Smooth Fitness Blog

Getting In Shape for the Summer – Beach Body Tips and Strategies

May 27th, 2011

The sun is out and the beautiful summer months are finally here! With Memorial Day weekend as a kickoff to the summer-vacation season it is a great time to get in shape and tone muscle in order to achieve that perfect “beach-body”. Most people think achieving this is difficult, however, with minor changes to exercise routines and diet; you can be well on your way to the beach body you’ve always dreamed about.

The two primary ingredients when starting to work towards a toned body are diet and exercise. Dieting alone may not help you shed pounds efficiently unless it is coupled with healthy amounts of exercise. Shedding weight and slimming down are all about jump-starting the metabolism and burning calories. In order to get you started towards that perfect beach body, we will be outlining some key diet and exercise tips.

Dieting

Dieting is an extremely powerful tool when attempting get into shape. However, changing current intake habits can be difficult for any individual. One great way to get started is to change from the standard three meal-a-day format, to a six meal-a-day format. With this increase in meal frequency you must also reduce portion size. The idea behind this dieting strategy starts with the metabolism. After eating a large meal the body uses a burst of energy to digest and process the food and then the metabolism shuts down until the next meal. By eating six small meals a day the metabolism spends less time idling and more time burning excess calories! This is a safe and healthy way to shed some extra weight and increase fat burn.

What Type of Foods?

Choosing the right foods to eat while dieting can be a confusing process, but Super Foods are a great way to get started and you can’t go wrong with any one of them. They are all-natural foods that come in a variety of shapes and sizes all offering the same advantage; nutrient rich, low calorie. Super Foods are all about getting the most out of what you put into your body. They are known to help fight disease, help lower cholesterol, contain necessary vitamins/minerals, promote wellness, and they taste great! Some Super Foods include Beans, Lentils, Blueberries, Broccoli, Oats, Oranges, Pumpkin, Salmon, Soy, Spinach, Tea, Yogurt, Acai Berries, and many more.

Keep in mind that too much of something, even Super Foods, can be unhealthy. It is very important when dieting to keep track of caloric intake and start cutting back to a healthy target level. Some quick ways you can cut back on caloric intake would be simple substitutions such as, eating Kellogg’s Special K cereal instead of Frosted Flakes or choosing grilled chicken over deep fried chicken at a restaurant. Also, keep in mind a healthy plate of food should portion out to be 50% Vegetables/Fruits, 25% Proteins, and 25% Starches. Simple choices like this can make all the difference when it comes time to head out onto the beach for the first time. Of course, dieting is just one half of the equation. Taking in fewer calories is the first step but you still have to burn those calories off in order to shed pounds and shape muscle.

Exercise

The basic workout routine for a healthy lifestyle should consist of 30-45minutes of combined cardiovascular and muscular fitness exercises. This combination is the most efficient way to burn calories while toning muscle. In order to get in shape for the beach specifically, there are some key body zones you can target and some special routines that may help you achieve your goals even faster.

Which Body Zones?

The key areas that your muscular fitness exercises should focus on when working towards a beach body are chest, biceps, triceps, abdominals, gluteals, and shoulders. Working on these target areas will generate the greatest change and quickest results. Keep in mind that while working these areas can be very beneficial it is important not to neglect other body zones. Stagger your exercises for the best results as over-exhausting a muscle group will only slow you down in the long run. In addition to muscular fitness, cardiovascular fitness is just as important.

Cardio is Key

30-45minutes of cardiovascular exercise either on a treadmill or elliptical machine is extremely important to any workout routine. Treadmills are great machines because they offer the “runner’s high” without the fear of cars, crosswalks, and other outdoor obstacles. Elliptical machines are another excellent choice for the individual seeking an upper and lower body workout with low joint impact. Also, the elliptical’s reverse peddling option can be very beneficial when toning the full range of lower body muscles. Either type of machine offers incline options, built in workout routines, and a wide-range of other fitness options to help you get into shape without injury or hassle.

Super-Sets

Another great method for generating quick beach body results in any workout routine is the implementation of Super-Sets. These workouts involve doing two sets of moves back-to-back without rest. A super set routine may look something like this: Dumbbell Shoulder Press (8-12Reps) -> no rest -> Dumbbell Row (8-12Reps-both sides)-> rest -> repeat two more times (3 total sets). Super Set exercises have been found to increase metabolic rates by 10-15% and can be a great addition to any workout routine.

Remember the most important ingredients to a perfect beach body are the combination of healthy dieting and consistent exercise. When you are ready to get started, assess where you are now and set some goals for where you want to be. The summer is here and the beaches are open, with these key tips and strategies you will have that perfect beach body in no time!

Quick Overivew

DIET TIPS EXERCISE TIPS
Super Foods Super-Set Workouts
6 Small Meals-a-Day 30-45 Minute Workout: Cardio and Muscular Fitness
Healthy Plate: 50% Veggies/Fuits, 25% Proteins, 25% Starches Focus on Chest, Biceps, Triceps, Abs, and Shoulders
Set Healthy Goals Elliptical and Treadmill Workouts are Key
Stick to a Routine Vary Exercies for a Full Body Workout
Cut Down Caloric Intake Burn More Calories than you Intake

 

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