Get in Shape for Summer

The best thing about getting in shape for summer is that you can do it without anyone noticing. In the winter and early spring, you are still wearing heavy clothing to stay warm. Won’t your friends be surprised when you shed that parka and reveal a slimmer, trimmer, healthier you? Everyone looks the same in thick clothing so there is no pressure except what you place on yourself.

So, here goes. Take advantage of the winter time to start your summer regimen. Here is more good news. You can start to achieve some of your exercise goals in as little as four to eight weeks. It is recommended that you change up your routine every six weeks to keep muscles working hard and burning calories.

In the wintertime, you burn more calories. Mostly it is because you are trying to stay warm. It takes a lot of energy to get you warmed up and then to keep you there when you are out in the elements. Starting your summer program then will give you an extra calorie burn.

Here are some tips to help you to get started.

* Eat a sensible diet – In the winter, we all want to sit around and graze. Use this time to experiment with new and exciting foods. Try a few winter vegetables and fresh fruit. Use them in smoothies, on top of hot cereal, in granola bars and trail mix. Since you are not moving much on some days, use this opportunity to cut down on your meals. Add frozen chopped vegetables to your soups to beef up (no pun intended) your nutrient count.

* Get outdoors and get active – Walk or jog in the crisp air. It is a different feeling exercising in the cold weather. Warm up inside the house before going outside for an activity. Wear a muffler over your mouth to warm the air for easier breathing. Ride bikes, go snowboarding, skiing and even hike with family or friends.

* Go to the gym or recreation center – When the weather gets too cold outside, bring it indoors. Take a fun dance or aerobics class. The cooler temperatures don’t have to discourage your workout. Dress in layers so you can shed a few when you get indoors and reapply before entering the outdoors again.

* Buy that bathing suit – You can get a good deal now on a bathing suit because it is off season. Use it as a measure of how well you are doing in your program. If you need incentive, put it on.