EDITOR’S NOTE: CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY DIET OR EXERCISE PROGRAM. WORKING WITH A CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER WHO IS ALSO A QUALIFIED NUTRITION COACH WILL KEEP YOU MOTIVATED AND PROVIDE EXPERT GUIDANCE. CLICK ON THE HYPERLINKS THROUGHOUT THIS POST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND HEALTHY RESOURCES.
Memorial Day is right around the corner and you know what that means: unforgiving white jeans, tank tops, pool parties and yes, the inevitable bikini or board shorts. It’s time to lose that winter flab and spring into action. These tips will help heat up your motivation and metabolism so you’ll be ready for summer fun.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY: The best exercise is the one that you will do consistently. Aim for a fitness program that you can actually see yourself sticking to on a weekly basis. If going to the gym isn’t something you enjoy, don’t tell yourself “I’ll just stick it out and suffer in silence…anything to be thin.” Opt instead for taking a Zumba class, joining a running club or a cycling group or, if you prefer, start at home with some fun exercise DVDs.
One reminder: make sure to include both aerobic and strength training in your weekly exercise routine. This will ensure that you are getting the benefits of burning calories and building muscle.
WORK HARD. PLAY HARDER: In addition to getting yourself on a structured workout plan, why not incorporate some fun and games into your daily activities? Shoot some hoops with your friends, go for a bike ride with your family or arrange a doubles tennis game.
You can also play video games, like ZUMBA FITNESS for Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 or NIKE+ KINECT TRAINING for Xbox 360, to add some fun and variety to your personal fitness program. Not only will your kids love this, it’s a great way to start them on their own path to wellness. Plus, they may even think you’re cool.
No matter how you choose to play, the more active you are during the day, the more calories and fat you will burn and the faster you will lose weight.
NEW WORKOUT CLOTHES: Let’s face it, we always feel better when we sport a new outfit or a fashionable pair of shoes. The same goes for working out! Wouldn’t you be much more excited to go for a run when you’re wearing great-fitting, sweat-wicking exercise clothing and shoes that make you feel comfortable and confident? It’s a far cry from throwing on an old cotton tee and that random pair of sweat pants (you know, the ragged ones that have been in your closet for the past 7 years). Guys, this goes for you too!
It feels good to look good! I’m not suggesting that you have to spend a fortune on the latest Nike fashions, especially with the availability of great workout clothes at national discounters like Marshalls and retailers like Target. No matter where you shop, your workout clothes should fit well, have some sense of style and be made from quality fabric. Sometimes it’s the little things that help the most and get us up off of our asses!
LEAN AND MEAN: Avoid any kind processed food. Instead, you want to opt for as lean and natural as possible. The leaner your meat selections are (e.g. chicken breast, egg whites and fish) the less fat you’ll be consuming. Plus, unprocessed foods tend to be lower in calories and sugar.
Processed foods are also typically much higher in calories from fat and are often full of refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup and sodium. Our bodies are designed to thrive off foods in their natural state; things full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Whole foods not only keep our metabolism humming but they also provide the vital nutrients our bodies need.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A GREAT RESOURCE IS THE NUTRITION ACTION NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED BY THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. FOR SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION, CLICK HERE. THEY ALSO OFFER A FREE MOBILE APP THAT WILL HELP YOU DE-MYSTIFY FOOD LABEL INGREDIENTS WHEN YOU’RE ON THE GO. CLICK HERE FOR THE iPHONE APP AND CLICK HERE FOR THE ANDROID APP.
RAID YOUR KITCHEN: Attack your kitchen with a vengeance! It’s time to get rid of all the temptation that is lurking in your fridge, freezer, pantry and any other “secret” hiding places. Now is the time to throw out all the fattening, sugary and processed foods. I’m talking about cookies, candy, frozen dinners, ice cream or that half eaten bag of M&M’s stashed away in the back of your kitchen cabinet. You never know when you will have a craving and you don’t want temptation sitting right in front of you! Moderation is one thing but ready access to over-indulgence will end up biting you in the butt.
WATER, WATER, WATER: Your body is 80% water and being properly hydrated is super important. Not only does water help regulate your body’s temperature, but it also aids in cell metabolism. In order to burn calories and function efficiently, your body needs an adequate supply of water. Dehydration inhibits the fat-burning process. Also, burning calories creates toxins and water is vital to eliminating them from your system.
Try to avoid or limit your consumption of alcohol. Your body just sees it as a sugar and has no use for it. Alcohol does not get used as energy. It’s either stored as fat or eliminated from your body.
Basically, you can’t drink a few beers and then decide to go for a run to burn them off. It doesn’t work that way. If you can, try cutting back to one or two drinks a week and skip those daily beers or glasses of wine. CLICK HERE for an infographic approach that is pretty cool. It’s a UK site but you’ll get the picture.
JOIN MY CHALLENGE GROUP: If being accountable isn’t your strong suit and you can’t afford a trainer but you desperately need to get in shape, then why not join a group where you can have access to a personal trainer (that would be me) every day? Yes, you read correctly, every day.
In a nutshell, my Beachbody Challenge Group consists of 2 to 7 members. It’s web based so you can work with me from anywhere. You’ll be using an exercise DVD that we’ve picked out together in order to best accommodate your goals and fitness level. You’ll be drinking Shakeology to replace one meal and you will be checking in with me DAILY. If I don’t hear from you, you better believe that you’ll be hearing from me!
My challenge groups have been super successful because of three things: FITNESS + NUTRITION + SUPPORT. These groups kick serious ass and my challengees have been seeing some real results. Does 103 pounds lost or 61 pounds lost sound impressive?
CLICK HERE for more information about my Beachbody Challenge Group. If you have special circumstances, dietary restrictions or other unique challenges, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org first and I can help you get started. When life hands you lemons and you are short on time or money, fear not! There is a way for you to accomplish your goals and turn those lemons into lemonade, with my help.
Oh, by the way, the lemonade will be sugar free!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erika Jacobson is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. After more than 18 years as a health professional, Erika partnered with one of the nation’s most successful fitness and weight loss systems: Beachbody, creators of workouts like P90X and INSANITY. Erika has a great deal of personal success using Beachbody products and loves the fact that she is now able to help more people at affordable prices. She currently runs successful fitness challenge groups across the country and is also available for in-person, 1 on 1 coaching/training in Los Angeles. Follow Erika on Facebook or add her Twitter feed to your mix. She also posts to her Instagram page.
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