10 Ways To Stay Fit ALL Year
Staying motivated to exercise and eat healthy for a beach body plus maintain it, especially during the winter months when going outside is not an option or layering clothes to camouflage some extra pounds, can be difficult. Keeping your fitness commitments all year round will help you avoid the mad rush to get slim when bathing suit season arrives. It is possible to get a beach body and stay fit all year round. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
1. Choose To Eat A Healthy Diet All Year Round
Think of your body as a computer. It works well when you enter the right information. The well-known saying “we are what we eat” has a lot of truth behind it. Your body is a result of what you put into it. Eating processed foods, sweets and fast food will increase your body’s fat percentage over time tipping the scales in the wrong direction. Jumping on the bandwagon of crash diet at the first sight of warmer weather is not effective and impossible to follow on a long-term basis. Your body needs healthy food and nutrients all year round and though fruits and vegetables are more abundant in the summer, other nutritious, organic produce is available year round. Exercising and eating healthy go hand in hand when it comes to getting fit the right way. Pass on the French fries and focus on eating right and exercise no matter the season.
2. Set Short-Term Goals
Keeping your beach body before, during, and after the summer is easier if you create milestones throughout the year that will keep you motivated. Learn how to prepare and plan for the holidays or other special occasions into your milestones. For example, you may have a New Years Eve party that you want to wear a sexy dress for. Perhaps you are going to warmer weather in the spring and need to start trying on bathing suits for the beach. Do you have a class reunion coming up or a wedding to attend? Finding different times and events throughout the year along with different ways to achieve each goal will keep you encouraged to maintain your beach body year round.
3. Enjoy A Change Of Scenery
The winter weather outside may be frightful and makes it impossible to ride your bike, run or walk outside but you can still find ways to stay fit. If you like to ride a bike, look for challenging spinning classes at your local gym. These classes can actually prepare you for the warmer weather bike rides. A runner? Find an indoor track to utilize during the winter months. Invest in some DVD’s that will keep your exercise routine on track at home so you can work out no matter what is happening outside.
4. Variety Is The Spice of Exercise
You can easily give up your workout when your exercise routine is repetitive or mundane, especially when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Do not be afraid to try a new activity, take a new class or add some new exercises to your routine. Exercise should be something you look forward to, not dread. If you make it fun, you are more likely to stick with it. Try taking different exercise classes like yoga, kickboxing or Pilates. If you like to dance, try ballroom dancing or Zumba classes for a change. Your body will have to work harder when it has to do something new and different. The variety will definitely help you focus on staying in shape over the long-term.
5. Keep Emergency Foods On Hand
There is nothing worse than being stuck in the car or a long meeting without anything healthy to eat. Blood sugar levels drop and suddenly you are ready to eat the counter the doughnuts are siting on. Prepare – prepare – prepare! Keep some emergency foods on hand in your purse, briefcase, car, home and office so you will be able to make smart choices when hunger strikes. Good choices include:
– Homemade trail mix – consisting of roasted or cinnamon coated almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and toasted sesame sticks
– Hummus and fresh vegetables – take advantage of the variety of hummus flavors and fresh-cut vegetables for a quick snack
– Protein bars – make sure you read the label and look for a bar that contains at least 15 grams of protein. Manufacturers use a variety of sweeteners to flavor their bars and it is important to stay away from artificial sweeteners.
These make excellent healthy emergency food choices that will help keep you on track.
6. Find A Workout Buddy
There is nothing better than having a workout partner who will keep you accountable for maintaining a beach-worthy physique all year round. A fitness buddy is your support system during your moments of frustration or on the days you just don’t feel up to going to the gym. On those days when you’d rather skip your routine to sleep or pursue other activities, your workout buddy can give you the encouragement and extra push needed to get you going. Working out with others is fun and motivational. By working out consistently with others, you will find yourself committed to staying physically fit.
7. Mix Cardio with Strength Training For Maximum Results
Get the most of your workout time by focusing on supersets or circuits and eliminate rest periods found in most routines. In supersets, choose two muscle groups and alternate between the two without resting. For example, back and biceps can be done utilizing 3 exercises for each muscle group. Circuits allow you to go from one exercise to the next without rest in between each exercise.
8. Work Your Core
One of the best ways to do this is through Pilates that offers core-focused exercises on the Reformer, Cadillac or mat. The exercises really make you aware of these very important abdominal muscles.
9. Use Portion Control
You don’t need to give up your favorite pasta or potatoes. Simply make a fist and look at it – that is the amount you should eat when it comes to these comfort foods. Another trick is to use a dinner plate for your salad and vegetables and a salad plate for your protein and whole-grain choices.
10. Pamper Yourself
After all your hard workouts and commitment to eating healthy, reward yourself for your diet and exercise changes. Use a gentle exfoliating scrub once a week, and be careful not to dry skin out with super hot water. Moisturize well right after every shower or bath, and treat yourself to a spa pedicure for smooth, pretty feet.
With some simple changes to your diet and exercise routine, and a little extra attention to your skin, you can be ready to hit the beach in just a few short weeks. Make exercise and eating healthy a priority in your every day life so it becomes a habit. Simply commit to stay fit all year round and no matter the season, you will look your best with a beach body all year round.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sherry L. Granader, ACE, AFAA, NETA, ACSM, ASFA, BBU
Sherry is a Nutritionist, Writer, National Speaker, Ghostwriter of books for Natural Medicine Doctors and Clinical Nutritionists and an Author of 2 healthy cookbooks. She is a Nationally Certified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in Pilates, Yoga, Body Pump, STEP and Aerobics with over 20 years experience. She served as the On-Air Nutritionist for QVC television in the United States and the UK and hosted her own weekly “Healthy Living” segments for PBS.
For more information on Sherry, visit www.sgtotalhealth.com