Summer is upon us and Phoenicians are flocking to the nearest pool. A fun day by the water also brings the desire to get your body in swimsuit shape. With a few simple steps, you will be feeling comfortable and confident in no time.
- Not all carbs are created equal. Carbohydrates are not the evil they are made out to be. Yes, eating a muffin can give you muffin tops. But no one ever ruined their swimsuit body by eating too many fruits or vegetables. If you don’t have the time or stomach to eat all your fruits and veggies, try juicing. Not only will juicing provide you with all the vitamins and nutrients your swimsuit body needs, it will also fill up your stomach, leaving less space for unhealthy foods.
- Don’t be a trendy eater. The Paleo diet is having its 15 minutes of fame as this year’s cool way to eat. While Paleo, and every “it” diet of seasons past, has and had their merits, being a trendy dieter only serves to yo-yo your metabolism. As soon as you return to your normal way of eating, all the weight you lost, plus a few extra pounds will return. So unless you plan on making a trend a lifestyle, skip this year’s cool diet.
- Keep an eye on your caloric intake. Burn more calories than you consume. It doesn’t get simpler than that.
- Vary your workout routine. Yes, cardio is good for you. But short burst of high intensity cardio combined with compound resistance training is better. Cardio alone only serves as a means to weight loss. Compound movements such as push-ups, pull-ups, rows, lunges, squats, and step-ups burn calories and build muscle. So skip the elliptical, and give me twenty push-ups.
- Phone a friend. Fit people tend to hang out with other fit people. The lifestyles of healthy people tend to align and healthy peer pressure means you will be less likely to skip that gym session. If your friends are busy, take a group fitness class. You’ll get a great workout and you may make a new friend, too.
- Heated, Power, Yoga. Peer into a power or flow yoga class and tell me how many out-of-shape people you see. Few to none is my guess. Forget the stereotype of an hour of slow, steady breathing and quiet contemplation. Today’s yoga classes are light on personal reflection and relaxation, and heavy on fitness. Guys, if you think yoga is an easy girls class, you will be quickly humbled.
Overall, be a pragmatist. I’m not encouraging you to juice every meal or adopt yoga as your only form of exercise. What I’m promoting is balance and common sense. Starving yourself while doing endless hours of cardio is not a good look. Eat food. But, eat good food in moderation. Resistance training is a must. Exercise with a friend because it’s just more fun. And if all else fails, remember that confidence is always sexier than the perfect swimsuit body.
Billy Malkovich is CEO of Mountainside Fitness.