Yes, you can wear a bikini confidently this summer. These easy tips for summer fitness are from personal trainers and fitness instructors – and they’ll help you reach your weight loss goals before bikini season hits.
“When it comes to changing the size and shape of your body, exercise is only 30% of it,” says New York City-based certified personal trainer and boot camp instructor Ariane Hundt. “The rest needs to come from proper nutrition and a positive sense of self.”
Did you know it only takes a few minutes to consume 1,500 calories (one Quizno’s Classic Italian Sub, for instance) – but it can take hours to burn that sandwich off?
For more food and diet tips, read The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss.
This article has been updated and republished: What is More Important When You Want to Lose Weight – Exercise or Diet?
And, check out these easy summer fitness tips…
Go barefoot for whole-body health
If you wear shoes as little as possible this summer, you may enjoy better blood circulation, a happier mood, stronger bones, and better posture.
According to the “Barefoot in Toronto” experts, barefoot walking and running – even in winter – increases skin health, reduces foot calluses, builds arch strength, and enhances sensory stimulation. Going barefoot also creates healthier toenails and reduces foot odor. This tip will improve your mind-body connection and help you wear a bikini with confidence.
To get a bikini body, don’t sweat it
Sweat signals a rising body temperature, not an increased calorie burn. Getting sweaty doesn’t mean you’re burning calories this summer; it just means you’re hot!
“In the sauna you’ll sweat buckets but you aren’t burning fat,” says Brad Schoenfeld, author of 28 Day Body Shapeover. “The best indicator of calorie burn is either heart rate or rate of perceived exertion (RPE).”
RPE is a self-report scale that ranges from 1 (complete rest) to 10 (maximum effort). High intensity equals increased heart rate, which equals more fat burn.
Yell, to increase your fitness level and self-confidence
IntenSati is “active meditation” – a fitness program that uses the voice and mind to intensify physical workouts. Participants say or shout empowering affirmations while kicking, jumping, or lunging.
For example, while punching, they yell “I. Am. Strong. Now!” These motivational chants boost confidence and distract participants from feeling fatigued, which increases the workout benefits. And, they’ll fill you with the confidence you need to wear a bikini at the pool or beach!
Focus on interval training
“You can do too much cardio,” says fitness lifestylist Susie Shina, author of 60 Second Circuits: 1000 Ways to Get Your Body Back. “When your body uses up its glycogen stores, it starts to ‘feed’ on lean muscle to keep going. Instead of long cardio stints, do 20 minutes at a higher intensity to burn fat.”
Sprint/recover repeats (interval training) on any cardio machine are effective. Or, tackle your intervals outside: walking, running, biking, or skipping.
Bond with your fitness buddies – the easiest summer fitness tip
“It’s not necessarily resistance training, cardio, or core work that keeps you fit,” says Florida-based John Kent, creator of Adventure Boot Camp for Women. “It’s meeting with others. Most of us live in voluntary isolation – answering emails, surfing the internet, listening to iPods – we need more support.”
Bonding moments – such as running hills or attending Pilates classes together – keep you motivated and focused on your fitness goals this summer, whether it’s wearing a bikini or losing 40 pounds.
Take celebrity fitness tips with a grain of salt
Los Angeles-based fitness instructor Torri Shack says, “Don’t believe everything you read about how the stars stay fit. Many celebrities work out four to six days a week for 90 minutes, have professional trainers, and eat a clean, very calorie-restrictive diet. They don’t ‘just’ do Pilates or yoga twice a week.”
When you compare yourself to a gorgeous, lean, perfectly air-brushed movie star, remember that it’s her job to stay beautiful.
In a time crunch? Get a better workout
“People are surprised at how little exercise they need to get and stay fit,” says personal trainer Keith Morton, founder of CityWide SuperSlow in Chicago. “It’s the quality, not quantity, of exercise that counts.”
Mississauga-based fitness trainer Marc Lebert adds that his best workouts occur when he’s pushed for time. “If I give myself 20 minutes to work my legs, I know I have to increase my intensity,” he says. “A time limit makes every set count.”
If you never seem to have enough time to exercise, read 7 Ways to Get a Better Workout in Less Time.
Tackle the best time to burn fat
Hundt advises doing cardio in the morning, on an empty stomach. “Since you haven’t eaten since dinner, the carbohydrate stores in your muscles and liver will be nearly depleted,” she says. “So, your body has to reach into your fat stores for energy.”
This fitness trainer encourages lean people to eat easily digested carbs before morning workouts, such as oatmeal and fruit. Why? Because they risk losing lean muscle mass if they exercise on an empty stomach. This is an easy summer fitness tip for women who can already wear a bikini confidently.
Eat vegetarian food – it equals weight loss
Vegetarians tend to be slimmer than meat-eaters, and have lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reports that a vegan diet increases calorie burn because the body metabolizes plant-based foods more efficiently than meat. Plus, vegetarians tend to eat more fruits, veggies, and other fibrous foods that are filling and low in calories.
For more fitness tips, read Dr Oz’s Weight Loss Tips – Best Times of the Day to Lose Weight.
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What are your summer fitness tips for wearing a bikini with confidence? Comments welcome below…