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Getting Your Body Beach-Ready

Increasing temperatures foretell the coming summer and swimsuit season. Whether you wish to lose a few pounds or simply tone up, getting your body beach-ready will require working out and a healthier diet.
Some may prefer joining a gym, taking spin, pilates, or zumba classes. Others, including myself, would rather spend every spare moment of the day outside choosing outdoor workout.

So, to drop a few pounds, you need to begin with cardio exercises. You may start power walking, jogging, running, biking or swimming for more than 30 minutes, at a moderate level of intensity (60-80 percent of maximal heart rate) at leased 4-5 times a week. To develop muscular fitness, as well as aerobic conditioning, cross-training would be your best choice. Alternating activities during your workouts will keep you from getting bored and will recruit different muscle groups. It creates less stress on your body, decreasing chances of an injury and wearing out your joints. Cardio-intensive exercises will not only speed up your metabolism and burn fat, but also improve your cardiovascular health. They increase HDL – cholesterol (the good one), reduce total cholesterol and blood pressure, lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Improving your body look and stamina will also require some diet modifications. Consider reducing calorie intake, cutting down on empty carbohydrates (sugar, refined flour, white rice), processed food, and ready meals. Increase consumption of vegetable proteins, such as beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, artichoke. Prepare home-cooked food and eliminate fast food and takeouts from your daily routine.

Set achievable short-term goals. Instead of thinking that you need to lose 20 pounds, think that you want to lose 1-2 lb. this week. So, it is time to dust off your bike or hit a gym, and see you at the beach.

Maggie Garbiec, PTA

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