3 Months to a Gorgeous Summer Body
The official first day of summer is exactly 3 months from today: June 21. Get your body ready for the hot summer days and warm summer nights just as you get your backyard ready: with planning, foresight and commitment. Here is a general outline for ensuring your body is a perfect match for the beautiful summer weather:
March 21- April 21
Commit to doing some form of cardio for at least 20 minutes, 3 times a week and include resistance training 2-3 times a week. Resistance training includes “core” exercises like front and side planks, crunches and anything requiring twisting, bending, lifting or leaning the torso and should last 15-30 minutes.
Make one solid change in your eating routine. This could include giving something up like Starbucks in the morning or sweets after dinner, limiting your portions or resisting going back for seconds or even making a healthy substitution like trading chocolate for fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth.
April 21 – May 21
Work up to moderate cardio for 20-30 minutes, 3-4 times a week. Add weight training to your resistance routine and be sure to incorporate all the major muscle groups. Try switching it up by doing back and bicep exercises one day, tricep and chest movements another day and a leg routine on the third day. Your weight routine should not exceed an hour every other day; overtraining will unnecessarily stress your body and can lead to injury or burnout.
Learn how to cook some low calorie, healthy meals. Eating out inevitably adds unintended calories, thus deterring your fitness regimen. Plus, eating in more often will save you money in the long run. Save your dinner dates for special occasions.
May 21-June 21
Step up your cardio routine to a moderate-intense level for 40-50 minutes, 3-4 times a week. Consider adding interval training to increase intensity. Completing short spurts of aggressive effort throughout a long cardio routine has been proven to increase fat burning during and after the workout; you can do this on a treadmill by increasing speed or incline or by adding resistance on a bike or cross trainer. Do intervals on pavement by picking up the pace for a minute or two at a time. Continue your weight and resistance training using higher weights and/or completing more repetitions. Add different exercises and do moves that mimic everyday activities to prime your body for practical exertion.
Keep a food journal for at least 3 days (2 weekdays and a weekend will give you the best sample). Write down everything you ate and at what time. Analyze where you went wrong and what you can do about it. Maybe you ate too much late at night and not enough in the morning. Maybe you starved yourself all day and then went overboard with one big meal. Remember, your metabolism is like a fire, feeding it small bits of kindling often will keep it burning at a consistent level over long periods of time.
After 3 months of a steady fitness routine you are guaranteed results. Stick to the plan and you’ll be ready for the bikini required for a fulfilling summer.