Spring into Fitness
Time to renew your new-year resolutions and get a good start on summer fitness.
As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we begin to be bombarded left and right with lighter clothes, swim suits, shorts and get-ready-for-summer diets and exercise plans.
Spring is a great time to re-energize your fitness goals—it’s fun to be outside again, fruits and veggies taste good, and somehow it’s just easier to have energy and motivation. But the weight-loss industry knows this as well and is ready with a million products for you to buy and programs to try.
Before you become completely overwhelmed with all the promises of “best beach body” and celebrity diet schemes, here are some things to keep in mind:
- If it promises unbelievable results fast, don’t buy it. You’ll be wasting your money and time. Fast fixes sound great, but at best they will be temporary and the weight will come back, often after damaging your metabolism which will make it harder in the long run to get your results.
- If it involves radically reduced calories, don’t go for it. Yes, being purposeful about your calories can help lose weight, but starvation is never a good idea. It can be just as, or more, important what calories you consume as how many.
- If it involves completely cutting out whole food groups (i.e. carbohydrates), it is just asking for failure. Carbs are actually good for you and essential to a healthy metabolism, you just have to be smart what kind of carbs you eat. Once you cut out a food entirely and make it forbidden, you will crave that food more than you did before, which distracts you from your goals. Even making desserts or your favorite potato chips “forbidden” for an extended period of time can cause problems. If you do give in and have one, your mindset is to eat as much as you can because you will never get to eat it again. Rather, be smart and set short-term goals as well as long-term ones. Perhaps only eat dessert or salty snacks once a week, or plan out your “cheat meals” in advance so you can enjoy what you eat instead of feeling either guilty or deprived.
- Don’t start out with an over-rigorous exercise routine. Be gentle with your body to begin with and slowly pick up the pace as you get stronger. This will help avoid injuries that will prevent exercise entirely.
- There are no magic moves. Some exercises are better than others, but there is no one magic combination of exercises that will give you the perfect body. The key is to find something that makes you stronger, but you also enjoy doing. If you get bored with your exercise routine, you are going to either quit or do it half-heartedly. Also be careful with “can’t fail” moves that make you do things that are too advanced for where you are at. Again, it is better to take it slow and work up than to injure yourself and not be able to exercise at all.
These are just a few tips that can help you navigate all the claims that promise to get you in shape for summer. Just accept the fact that it takes hard work and dedication, and then go for it. You can get results and feel great about them, without doing more damage or losing your money to scams.