We all want a hot beach body. And, it’s October. That leaves you plenty of time for getting that beach body before your next trip to the beach! Unfortunately, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and winter stand in your way. Oh no. What’s a person to do? Bestinbeach.com is here to help.
Eating right is an essential part of having a hot beach body. An online search for diets will yield lots of results, but health professionals agree that the best diets are balanced ones that you can follow for a long period of time. Not fad diets and not two week drop 20 pounds fast diets. Also, not starvation diets. In fact, the best diets aren’t diets at all. They are lifestyle eating changes. My own experience backs this up. I’ve “dieted” for years and tried most of the diets out there, good and bad. My best results, and the only ones that have kept the pounds off over time, have been on Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig.
Exercise is the second essential piece to getting that beach body you want. The best exercise plan combines aerobic exercise with strength training and flexibility exercises. It also includes activities you enjoy because if you don’t enjoy it, you’re much less likely to stick with your exercise plan.
Let’s look at some components of aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility exercise, so you can build a personalized plan that you’ll stick to and enjoy.
Aerobic activities include anything that gets your heart rate up such as:
- Water aerobics classes
- Aerobic or ‘cardio’ classes
- Team sports
- Winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating
- Watersports like water skiing, wakeboarding, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding
- Racquet sports like tennis and racquetball
Strength training uses resistance to increase muscle strength and includes:
- Free weights
- Fitness balls
- Machines, most commonly found at gyms
- Exercises using your own body weight as resistance like sit ups, squats, and planks
Flexibility exercise is important because it allows for more movement around your joints and results in less pain for you. Exercises that increase flexibility include:
- Yoga (yoga also includes many poses that constitute strength training, so I consider it a “twofer”)
- Tai Chi
As you can see from the number of choices on the 3 lists, you can tailor your workouts to your fitness level, personal preferences, and economic situation.
How Often Should You Exercise
Popular medical opinion is that you should exercise between 4 to 6 days a week for at least 30 minutes per day, however, be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program if you haven’t exercised in a while. No matter what, start out slowly.
You should also vary your workouts between aerobic exercises and strength/flexibility exercises. For example, if you work out 5 days a week, you could do one day of aerobic exercise, followed by a day of strength and flexibility exercise, then take a day off, then a day of aerobic exercise, then a day of strength and flexibility exercise, then a day of aerobic exercise, and then another day off. A schedule like this is healthiest and can be modified depending on the number of days you plan to exercise.
Of course, the more days you devote to exercising, the faster you’ll get that beach body. But, take at least one day off per week!
Diet and exercise aren’t easy. If they were, getting that beach body would be simple and you wouldn’t need an article like this one. Unfortunately, they aren’t. Most people prefer to eat junk food and to be couch potatoes. I know I do. That’s where motivation fits in the equation, especially in the early days of your diet and exercise program before you see and feel the results of your hard work.
Rewards motivate. They motivate me and my children and my dogs. Rewards are a proven motivator. They’re used by professional animal trainers.
Reward yourself for achieving big and small goals. Small goals might include sticking to your diet or exercise plan every day for a week. Big goals might include shedding an inch from your waist. Have enough goals that you reward yourself on a regular basis, especially in the early stages of your diet and exercise regimen because that’s when it’s the hardest time to implement.
Possible rewards include:
- Buy a new workout outfit
- Get a massage
- Go see a movie
- Enjoy a staycation
- Get a pedicure
- Buy yourself flowers
- Attend a performance driving school
- Take a beach vacation
- Get a new hairstyle
- Learn a new sport
- Learn a new skill
- Go to a local comedy club
- Take a day trip
- Go see your favorite band
- Get a tattoo
- Buy a new pair of running shoes
- Attend a local sporting event
- Get professional headshots taken
- Get a manicure
- Golf at your favorite course
- Learn to make your own healthy salsa
- Buy a new water bottle
- Start a garden
- Go for a hike and enjoy nature
- Go camping
- Get a personal trainer
- Have a spa day
- Take a day off
- Take a class
- Buy something you really want but have been denying yourself
- Get a facial
- Buy a new book and enjoy a relaxing afternoon reading
Success motivates because it makes you feel good about yourself. The longer you stick with your diet and exercise program, the better you’ll look, the better you’ll feel, the more compliments you’ll get from others, and the better you’ll feel about yourself. All these things will motivate you to keep going until you have the beach body you’ve always wanted!
I think we can all agree. Getting that beach body is something we want, but it’s hard work. Now that you have the tools, though, you’re that much closer to achieving your goal. Good luck and see you at the beach!
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin
Image Source: Adobe Stock