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Summer Shape-Up Guide: Get Fit for the Season

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1. Drink Water
If you don't stay hydrated, your body won't perform at peak levels. And boosting your water intake is going to help increase your metabolism! Don't worry about excess "water weight," because you're likely to retain more water, causing swelling in ankles, feet and face, when you're not drinking adequate water. Remember the 8x8 rule—drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Get a cute water bottle and keep drinking. For flavor, add lemon or lime wedges.

2. Get Your Greens On!
Eat more salads and cooked leafy greens. Leafy veggies are blood builders and clean the liver. Experience your greens in a variety of ways including sauteed, steamed and juiced. Eat two salads daily and bulk up your salad with beans and chopped veggies. Greens also regulate your blood sugar and will help curb sugar cravings.

3 Start a Support Circle
Identify your cheerleaders and supporters who want to see you succeed. Connect with friends with similar goals and work out together. When you have motivated friends, you see results much faster.

4. Get Up and Go!
Exercise during the mornings. When you work out at the start of your day it decreases your appetite and stimulates the thyroid to burn calories all day long. Try power walking, swimming, or spinning to start your day, and add some resistance training at the end.

5. Eat More!
Eat more meals throughout the day. Start with a solid breakfast and eat smaller meals throughout the day. When you eat smaller meals more often you are less likely to reach for junk foods. Pack healthy snacks for yourself to take on the go.

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6. Kick Sugar to the Curb
Simple sugars enter your blood stream within minutes and have a harmful effect on the body, causing mood swings, weight gain, heart disease, arthritis, and more. Avoid white sugar as well as synthetic sugars. Try sweet potatoes and pears for snacks and agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey for sweeteners.

7. Keep it Moving
As it gets warmer our bodies naturally desire more sunlight and activity. Carve out time to do things you love outdoors, like rollerblading, bike-riding, dancing. It's exercise without effort, and easy to shed pounds.

8. Keep It Fresh
Eat fresh seasonal foods and introduce new and exciting dishes, and methods of preparation to your culinary repertoire. Try incorporating some new techniques and recipes that will inspire you to eat healthy.

9. Stop the Pop
Not only does high fructose corn syrup overstimulate the pancreas and gets stored as fat. But also, whatever you eat while drinking soda will store as fat. If you stop drinking one can per day, 1050 calories are eliminated a week. Enjoy substitute low-calorie drinks like teas, fresh juices and smoothies.

10. The Small Stuff Counts
Don't underestimate the power of very small changes. Walk or take stairs whenever possible. Little short workouts spread out throughout your day can have a big impact on your waistline overtime.

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