You've booked your ticket three months in advance. The weather center is advising the nation to brace for a scorching summer season, and that thought only makes the wait unbearable. So you try on your bikini and realize that things haven’t exactly gone as planned. The wobbly bits hanging off the sides of your suit should have been gone by now, but they’re not—instead, they’re staring back at you, taunting you in the mirror. Fret not, we'll help you get back in shape!
Check out these eight tips on getting your body ready for the beach—and that itsy-bitsy bikini.
SET YOUR GOAL
Determine the important factors, like how much weight you want to lose and how much time you have got before you have to climb into that swimsuit. Then set a realistic goal.
DRAFT YOUR FITNESS PLAN
Confused with all the terms? Cardio is for losing weight, while toning firms up the muscles to give it that lean appearance. Want both? Then combine them—for example, you can do cardio three times a week and then do toning in between. You'll also want to find out what level of intensity works best for you since some people doze off during a low-impact routine, while some people can't keep up with a high-impact exercise.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TECHNOLOGY
Did you know you can download fitness programs from iTunes and it won't cost you a single cent? There are hundreds of podcasts dedicated to fitness and working out. Start with the most downloaded ones like Chaz Rough's Yogamazing or DJ Steve Boyett's Podrunner. Hey, if they’ve got a huge following, they must be doing something right. If you have days when you can't set aside even just 30 minutes to exercise, then download Diet.com's "Fastest workout in the world," an intense 4-minute cardio routine and complement it with the "1-minute fat-burning exercise for multitaskers." You may not be doing your complete routine, but at least you're still burning extra calories.
ENJOY THE OUTDOORS!
Hate exercising? Then head outside! It's summer, so it's a perfect time to do water sports—swim a few laps in the pool, go surfing, or play a little beach volleyball to get those enviable toned arms. If you'd rather stay on land, then try joining marathons or bike races. Check www.pinoyfitness.com for schedules. If you're not a fan of competitive sports, then try the conventional morning jog or brisk walking. You can even check your progress by downloading a pedometer onto your music player.
SOMETHING TO CHEW ON
Forget those sugary or fat-laden snacks. Summer is also the season for scrumptious fruits. Slice some mangoes and melons, and you've go yourself some low-calorie and nutritious snacks—that also cool you down. Beat that, fro-yo! Watermelon is not only low in calories, but it also helps you stay hydrated. So satisfy your sweet tooth with ripe fruit, and your hips will thank you for it.
THE MAIN DISH
Just because you're trying to get into shape doesn't mean you have to swap protein shakes for your daily meals. Low calorie meals don't have to taste like sawdust! Try Yummy's recipe for gazpacho—it's got essential nutrients, is low in calories, and also helps you cool down. You can also add meat to your salads, such as grilled chicken or fish, for a complete meal.
Set some "cheat days" and allow yourself to stray from your fitness regimen. But just like free cuts in college, these days aren't meant to be abused. Try not to binge on your cheat days—after all, you're only fooling yourself if you do.
When you think Mother Nature has blessed (or cursed) you with sluggish metabolism, then give it a little nudge. FDA-approved supplements like green tea capsules or concentrated L-carnitine syrup will help you burn more fat. But just remember that supplements only help you burn more fat and are not supposed to be considered substitutes for exercise.
Just stick to your plan, and in a week or two, you should start to see results. Use that to encourage yourself to reach your fitness goals, and you'll be turning heads at the beach in no time.
Want more tips on trimming that tummy? Check out FemaleNetwork's article on de-bloating tips to learn how to keep water retention down.
(Photo by Paolo Pineda)