March 22, 2017

Spring Forward for a Summer Body

The New Year’s season has ended. At this point, that New Year’s resolution has stuck or not. Summer is coming. Beaches, tans, days at the lake; it will all be here faster than it takes to read this. Want to avoid that summer frenzy of getting ready for warmer weather? Start now, by giving the body and health a spring cleaning. Summer bodies are made during spring break.

Summer officially begins on June 20st. If a person started on April 1st, that would be 11 ½ weeks– or 81 days–to get ready for summer. A lot can happen in that time. Losing 15-20 pounds in that time is realistic. Completing a couch-to-5k training is doable in the time frame. Dropping two or three dress or shirt sizes in that time period is possible. In short, depending your on personal starting point, those visible abs and flat stomach are possible by summer time. If that is not possible, a smaller wardrobe still is. The question is not a matter of if it could happen, but will it?

The will to make it happen–that will be the determining factor. Will you make a healthy spring cleaning of your body? Here are some simple tips to start building a summer body now.

  • The will to eat more vegetables. Why? I like to think that the carbs from vegetables do not count. Vegetables can help your body get all the vitamins and minerals it needs to push you toward success. Veggies can help fill you up with a lot less calories.
  • The will to eat more fiber. Why? Fiber makes the stomach feel full faster. Eat high-fiber foods at the beginning of a meal and drink plenty of water. Water causes fibrous foods to expand in the stomach. This makes the stomach feel full. Hint: Broccoli is a good source of fiber!
  • The will to hydrate. Warmer weather means that the body will dehydrate faster outside. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. For women it’s about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups (400 to 600 milliliters) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. Willfully avoid dehydration and a potential medical emergency in the heat. This also helps prevent overeating.
  • The will to spring outside. The Natural State is a beautiful place to enjoy a wide variety of active outdoor activities. The view from the top of Pinnacle Mountain is amazing. However, who wants to climb it in July? April and May are fantastic months to enjoy hiking, biking, and exploring outdoors.
  • The will to invest in sweat equity. Results come to those who work for it. Fat loss and fitness are investments in effort. Measure your effort by the sweat it produces. After all, sweat is just body fat’s way of crying for mercy. Give it none. Sixty minutes every day; get out of breath and sweaty. Great change comes from great effort.

Spring time is a time of renewal, of growth, and of productivity. Spring forward into action and make the summer sizzle.