Every year around this time, I hear my clients talking about getting in shape ready for their summer hols. Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to shape up for summer, but it’s important to go about it in a healthy manner that promotes your overall wellness and doesn’t push you toward unhealthy fad dieting or injury from overly intense workouts.
Take action and get your body in shape the healthy way:
Avoid falling into the quick fix trap
Instead of jumping on the next ten day juice cleanse or giving up carbs forever, make small, healthy consistent changes. Studies show that those who focus on slow and steady lifestyle changes are better at sustaining it. Start small and make healthy changes that work for you. Anything from eating a better breakfast or adding one more workout to your week counts. Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.
Stop comparing yourself to other people
It’s okay to be in friendly competition with your fitness friends. It’s not okay to get so caught up in trying to be the best that you become discouraged when others seem to be making more progress than you. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, with differing metabolic rates, body fat percentages and capabilities. The best thing to do is to judge your own progress. If you’re doing better than you were last month, or last week, then you’re doing something right.
Get Your heart pumping
Regular exercise helps you achieve both physical and mental wellness. Make movement part of your life and exercise regularly. There’s no need to hit the gym hard everyday. Vary your cardiovascular training with low, moderate and high intensities.
Build lean muscle and body confidence
Strength training is the secret to maintaining a healthy body and shape. It gives your metabolism a major boost by increasing the metabolic rate, allowing the body to burn more calories throughout the day. It also increases lean muscle mass and overall strength, helping to improve performance, endurance and energy levels. Lifting weights has also been shown to improve psychological health, by increasing self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth.
Don’t diet, eat healthy
If you go on a diet you will eventually have to go off a diet. For lasting, healthy, positive change that doesn’t have a yo-yo effect simply improve your knowledge of food and learn to nourish yourself. Don’t just eat salads this summer—learn about nutrition and how to eat to feel good.
Mix up your routine
After doing the same routine over and over, your body adapts and you burn fewer calories. Eventually your results (weight loss, muscle definition) will slow down. Also, repeatedly placing stress on the same muscles and joints could lead to an overuse injury. Sometimes, sticking to a strict routine can cause you to become too obsessed with it. Force yourself out of your routine comfort zone and try to change one thing about your workout every week.
Health is not a 90-day thing. Health is not about being “fit” for summer, it’s about living for your lifetime. Don’t spoil your summer by obsessing about body image. Focus on getting in shape long term….if you start now then you’re guaranteed results for summer but make sure you stick at it come the Autumn.