By Jon Jorundson/Personal Trainer
It’s that time of the year! As the snow melts away with temperatures rising above zero, you can taste those summer BBQs on the beach. Fitness centres are experiencing a massive rush of new members chasing those “beach-ready” bodies, looking for the quick-fix workout routines, or new promising diets boasting faster results than ever.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best in a swimsuit, but it’s important to pursue healthy, sustainable strategies that work for you, and promote longevity. On that note, here are five tips to keep in mind this summer:
Build lean muscle with a strength training program
Strength training is the secret to maintaining a healthy body and mind. Following an intelligently-designed strength training program has been shown to increase your body’s metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day, even long after you’ve left the gym. Improving your overall strength and endurance will certainly improve your energy levels over time. Aim for at least 2-3 sessions a week.
Find your team
Teamwork makes the dream work. We all want to be at our best, but consistency is key. Accountability leads to the results we are after. Whether you decide to hire a personal trainer, nutritionist, or decide on joining fitness classes, a strong supportive community will help get you to where you want to be.
Don’t diet, focus on intuitive eating
Look, we all know losing those extra dreaded pounds comes down to what you put in your body. Dietary restrictions aren’t always sustainable and can lead to binge eating, food cravings, and feelings of guilt and defeat. Instead, try tracking your calories, and become mindful about the energy you are providing your body. Understanding energy balance and maintaining a caloric deficit will burn those extra pounds. A certified nutritionist can help you get started.
Start with one simple habit
Instead of committing to a full 10-day juice fast, or promising to give up pizza forever, start with adding one simple habit each week. Studies have found that focusing on small habit changes tend to stick, and are more sustainable over time.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Friendly competition can help motivate you, but constantly comparing yourself to what others are doing can lead you to feeling down and discouraged. Instead, try focusing on competing with that voice in your head rationalizing with you to skip your workout and throw in the white towel. Focus on small improvements each day--progress over perfection.