Get Fit Just in Time for Summer
The weather is heating up and barbeque season is here. With outdoor gatherings and backyard get-togethers come pool parties and trips to the beach or the lake. Any body of water is fair game when the temperatures are this high. But are you ready? If you don’t yet feel your best self in a bathing suit, that’s okay. Below we have some tips to help you get fit just in time for summer.
1. Set Achievable Goals
What does getting fit for summer mean for you? To get started, you must first set achievable health and fitness goals for yourself. The key word here is ‘achievable.’ If you are hoping to lose weight and build a 6-pack in the next month, you are probably shooting a little too high. Consider the time frame you hope to achieve these goals. Instead of thinking about your end goal, consider setting smaller, incremental goals to build yourself up to where you want to be. These feel more achievable and help motivate you along the way.
An achievable goal feels realistic. This doesn’t mean it won’t be hard work, but it does mean you shouldn’t have to kill or deprive yourself to get there. For most, this means losing 5-10 pounds in the next couple of months or sizing down in a pair of pants. Figure out where you hope to see yourself and what will make you more confident at the beach. From there you can start to build your plan.
Lastly, if your plan includes something that you can’t see yourself doing forever, it’s best to cut it out. Unless of course, you don’t mind doing all this work to enjoy short-lived results. Chances are, you want to keep the weight off or continue to see that definition in your muscles. This may take a little extra consideration, but it will be worth it for sustainable results.
2. Track Calories
To meet any weight loss or fitness goals, you must pay attention to your diet. It’s important to choose quality foods but it’s also important to be mindful of the quantity of food you are choosing. Managing your calorie intake plays a big role in both shedding pounds and building muscle. You know what they say, your 6-pack starts in the kitchen.
The best way to manage your calories is to pay attention to portion size. Read your food labels and be mindful of snack foods. It can be easy to overeat, especially if you aren’t aware of what is considered one portion in the first place.
Be careful how you eat as well. Instead of sitting on the couch with a full bag of chips, portion out a single serving and avoid snacking while distracted. These habits can lead to overeating which will sabotage your fitness goals.
Choose foods that give you more bang for your buck. This means more satisfying foods without all the extra calories. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy are great options. These foods contain valuable protein and fiber which helps to keep you a lot fuller compared to that bag of chips.
3. Create a Consistent Exercise Routine
Getting into a consistent exercise routine is another essential component of any weight loss and fitness plan. If you are hoping to see progress within the next month or so, you need to be consistent. This doesn’t mean killing yourself daily with an incredibly demanding workout or spending hours in the gym. This simply means setting a schedule and sticking with it. Keep in mind that rest days are also essential in an exercise routine to avoid overtraining.
A big mistake many people make is focusing mainly on cardio in their exercise routine. Strength training is equally important. To get the most out of your exercise routine, plan to incorporate a combination of both. Cardio helps to shed calories quickly, but only while performing that exercise. Strength training helps to build muscle. It may not get your heart rate up or burn as many calories during that exercise, but it helps to increase your overall calorie burn throughout the day.
Lastly, A successful exercise routine depends on what types of exercises you enjoy. If you hate running but don’t mind walking, plan to walk for your cardio portion. If you try to force yourself into exercise you hate, you probably won’t end up being consistent.
4. Optimize Protein
Since you are incorporating strength training, it’s imperative to optimize your protein intake. Protein is an essential nutrient for our muscles. To build muscle mass, we need to replete protein that is lost during strength exercises. An easy way to do this is to incorporate a high-quality protein powder, such as Naked Nutrition’s grass-fed whey protein powder. Whey protein before or after a strength training workout has been found to help build muscle mass faster. Remember the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest [1, 2].
If you’re wanting to get fit for the summer season, you need to create a plan. Although it may be tempting, avoid trying to overly restrict yourself to get faster results, they won’t be sustainable for the long term. Instead, create a set of realistic goals for yourself. Don’t forget to consider your food choices and portions.
Get into a regular exercise routine that combines both cardio and strength training exercises with rest days included. And lastly, fuel up with high-quality protein powder on workout days to ensure maximum results. With these tools in hand, think of where you might find yourself next summer. It’s never too early to start planning to look and feel your best self.