Now that winter is officially over, it’s time to begin shedding the layers of clothing that concealed our bodies during the colder months. For many, bathing suit panic hits as we begin to think about the warm summer months and that means stepping up your exercise program to get the beach body that you always wanted.
Here are some tips for avoiding sports injuries as you increase your exercise this spring from Laurie Towers, top New York City celebrity trainer and CEO of Physical Advantage PC, the sports and performing arts massage center in NYC.
Diet and exercise work hand in hand and one will support the other tremendously. "You can't out train a bad diet," says Towers. To see the results you will do well to honor both of these principles.
Some diet tips to keep in mind:
- Try to make conscious reasonable choices that will become a lifestyle change instead of just a seasonal one.
- Focus on cutting the sugars, fried foods and alcohol out of your diet as much as possible.
- Be mindful of the hidden calories that lurk beneath the labels of ‘healthy’ foods as it comes as a surprise to many that a ‘smoothie’ can have as many calories as two Snickers bars.
- Be sure to eat breakfast within an hour of awakening and to eat smaller portions throughout the day to keep a better balance of energy and keep your metabolism in ‘active’ mode. This will ensure a higher rate of sustained burning.
- Barbecuing is probably the healthiest way to loose some of those extra calories we add to the cooking process - as long as you keep the seasoning simple and low in fat. Use mustards and vinaigrettes as a base for your meats and as a healthy diversion to a fried batter coating.
- When choosing summer drinks, nothing is better for you than Mother Nature's original soft drink. Water is best for rehydrating and offers zero calories and has a more lasting effect for thirst quenching. It’s okay to enjoy a chilled margarita now and then, but be aware of the sugars, sodium and calories and enjoy in moderation.
- Consider replacing sugary alcoholic drinks with wines that are lower in calories such as White Zinfandel (the lowest at 80 calories per glass), Chablis and Chardonnay.
Here's some workout tips to get that beach body you desire:
All caloric burning begins and ends with cardio, but this doesn't necessarily mean it all has to be boring. Cardio can be a great source of enjoyment during the warmer months. Once it gets warm outside, you can skip the gym and stay in shape while enjoying the great outdoors.
Some great choices for cardio activity that can help you achieve your fitness goals include volleyball, bike riding, rollerblading and walking/hiking. For those who want to lose weight NOW to get the perfect beach body, here are Laurie's three favorite forms of cardio that also encourage some strength training interaction. She recommends:
- Rowing: Towers says that rowing is the best form of cardio in her opinion because it not only burns at a high rate, but it gives a nice little nudge to targeting areas like the back and arms and makes your abs get recruited into some stabilization activity. She points out that nothing is better than a strong core.
- Stationary bike: Towers says this is another great form of cardio for heart rate elevation and at a heavier resistance. The stationary bike helps to work the quads, hamstrings and glutes out of their winter hibernation.
- Treadmill: Towers says the treadmill is a great form of exercise that is joint-friendly. The rubber track pad absorbs most of the shock and allows you to change the angle to incline hitting various areas of the legs and glutes.
“Most importantly, don’t forget to take care of your hard-worked body,” adds Towers. “Don’t let pains and strains from your workout derail your chance to get the perfect beach body.” Health is not a luxury - it's a necessity. Stay focused and motivated to achieve the healthiest and best-looking version of you. Thoughts of health should not be limited to, or dictated by a calendar, or special occasion to prepare for. It is a lifetime investment plan that you will live off happily the more you put in.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!