calories by reducing your sugary, creamy coffee habit with a healthy yet flavorful herbal tea.
- Let go of that soda habit which is full of empty calories and unhealthy ingredients.
- Forego that extra glass of wine in the evening or cut out alcohol all together.
- Drop the sugary sweets and exchange them for naturally sweet treats like fruit.
- Exchange junk food for whole grain snacks like popcorn or choose fresh vegetables, dried fruit or nuts for to satisfy your craving for crunch.
- Drink more water and less of anything that adds unnecessary calories and sugar.
- Make a meal plan and don't leave what you eat up to time, chance or convenience.
- Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with healthy food options so you are less tempted to cheat (out of sight, out of mind).
3. Be accountable and celebrate your successes.
You cannot make a big life change without having some measurable accountability. Incorporate strategies that help you to be mindful of your health and fitness goals, and ones that prove successful toward a healthier lifestyle. Here are few ideas to get you started.
Make yourself accountable by enlisting the help of a friend or health coach. Sometimes just having someone to workout with or talk to helps to hold you to a higher standard of accountability, as well as motivate, encourage and share in your triumphs and struggles. Explore the health resources available to you at your workplace. Many employers offer free health coaching, health incentives and/or other health-related resources that you can use to your benefit.
Put your Apple watch or Fitbit to good use by making the most of their health and activity features. Put your technology to work for you by using apps or devices specifically designed to help you monitor, record and achieve your health and fitness goals. If you keep yourself mindful and aware of where you are throughout the day and what your goals are, you're much more likely to push to get them accomplished. Apple watches and Fitbits make that incredibly easy!
Use MyFitnessPal to monitor and track your progress as well as help you stay on a healthy course of action. MyFitnessPal is one of the leading fitness apps popular among those who strive to achieve goals related to diet and exercise. The app has a variety of tools including a food journal, calorie tracker, nutrition guide, activity monitor and so much more. What's even better is that you'll instantly be connected with a community of others striving to do the same. You'll probably be surprised how many of your friends already use the app, so finding support and help is a snap. The MyFitnessPal blog is also a very helpful and informative health resource, too.
Celebrate your little successes along the way. Keep yourself motivated and inspired by surrounding yourself with healthy people who value and practice a healthy lifestyle. Don't be too hard on yourself when you have a bad day. Start again with resolve the next day and carry on. Celebrate the milestones along the way and keep your eye on the end goal. Use those smaller milestones to motivate and inspire you to the next one.
Keep a food journal. One simple and easy way to be more accountable with your daily food and caloric intake is by keeping a food journal. You'll start to see patterns develop and it will be easy to identify the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to your eating habits. It also helps you become more aware of what's going into your body on a daily basis and where you can identify areas that need improvement. Do this within the MyFitnessPal app and you'll see the daily breakdown of your protein, fat, carbs and sugar consumption too. It's definitely good information to know!
Reward yourself when you achieve the goal you set. Give yourself something to look forward to and celebrate big. Focus on this during your times of struggle or when you hit a plateau.
Keep on keepin' on. Don't give up just because you've had a bad day. Press that internal reset button and do the best you can. You won't ever be perfect but you will be trying and that is half the battle. Sometimes you don't even recognize the noticeable changes that are happening as you progress toward your goal. Consider taking monthly progress photos to help you see that change is happening and that progress is being made each and every step of the way.
What is one health or fitness goal you've set for this year? Will you incorporate these three easy steps to help you along the way?