Shape Up For Summer - General diet and exercise tips for getting back in shape
Now that it's Summer and the weather is warming up, lots of people are thinking about changing their routine: shaking up their wellness, setting new well-being objectives, or perhaps simply shaping up for shorts-and-bathing-suit weather. In fact, any time is a good time to consider positive changes in diet, healthy habits and exercise. Shedding pounds, reducing your cholesterol, choosing healthy habits of rest, stress management, activity and diet – call it Summer Cleaning for the mind and body!
General diet advice
- Avoid liquid calories
Most people fail to appreciate that they consume thousands of low-nutrition calories by drinking sweetened soda, bottled coffee and tea drinks, and super sugary fruit juices. Plain water is a much better beverage choice if your aim is to improve your diet and general health. Besides water, you can also try fresh lemon, orange and other citrus juices without extra sweeteners, and vegetable juices.
- Turn off the TV and head outdoors
This one may sound self-evident, but for some people the most difficult distance to cover is the steps from the couch to the front door. And it’s way worse when we add a snacking habit – before you open that bag of chips or buttered popcorn, have a close look at the calories and the sodium content. Watching dancers, dieters or ninja warriors on TV is no substitute for getting up and getting active.
- Start dinner with a vegetable
According to research, it’s smart to begin your evening meal with a salad, green vegetables, non-creamy vegetable soup, or broth. This is because the water and fiber in the vegetables will help satisfy feelings of hunger. Accordingly, you'll be less inclined to overeat when you get to the main dish.
- Love your grill
One surprising benefit of grilling is that it can make a cook out of practically anybody. It’s a pretty simple matter to toss fish or chicken and veggies on the barbecue. The result is usually plenty flavorful without high-calorie sauces, gravies or side dishes.
- Close the kitchen after dinner
To prevent yourself from backsliding as the days get longer and the time between supper and sleep time lengthens, put a decisive end to your meal by drinking some home brewed tea, and then brushing and flossing your teeth.
- Eliminate the extras
Try to eliminate extra helpings of food and beverages, snack foods, and between-meal eating too. If you can cut out the "in between" eating, it will pay off.
A daily 30 to 45-minute session of exercise is a great way to improve and maintain your body shape. Try adding some of these exercises to your new healthful routine.
- Triceps extension exercises help to strengthen and shape up your upper arms.
- Pushups help tone and strengthen arm muscles, as well as muscles in the chest, upper and lower back and abdomen.
- Try 3 daily sets of 12 bicep curls.
- Plank – Hold for 60 seconds and repeat after 60 seconds of rest, five or more times per session.
- Crunches – Work up to12 left, 12 right and 12 center crunches. Repeat 5 times.
- Squats – 10 squats. Repeat 5 times.
- Forward lunges – take 12 forward lunges on each leg. Repeat 5 times.
- Wall sits – Sit on a wall or bench with legs extended in front at a 90-degree angle for 30 seconds; add more time as your muscles grow stronger. Repeat 5 times.
These exercises can burn as much as 300 Kcal daily or about 1,500 Kcal a week.