Summer beach season is almost upon us, and for many that means that beach body preparation is fully underway. Of course, it’s best to stay in shape all year long, but we’re all familiar with that last push of fitness activity or that extreme spring diet that can put the finishing touches on a beach body. For a month or two, we exercise more, we eat less, and then we head out to M&S to find the best swimsuits we can pull off. But really, the healthier way to go about establishing your summer beach body is to maintain it through proper fitness and exercise.
So, disregarding crash diets and binge running, here are 5 healthy ways that you can stay in shape this summer with minimal effort and maximum health benefit.
1. Portion Control
Cutting out meals and drastically reducing diet is a popular way to lose weight in a hurry, but unfortunately it is also one of the least sustainable (and least healthy) methods of weight loss. Often, once people reach a target weight, they resume eating normally and quickly gain back those extra pounds. So, instead of “crashing” your diet, focus on mild but sustainable portion control. Eat slowly and stop when you’re full – not when you can’t eat anymore.
2. Eat Breakfast
You’ve certainly heard the old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. With specific regard to staying in shape, breakfast is important because it triggers our metabolism. Once you’ve put something in your stomach in the morning, your body will burn calories more effectively throughout the day, helping you to avoid unnecessary weight gain.
3. Employ Resistance Training
Many people are afraid that resistance training will simply build bulk rather than help keep weight off. However, resistance training is actually most effective in that it provides a massive calorie-burning burst. Working in some weight training 3 to 4 days a week will help your body to keep off extra calories in between, and will also make your cardio workouts more effective.
4. Vary Your Workouts
When crashing for beach season, a lot of us tend to shoot for excessive running, because it is perceived as the best way to drop weight. However, varying your workout routine will keep you from losing interest, and ultimately makes for a more sustainable effort. Running, cycling and swimming are all great options, but think about working in entertaining exercise as well – beach activities, summer sports, etc.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Finally, try your best to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Studies show that this proper rest helps your body to attack fat, instead of muscle, with calorie burning efforts, and that keeps you in the best shape.