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It's that time of year you've been waiting for: The weather is warm, the sky is blue, the boats are on the water and school is out. Summer has officially arrived. But wait! You haven't exercised since February, and those treats at the office have become a daily habit. Is your figure ready for that boat on the water? If you're like most Americans, probably not. But never fear. Here are three ways to help start transforming your body and your health just in time for the best part of the year.
Cardio is great, but don't forget about strength training
While cardio workouts will help burn fat fast, building lean muscle will help in giving you definition, endurance and strength — especially in your core, legs and arms. Given that many of the population has fairly sedentary lives for eight or more hours per day, it's no surprise that injuries are common when running or doing any manner of cardio workouts, and getting injured is no way to start your exercise routine for the summer.
Take advantage of the time you have
When it comes to getting into shape, most people will immediately feel discouraged due to the lack of time necessary to have a good work out every day. Between work, the kids, errands, yard work and the neighborhood barbecue, summer can be exhausting. Start by making small changes, whether that means waking up 15 minutes earlier each day, getting on the floor of your office and doing a set of pushups or situps every hour or taking advantage of commercial breaks when watching your show after the kids go to bed. While a set of 10 push ups might only burn 10 calories, doing this several times a day will add up, making your summer body that much closer.
Diets don't last forever and neither do the results. And let's face it, you don't like eating that food anyway. Instead, focus on learning to eat a balance of healthy, nourishing, energy-sustaining foods. This doesn't mean just salads all summer. This means taking time to learn what different foods do for you and how to have a balanced food plan. Your body will thank you in very kind ways when it's not being subjected to the yo-yo effect of dieting.
It's 6:30 a.m., you've woken up late and you leave the house to rush to your appointment without having had anything to eat besides your can of Diet Coke as you walk out the door. You feel sluggish. Consider trying protein first thing in the morning. It may mean waking up 10 minutes earlier, but protein is a great way to start the day, and eggs are a great natural source of it. Consider instead of eating two whole eggs, substitute for five egg whites. This will cut your calorie intake by over 60 calories and will also cut nine grams of fat had you consumed two eggs instead — all the while helping you be ready for that workout in the afternoon.
Think beyond the bathing suit
While your summer bod and hanging out with your friends on the lake might be good motivation to change bad habits and start taking charge of your health and image, appearances shouldn't be your sole gauge on how to best take care of your body and feel good about yourself. Pay special attention to how you feel when making dietary or exercise changes, for that is the true barometer of lasting health — not the mirror on the wall.
Of course, there may be some problem areas with your body that simply will never change, no matter your exercise or eating habits. For those areas where you've tried everything and still want to see a change, consider talking to the experts at Alpine Plastic Surgery.