Summer is just around the corner. While visions of sun dresses for women and chiseled chest muscles for men dance around in our heads, so does the mild dread that we don’t yet have the perfect beach bod of our dreams. If you have been keeping up basic fitness over the Winter, and are ready to both maintain and improve your overall weight and muscle tone, then this is the article for you.
There are a lot of ways to ensure your body remains lean and mean for the summer season that don’t include giving up your social life for a mental exercise routine. Read on to learn my top tips on maintaining and improving overall fitness.
1) Not a gym rat, no worries
Not all of us are motivated by being in the midst of extreme testosterone and mega muscles. The gym scene isn’t for everyone, and that is okay. If you are interested in maintaining a healthy weight and building muscle but don’t want to hit the gym, then a home gym is the right option for you. There are so many ways to build an affordable, effective home gym. To get you started, click here to shop a wide range of home-gym equipment.
2) Nutrition can be delicious
If you are choking down goji berries because they are the latest super food but you really hate them, you may end up with a Mars bar in your hand sooner than you think. Don’t feel like you have to jump on the latest super food trends just to be healthy.
Creating a nutrition plan that is achievable and suits your tastes is the key to success. The 80/20 rule is one that works really well for me. 80% of the time I eat whole foods, preferably local and seasonal. 20% of the time I let myself indulge a bit with a glass of wine or a bowl of pasta.
3) Prioritize Sleeping
Sometimes sleep gets a bad reputation, looking down on those who tuck in for a good slumber at a reasonable hour. Don’t be fooled, those well-rested mates will experience far more success in achieving their personal, professional and fitness goals.
Sleep is a key factor in weight loss and muscle growth. Without it, your muscles will not repair and build. If you are only catching 4-5 hours of zzzs a night, time to switch up the nighttime routine to ensure 7-8 hours.
4) Slow Down
That seems counterintuitive when you are trying to get fit, stay fit, and build muscle. But there is a mind-body connection that is key when working towards optimal health. Meditation is becoming increasingly popular, and there is a reason for it.
Regular meditation, even just 5 minutes a day to start, is proven to decrease stress, improve sleep, and boost your immune system. Wondering where to start? Pick a park, find a tree, sit under it for 5 minutes and just breathe in and out.
5) Kick Stress to the Curb
An overflowing email inbox. A stack of bills. An argument with your partner. I get it, life is full of stresses. But if weight loss or weight maintenance are at the top of your priority list, it is time to kick stress off that list all together. Stress can play a major role in weight gain and loss of motivation. Regular exercise, meditation and slowing down are all ways to decrease stress.
6) Feed off Others
My husband is a solo exerciser, but I feed off the energy of a group class.
I have a hard time keeping motivated when doing a yoga or weight-lifting session at home, but I rock it in a group setting. If this sounds familiar, then go with it! Join a running club, find an outdoor yoga class at the park, or join a gym with a variety of group classes. Find what works best for you and keep doing it.
Spring is one of my favourite seasons as it kicks me into gear to get long and lean muscles, and lower the body fat stored up from winter. These six tips, paired with keeping a positive attitude and having fun with creating a consistent workout and nutrition plan is my key to success.
Healthy body weight and positive body image are far more than just hitting the gym in all of your spare time. Moderation, creativity and a good attitude will get you to your goals faster than you think. So have fun with it, and see you on the beach!