After an interminable and frigid winter, summer will be upon us in a couple short months. Soon we can all storm the beaches of Cape Cod, or just chill at your friend's pool. That means now is the time to start stepping up your fitness level to look good in your shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, and bathing suits. It's not too late to get in great shape or at least make some significant improvements in your health and physique. Here are a few easy tips to help out.
Spend More Time Outside
The weather is finally beautiful so go out and enjoy it. Go for walks or bike rides, swim some laps, toss the baseball, or play some tennis. Try something new like hiking, rock climbing, or white water rafting to burn plenty of fat. Train for a local 5k race and make a goal for time. Chances are the more time you spend outside, the more calories you will burn and the less junk food you will consume. Get off the computer and do something!
Yes that's right, eat more often and not less. This is of course is not a free pass to pig out on junk food all day, but instead eat numerous smaller meals throughout the day. This strategy keeps your metabolism up and your fat storage down. Bring some fruit or granola bars with you as healthy snacks for the day.
Instead of going out to eat more, cook some delicious healthy meals on the grill instead. Stock up on chicken breasts, salmon, shrimp, and veggies to grill up for a healthy feast and season with low calorie sauces, spices, and lemon. If you are grilling up some red meat, make sure you purchase the lean beef burgers and hot dogs and opt for whole grain buns/rolls and low fat cheese to make it a viable healthy option.
It is a lot easier to drink extra calories than to eat them so make sure what you're drinking isn't the source of those extra pounds. If you haven't already, make the switch from regular milk to skim milk and from regular soda to diet soda. Keep your iced coffee sweetened with skim milk and Splenda and save hundreds of calories each cup. Substitute fruit juices, Gatorade, and Vitamin Water drinks with Green Tea, Propel, Enviga, Celsius, Crystal Light, or just water with a lemon wedge. Stick to light beers (Corona Light with a lime wedge, for example), use diet soda as mixers, and Crystal Light powder for fruity mixed concoctions.
Get Up and Move!
This seems like a no brainer but the more movement the better. If you have a desk job, try to get up and move every 30-60 minute . If you do a ton of traveling, try to get up and walk the aisles a couple extra times on the plane or pull over to a rest stop to take a 5 minute walk if you are driving long distances. If you are waiting for a meeting, doctor's appointment, or flight do a little fidgeting to burn some calories (hopefully nobody will look at you like you're a nut, and even if they do who care!).
Follow a few of these tips and you will definitely see some improvements in the way you look and feel. You don't have to change your lifestyle completely to improve your fitness level, just a few simple modifications.
Some More Nutritional Tips:
-Eat many small meals per day and not 2 or 3 huge ones
-Avoid eating fried or sugary foods
-Do not eat for at least 45 minutes before your workout
-immediately after a workout consume simple sugars (gatorade, OJ, fruit) and protein (milk, eggs, whey protein)
-Eat more protein, try to eat a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight and eat less fat and sugar.
-Eat less calories on average but once or twice a week its ok to eat extra
-Keep drinking and smoking to a minimum if possible because it will lower your cardiovascular performance, increase fat storage, decrease muscle, lower immune system function, and obviously lower your general health.
-Dietary supplements such as a multivitamin/multimineral, B-complex vitamin, green tea, caffeine, protein powder, and Omega-3s are very safe and beneficial for increasing energy/metabolism, burning fat, increasing recovery time, and increasing lean muscle mass.
-Eat several snacks/small meals a day not just 2 or 3 huge meals. Try to eat less at night and right before you go to sleep