Ways to Get Back in Shape This Summer
With summer on the horizon, many people are looking to get their bodies “beach ready” in time for swimsuit season. For most, this means shedding the extra pounds gained over food-centric holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and building some extra muscle. If fitness is on your to-do list as warmer temperatures start to greet you, here are a few surefire ways to get back in shape this summer.
Evaluate your diet
You may have heard before that you “can’t outrun your diet.” Although a bit of a cliche by now, it’s important to remember that what you eat has a major impact on how much you weigh and how easily you can lose some extra pounds. The old adage of “calories in; calories out” simplifies the core concept of weight loss, which is to ensure that the calories you are consuming remains at a lower level than the calories you are expending. To figure out how many calories you should be eating, take a look at a calorie calculator to determine how many calories you naturally burn over the course of the day. This will give you the total number of daily calories required to maintain your weight.
Eating under the allotted number of calories each day will help you use weight. Remember that a pound is equal to roughly 3500 calories, so if you can eliminate 500 calories a day from your diet, you will be able to lose about a pound a week. You can track your calories using a variety of convenient apps and online websites, such as MyFitnessPal or Simple Macro. Best of all, many of these calorie counting solutions are free and have a publicly accessible library of foods so you can even look up food from other restaurants you’re likely to visit throughout your week like Starbucks or Wendy’s.
Get active outdoors
Another way to take advantage of the nice weather is to get active by heading outdoors. Running, jogging, or walking in a nearby park is a great way to increase your physical activity, and burn some extra calories doing some cardio. Cardio exercises are important in burning calories, and therefore fat. Cardio also plays a vital role in strengthening your heart and improving your sleep by reducing your stress and increasing your endorphins. Hiking is another great way to get active outdoors without needing to spend any money on any gear aside from some reliable hiking shoes.
Other popular ways to get exercise outdoors involve a variety of sports. Team sports like soccer, basketball, or ultimate frisbee are a great choice during the summer months, as they involve a lot of cardio. If you live near the ocean, consider taking to the beach for volleyball, swimming, or even taking some advanced surfing lessons. Especially if you’re looking to really tone your body and lose those final extra pounds, surfing can be an excellent activity. When you surf, you engage and strengthen your core and back muscles, meaning you’ll look great in a swimsuit whether you’re on or off a surfboard.
Find someone to hold you accountable
Of course, all of this progress can be lost in the matter of a few days if you don’t have somebody to hold you accountable. While team sports can be helpful for this, if you’re just embarking on an exercise or nutritional journey, you may need some additional support aside from your teammates. Finding a friend or family member to help you stay on track and keep you going can be the difference between seeing the results you want or quitting your program after a few weeks. For this reason, many people find that paying for personal training is another worthwhile option when embarking on a new fitness regimen. Besides helping hold you accountable, a personal trainer can adapt your fitness program to really fit your needs and goals. Plus, since you’re spending money on a trainer, you will be less likely to skip a gym or activity day.
Never forget that progressing in the world of fitness takes time and commitment. If you can find a consistent approach to losing weight and strengthening your body, you can get back in shape. Focus on your diet and find exercises and individuals that help you keep working at it, and in the matter of a few months, you’ll be shocked at the results you see in the mirror.