Prepare your body for summer


It’s begun. Ads, magazine articles, and social media posts related to the topic of “getting in shape” for your summer body. All these posts telling us how our bodies should look and that “healthy eating” and “exercise” isn’t enough until we get the ideal “beach body.” As far as I’m concerned, these ads are playing on our insecurities and what society tells us is “beautiful.” They are trying to sell us their diet product (by the way, the diet industry is a 60-billion-dollar industry) or wanting us to purchase some sort of exercise plan. All so we can get in shape, be healthy and look good. Well, first of all, health comes in many different shapes and sizes. Expending too much energy on food and nutrition and thinking about how to get that “beach body” can actually be unhealthy. It causes most people to put their own self-care and happiness at risk. You will wind up wasting too much time on looking a certain way and be missing out on all the fun opportunities summer has to offer!

Hydrate. Lastly, the final essential step to prepare your body for summer is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Wondering how much water to drink? A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water. In other words, a 150-pound individual should consume approximately nine 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Don’t forget that the more active you are, the more water you should drink because you’ll be sweating. Now you’re probably wondering why it’s important to drink so much water. Water accounts for about 60% of your body. That said, every system in your body depends on water. Ample water intake can help with weight loss and preventing wrinkles, keep your skin moistened, and with helping ward off heat exhaustion. Keeping well hydrated also helps with flushing toxins out of your body, prevents cramps, increases energy, and boosts your immune system. Who knew something so simple could do so much?

Eat fruits. Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables is the second step in your quest to prepare your body for summer. Since fruits and veggies are “in season” this time of year, this is the best time to enjoy them. In addition to being delectable, fresh produce is rich in antioxidants which are helpful in protecting the skin from harmful effects of the sun. Even better, studies have shown that diets high in fresh fruits and vegetables can help put up a good fight against heart disease, cancer, and obesity. Last, but not least, these delicious fresh foods will fill you up on fewer total calories. Filling up on fewer calories means fewer calories you’ll have to burn to achieve your weight loss goals! Another added bonus: diets rich in fruits and veggies help you feel better in general, keep your system regular, and help your hair, skin, and nails look better. That’s a full-body win, inside and out! Let’s be real. Summer fruits and vegetable options are the BEST. I am so looking forward to getting fresh red cherries/other berries, melon, salad greens and summer squash! Sure, these days you can buy these types of produce all year round. But they taste so much fresher and more delicious in the summertime!

Regular exercise. Regular exercise is an important first step as you prepare your body for summer. Besides being a super mood brightener, regular exercise will also help you burn off any extra pounds that may have found you over winter and tone up your muscles that will no longer be buried in layers upon layers of clothing. Even more, when you feel fitter, you start to hold yourself up stronger and prouder. Posture improves and you simply look healthier overall.

If you are a novice to exercise, taking simple walks are a great place to start. Begin with three 20-minute walks a week and work your way up to five 30-minute walks. If you’ve been dedicated to your exercise program throughout winter, try mixing your routine up with different classes at the gym or take your workout outs ide and wake up some of the muscles that may have decided to take a nap over winter.