Once spring rears its head, many women start thinking about the upcoming bathing suit season. It’s fine to want to look and feel good in your suit this summer, but remember that getting fit is about more than weight – it’s about strength, endurance, and good health, too. You want to have energy to enjoy the outdoors this summer, and getting into shape will help you make the most of the warm season. Follow these seven steps to get fit before summer.
Find inspiration to change your workout routine with our 5 Steps to Becoming a Morning Exerciser.
1. Set a goal…beyond weight.
Don’t hang all your expectations and motivations on a number on the scale. With weight loss, plateaus are common. If you set yourself a goal beyond the immediate, you’re likely to maintain your motivation. For example, aim to hike a particularly steep trail or swim several extra laps this summer – the endurance and strength you gain from exercise will help you achieve these activity goals, no matter what the scale says.
2. Find the kind of routine that works for you.
Different things work for different people – some prefer to exercise at home and some prefer the gym; some prefer a flexible exercise schedule and others need regimented time slots devoted to exercise; some like to mix it up and some prefer to do the same exercises in the same sequence. You’re more likely to adhere to your exercise plan if it fits your style.
3. Don’t just focus on cardio; strength-training is important, too.
Building lean muscle does burn fat, but not as much as cardio. However, it’s still an equally important part of any get fit plan. Strength and endurance require strong core muscles, legs, and arms.
Weights aren’t just for men. Our 25 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights will teach you the secrets and benefits to creating a new you.
4. Mix it up with challenges.
Keeping up with your long-term routine can get a little stale. Throw in a weekly challenge when you feel your motivation lagging. See our Fitness Challenges page for inspiration.
5. Don’t get injured!
Exercising irresponsibly can land you with an injury that leaves you on the sidelines. Don’t let a tight summer deadline trick you into overdoing it. If you’re fairly new to exercise, check out our Beginner’s Workouts and gradually increase intensity.
6. If you’re growing bored with your routine, do something different.
You don’t have to do the same exercises every time. There are so many different types of exercise – interval training, circuit training, yoga, Zumba, spinning, swimming, running – who said you have to choose one and stick to it? Boredom leads to demotivation; combat it by switching things up when needed.
There’s more than one way to get amazing cardio results, Our Tired of the Treadmill? Here are 6 Alternative Cardio Workouts! will get you off the tread and into a new zone.
7. Keep a food journal.
Writing down what you eat can help you keep calories in check.