Shape Up for Summer – 4 Simple Tips

The weather is (slowly) getting warmer and it’s time to store your bulky sweatshirts and sweaters and pull out the t-shirts and sun dresses, which means time to show more skin. If you are feeling a little timid to show off more skin because you feel you want to tone up and/or lose weight, don’t worry. You have probably read or heard of all the four main tips below, but we added some fun new ways to spruce up these fat burning tips and tricks for you to apply to your everyday fitness

It’s a goal of a health fitness specialist to help clients feel good about themselves. “My favorite part about the health fitness field is helping people reach goals they never dreamed possible and improving the length and quality of their lives,” said Jeffery Rank, Globe University-Woodbury health fitness specialist student who plans on pursuing his Master of Science in Health Fitness Management as well as work his way into the clinical aspects of health fitness.

1. Exercise: Find new ways to sneak cardio into your everyday routine.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator every chance you get.
  • Try parking farther away from your destination and walk a little more.
  • Need a break from the hustle and bustle? Take a 20 minute walk with a co-worker. You would be surprised with how refreshed you feel after that walk.
  • Sweep the driveway or rake the leaves instead of using a leaf-blower.
  • Get off the bus a few stops earlier.
  • Hike the mall, being sure to hit all the levels.
  • Sign up for charity walks.
  • Crank the music and get your heart rate up the next time you mop or vacuum.

      Fun fact: Two 15-minute walks each day for one year burns about 62,052 calories = 17.1 pounds lost

2. Eat Healthy: Eating healthy is crucial when trying to tone up and/or weight.

  • Eat breakfast every morning. Studies show people who eat breakfast have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than breakfast-skippers and perform better, whether at school or in the boardroom.
  • Brush your teeth when you are done eating for the day. “You will be less likely to eat or drink anything else,” said Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, WebMD’s “Recipe Doctor” and the author of Comfort Food Makeovers.
  • Watch what you drink throughout the day. Sweetened drinks pile on calories but don’t help reduce your hunger. Also, alcohol calories add up quickly. Try limiting alcohol to the weekends can be a major calorie savor.
  • Eat your fruits and vegetables. Bring a snack bag full of fruits in veggies to snack on throughout your day.
  • Add protein to meals and snacks. Greek yogurt with nuts or a whole grain cereal on top adds both protein and grains while satisfying those hunger pains.

3. Drink water: Water not only helps detoxify your body, but it can also help you feel fuller throughout the day. Try different ways to get hydrated other than pounding bottles of plain water throughout the day.

  • Skip the soda and drink water with lemon for flavor.
  • Make it convenient – keep a big, insulated water bottle full on your desk and reach for it all day.
  • Add some fizz to your water.  Get a home seltzer maker like a Soda Stream and make your own fizzy H2O.
  • Eat more water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, celery, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, tomato, zucchini, oranges, pineapple and strawberries.
  • Not all your water has to be cold…make some decaf tea. Caffeinated tea will actually rob you of water because it’s a diuretic.
  • Always keep a bottle of water handy while watching TV.

4. Get your sleep:  Some studies have shown that losing sleep could affect metabolism by making you feel hungry, even if you’re not.

  • Try to get to bed at the same time each night.
  • Schedule your bedtime so you are getting at least eight hours of sleep.
  • Start unwinding about an hour before bed by taking a bath or doing some reading.

      Fun Facts (according to Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., CNS):

  • People who slept less than six hours a night experienced an increase in their body mass index (height-to-weight ratio) more than those who slept seven to eight hours.
  • Women who slept five hours a day, or less, gained more weight than those who slept seven hours a day, according to a 16-year study.
  • People who slept less than eight hours a day had larger increases in body fat than those who slept more.

Try implementing some of these tips in your everyday routine to help shape yourself up for summer.