Working Towards That Beach Body?
Summer is quickly rolling in and that leaves many of us scrambling to get that elusive “beach body”… And of course, you may have waited until the last minute to start your summer cut. While this isn’t the recommended plan – remember we want sustainable, habit-forming, healthy practices – there are a number of ways to help speed up your results.
Beach Body 101
I sent out a request to numerous health professionals asking for their opinion on the best and most timely way to help get that beach body. Here are our top ten tips from the dozens and dozens we received – in no particular order.
If you’ll notice, many of these tips could also work in an article called “Top ten ways to live a healthy lifestyle!”
1. Cardio bursts
“Circuit training with heavy weights and high intensity “cardio bursts.”
We tend to think of circuit training as using light weights for high reps, but for a really great beach body, try using the heaviest weight you (safely!) can for just 8 to 12 repetitions.
Do two or three strength training exercises, then add 30-45 seconds of a high-intensity exercise, like jumping jacks or burpees, to get your heart rate up…Do 3 or 4 of these mini-circuits 2 or 3 times each – fun, challenging, and effective! “
– Sarah Bright, NASM CPT, Group Fitness Director at Midtown Athletic Club Chicago, and co-owner of Bright Fitness
2. Commit to small changes
“Start with a small change and commit to it – Most of the time we know what is stopping us from getting that body we have always wanted. Getting there is another story – life and the enormity of the challenge get in the way.
To get past this, simply start small and stick at it. It can be something as small as every day eating an apple or going without dessert.
Once it becomes habit move onto the next, each time empowering yourself with these small wins.”
– Cameron Singe, half Iron-man athlete, triathlon coach, and CEO of Stress + Rest
3. Do what you enjoy
“Participate in exercise activities you enjoy. You are more likely to stick to your fitness goals and get that beach body if you have fun while burning those calories.
Examples could include walking the dog, bike riding, or exercising with a friend.”
– Deborah McConnell, MS, CES, Lose It! advisor, and Master Trainer for LifeFitness
4. Strength training circuits
The best way to get the beach body you’re after quickly is to find a full-body weight training routine and complete it in a circuit fashion every other day.
“When combined with a healthy diet, this method of training can help jump-start the metabolism and put on increased muscle mass. An increased metabolism combined with more muscle mass will help burn fat and achieve the toned physique you’re after.”
– Nick Brennan, Founder & CEO Unbeaten Fitness, LLC
5. Don’t forget to sleep
“Believe it or not, if your food is on point and your exercise is consistent, but your clothes aren’t getting looser, the first place to check-in is with your sleep.
Getting in 6-8 hours nightly of quality sleep allows your body to regenerate cells to support your muscles, reset your hunger and stress hormones to help you burn fat, and create a time of rest and recharge for your brain to keep cravings at bay.”
– Julie Stubblefield, Founder and Fat Loss Coach at Fit Mom Revolution
6. Inside the box
“We all lead busy lives. How can you be sure that you will find healthy meals when you are on the go? Think “inside the box” … the lunch box.
Fill your insulated lunch bag each night with the next day’s mid-morning power snack, lunch, and afternoon pick-me-up mini-meal. Pack small portions of a variety of healthy foods … lots of reusable containers, a cloth napkin, and real silverware.
(You’ll save time AND avoid the drive-thru/vendor machine useless food, eat fewer calories, and rock your bathing suit in no time.) Watch portion sizes. Goal: return home with an empty bag. Repeat.”
– Syd Hoffman, health and wellness educator, author of All-Day Energy: 100 Ways to Boost Your Energy…Now!
7. Focus on protein
Include Protein in Every Meal. Make sure you are having 4 to 6 ounces of protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“Tall men can have up to 8 ounces. The protein source can be eggs, meat, poultry, fish, or tofu and can be lean or fatty; even marbled cuts of beef are fine if you are sticking to a low carbohydrate diet.
When leaner cuts are used, be sure to ensure enough olive oil or other healthy oils on salads and cooked veggies.”
– Marie Spano, Registered Dietitian
8. 90% Decision
“The mantra in fitness goes that achieving body results requires 80% nutrition 20% Fitness. I say it requires 90% Decision, 8% Nutrition 2% Fitness. 50% of people fall off of their New Year’s Resolution by mid-January. 10% of people go into the next year with their Health Resolution intact.
That’s why it is a 90% decision. When you have established discipline, cut the following: soda (and diet), high fructose, corn syrup, high sugar items, partially hydrogenated any oil, fried foods…etc.”
– Stephanie Lauren, ANBF figure and physique professional, founder, and CEO of PLYOGA Fitness®
9. Mind over matter
“Attaining that beach body goal is all about mind over matter. Once you’ve adapted your brain to understand and enjoy the process, getting in your desired shape will be much easier.
Developing a consistent eating plan and fitness regime requires change – in your daily routine, in your eating habits, in your exercise regimen, and even in your social habits.
Luckily, if you stick with it for just a few weeks, it becomes a great deal easier since it becomes a habit…
At the end of the day, if you identify your goal, develop a plan, prepare for any potential hiccups, and focus on the positive, you’ll succeed and have your beach body in no time at all.”
– Jessica Lopez, CPT, and Certified Nutrition Consultant at The Boxing Club
10. Stay active daily
If you are serious about getting fit and healthy by summer, then the daily activity is where it is at (apart from the nutrition of course). Simply staying active 45 minutes a day can help you do this.
Go for a walk, take a hike, do yard work…etc. as long as your heart is pumping, you are sweating and burning calories then you are on the right path!”
Remember if you want to have the active, fit body then daily activity will be required!
– Josh Anderson, Founder of DIY Active
When it comes down to it, the best way to get that beach body is to set your mind to it, perform high-intensity strength training, and focus on your nutrition.
These principles apply to all matters of getting fit and healthy because they will help boost your metabolism and build calorie-burning muscle while creating a healthy calorie deficit via your nutrition.
So, get started today and you will not only have a body you can be proud of in the summer but one that you will love all year long!
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