I love having four seasons, and winter (albeit grey and cold) does have its upsides. For one, ‘tis the season for food, and lots of it – second, you don’t have to worry about keeping that golden glow or that wash-board stomach. But with spring creeping just around the corner, it may be time to start working on your fitness…and no, I don’t mean “fitness whole pizza in my mouth.”
I am of the opinion that health and wellness should not be a seasonal affair, but after weathering my first winter in about a decade I would be lying if I said my daily physical exertion wasn’t affected. So, in an effort to make health and wellness a daily habit, here are some tips for getting that beach body back by changing just one or two small things a day – after all, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.
Tips for Getting that Beach-Body Back
First and foremost, one of the main reasons dieting and exercise don’t work for a lot of people is because we decide one day to be all “gung-ho” on our diet and exercise regime, and we change EVERYTHING about the way we live. Unfortunately for us, we are creatures of habits and many of us end up falling back into our old ways of being. And so, the first tip for getting that beach body back is this:
It is easy to get motivated and be inspired to change our lifestyles in order to get the result we want, but when we try to change everything from what time we wake up and sleep, to a completely different diet and decide to run 8 miles a day when we aren’t used to this routine.
Many years ago, one of the first things I did to change my lifestyle was to add a salad to my diet. And not just any salad, mind you – a homemade salad with olive oil, salt and pepper as the dressing. This became a typical breakfast for me, and it has helped me in managing my weight and health over the years.
The best exercise routine….
A while back, I had the privilege of interviewing fellow WeDame Brenda Baur on her healthy living philosophy. One of the things she had said after we met up a few more times was this: the best exercise routine is one you will actually do.
Even if you can only commit to five or ten minutes of walking a day, this is still better than nothing at all. In fact, in a study led by I-Min Lee in the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, it was found that inactivity leads to just as many deaths as smoking! Yeesh!
Give Your Mind a Workout Too!
The human mind is a very powerful tool, and when your thoughts are in alignment with your actions, you can be unstoppable! Not only can exercise boost the size of the hippocampus (the part of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning), but the effect can work the other way too – using your brain rightly can also support you in losing weight.
According to research using visualization works because neurons in our brains, those electrically excitable cells that transmit information, interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action. Research shows mental exercise and visualization are almost as effective as ACTUALLY working out. Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared “people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads”. He found that a 30% muscle increase in the group who went to the gym. However, the group of participants who conducted mental exercises of the training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5%)….WITHOUT going to the gym. Pretty cool, huh?
Getting that beach bod before spring and summer would be a lot easier if you start now. Setting aside a little time each day to make a healthy breakfast, exercise (something you will ACTUALLY do) and visualizing a slimmer, healthier you will do wonders in supporting you in reaching your health and weight goals. Wishing you all the best Springfield!