Spring Into Summer Fitness!
Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. This time of year always seems to motivate people to start taking better care of their health. We start to experience some good weather and people head outdoors in swarms walking, hiking, cycling or just playing with their kids at the park.
But not only do people start becoming a lot more active, many also start to become really conscious of the extra layers of fat they’ve been storing throughout the winter months. There seems to be a common interest in shedding some of this extra body fat in order to look our best once we begin donning our summer attire. Unfortunately, a crash diet is not only unhealthy but it actually won’t provide you with the long-term results most desire.
Small changes to your lifestyle and a consistent effort will get you where you want to be come the warmer months.
Realistically with 2 months until summer, if you do this the right away, you can expect to be 15 pounds lighter, lean and fit!
We’ll touch on 3 areas that you should consider to get you in great shape in time for summer.
You gotta know that this would be first on my list! Do some exercise – I don’t care what kind of exercise – just do something! Participate in one of your favorite activities a minimum of 3-5x/week for at least 20 minutes at a time – get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Anything more is a bonus! For muscle conditioning, do some resistance training 2-3x/week either at a gym using equipment or your body weight or from home using hand weights and tubing. Just remember, if you’re starting fresh, ease into your new exercise routine – Rome wasn’t built in a day!
One of the biggest problems of modern day society is that we just don’t move that much anymore. I’m not even talking about exercise – just daily movement. The reality is that most people wake up, sit to have breakfast, drive to work, sit at a computer desk all day, drive home, sit and have dinner and then relax in front of the TV for the rest of the evening. Labor saving devises which are supposed to be making our lives easier are in reality one of the major culprits in the rise of obesity. If we would all just make a conscious effort at moving more throughout our days, we wouldn’t have to spend hours at the gym. So with that said, consider parking at the outside of the parking lot or a couple extra blocks from your destination, walk or cycle to do errands at lunch, take the stairs any chance you get and whenever you have the opportunity, choose to be active and move versus sit and do nothing. All these little extra efforts every day really do add up and you’ll soon find yourself looking and feeling better without having to spends hours and hours at the gym
The problem with most Americans is that we consume a great deal of calorically dense and nutritiously poor foods. On top of this, our portion sizes are much larger than they should be. One easy way to shed a few extra pounds is to trick your body into thinking you’re full causing you to eat fewer calories than you normally would. Here’s a couple ‘tricks’ you can play on your stomach:
- Drink a ton of water – not only is it healthy, but water has a filling effect. Approximately 5-15 minutes before each meal or snack, drink 8ounces or 1 cup of water.
- Soup please! – Just like water, soup also has a great filling effect. One study found that subjects who consumed a bowl of soup before each meal consumed much less calories and lost more weight. Just be sure the soup is broth based and not cream based!
- More fruits & veggies – Before and/or with each meal, have at least one serving of fruit and/or veggies. Because of their fiber content, they also cause you to feel fuller.
- Choose a smaller plate – If you find yourself overfilling your plate, just choose a smaller plate. It tricks your mind into thinking that you’re actually eating more than you really are.
- Brush your teeth – if you find yourself eating late into the evening, many find it helpful to brush their teeth right after dinner. It sends a signal to the brain that the eating frenzy is over!
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning
Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com
Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.
Join us for the RUN TO REMEMBER (May 28th 9am – Downtown Washougal, WA) Join us for this Memorial Day Mile and 5k/10k running and walking event on Memorial Day weekend that will benefit Battle Buddies, an organization that provides Service Dogs for our Veterans. Let us honor the brave men and women who have or are currently serving in our Armed Forces and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom.