Monday, July 10, 2017

HEALTH & WELLBEING

By Samantha Olivier

Fitness & Nutrition Tips
To Get Your Body Bikini Ready

Photo courtesy of Cubus



Ah, the wonders of summer. The sizzling heat of the beaches, the bright colours that surround you, the fun parties and vacations, the fat... Wait, the fat? Damn, you didn’t count on that when you fantasized about your Bora Bora adventures as a hot bikini babe that’s drawing all the attention to her shapely body as she walks down the sandy beach. You’re really starting to regret all those times when you, as a responsible adult, decided that cake is a perfectly nutritious, healthy meal. But don’t worry, no need to panic just yet. A bit of hard work and some dietary changes and you won’t have to let go of your summer daydream of being the hottest lady at the beach. 


Kick up your cardio

If you have love handles and chubby thighs, there are two things you could do – embrace them, or slim down until they’re gone. A bikini ready body is whatever you make it to be and a few extra pounds shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your summer. But if you do want to lose the weight, then the quickest way to slim down when you’re in a crunch is basically to do a lot of cardio. If you’ve been postponing your gym time for far too long and your vacation is just around the corner, it’s time to put some effort in. Exercise at least five times a week and pick something that you actually enjoy doing. You don’t have to run if you hate it – swimming, riding a bike, using the elliptical, playing tennis, dancing – all of these are excellent ways to sweat and shed those pounds. 



Photo courtesy of Seafolly



Don’t forget weightlifting

While cardio is great and good for slimming down and staying healthy, it won’t actually make you look toned. Think about your problem areas and decide which exercises you need based on that. A flabby stomach? Then various types of crunches and planks can help. Fat gathering on your thighs and hips? Lunges, leg raises, squats and leg curls can solve your problems. Do at least three sets of everything after you’re done with half an hour of cardio and make sure you always warm up before you begin, and stretch after you’re done. 

If you haven’t been workout out for a long time, then you need to build up to it a bit more slowly, because otherwise you’ll be too sore to lift your arms, let alone do workouts. The best thing you can do for yourself is to turn exercising into a passion instead of just something you do to slim down for summer. That way it will be a lot more effective and you’ll be happy to do it every day. Get yourself into the exercising mood: make a good workout playlist, find some quality bodybuilding wear, get an app that will track your progress. And don’t worry about bulking up. We really need to stop equating muscles and strength solely with masculinity – you don’t actually need to remain weak to be beautiful, and it takes a lot to actually get to that level of bulk. 


No more sugar 

Sometimes our sugar cravings are just our body’s way of telling us that we’re low on energy. Instead of reaching for that chocolate bar, try getting enough sleep instead, and throw out sweets from your diet. Train yourself to reach for fruit, and not candy. A great snack, for example, is an apple with a handful of almonds or cashews. Sugar will significantly slow down your weight loss and while you don’t have to cut it out entirely, you definitely need to reduce the amount you consume. 



Photo courtesy of Pixabay


Simple recipes

You need to learn how to love food that isn’t complete, processed junk that we’re so used to these days. Everything we eat is so full of additives and flavour-enhancers that you can’t bite into a simple vegetable without feeling underwhelmed. You want the explosion of weird tastes that McDonald’s offers, because that’s what your body is used to now. Eating processed foods and snacks all the time is basically the equivalent of stuffing your face in the trash can every day, and then wondering why your face is full of pimples. Start cooking your own meals and reduce the amount of white bread, pasta and sugary foods. Eat lean meats with a lot of veggies, eat fruit and a lot of leafy greens. Simply be more mindful about what you put in your body. 


A healthy lifestyle isn’t hard to lead, but you need to figure out a way that works for you. You don’t need to follow every fad diet and health trend, merely use your common sense to determine what’s the best way to take care of yourself.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Samantha Olivier has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere.

When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Twitter, or in a tea shop.

Follow her blog Ripped.me more fitness and nutrition tips.



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