With summer quickly approaching, many of us women want to begin to get ready for that itty, bitty, little, tiny bikini, or realistically, our one-piece suit! What are the things that most of us are self-conscious of? I would say our stomachs, buttocks and legs. What do you think ladies? I am going to give you a few nutritional tips as well as exercises to target our winter-neglected areas to become swimsuit-body presentable!
- Drink plenty of water. Hydration is key to move toxins from our bodies! Proper liquids will also carry essential nutrients that we are consuming to the necessary parts of our bodies such as our muscles, mind, and organs. Depending on how many daily fluids you have been drinking up until now, it is good to be taking in at least 80-100 ounces of water per day. If you are engaged in any type of physical activity, you may want to increase that by 8-12 oz. per 30 minutes of exercise. Staying hydrated also keeps your metabolism running!
- Eat several small meals per day. Each time you eat, you are triggering your body to increase metabolism. Eating large infrequent meals with hours in-between each meal, your metabolism beings to slow down. Consuming healthy snacks and meals every three to four hours cranks up metabolism and reassures your body that you are not going to starve it, therefore your body responds by releasing fat and food to be used as fuel.
- Protein, protein, protein. Now is the time to consider replacing some of our empty carbs with protein, for many reasons. First, after exercise, our bodies need protein to rebuild muscle tissue. Second, our bodies burn more calories when digesting protein than carbohydrates. Try eating a good source of protein at each meal/snack. Some great examples would be plant based protein shakes/bars, chicken, lean turkey, eggs, cottage cheese, and tuna fish.
Exercises to Dial in on:
Glute Bridge. Begin by lying with shoulders and your head on a bench or chair with your knees bent. Lower your bottom half a few inches to then contract the glutes by bringing your lower body level with your upper body and shoulders. To increase intensity, you can add weight to your hips or upper thighs. If you have small children at home, you can put them on your lap as you are also increasing the benefit of the exercise, by involving more glute engagement.
- Walking Lunges. Walk from one side of the room to another while carrying some type of weight as you do your lunges. Remember to keep your knees from going over your toes, taking large enough steps to engage the hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves. Keeping your core tight will also burn extra calories and support your body structure. This is a great way to get the derriere in shape by adding distance and weight as you work up to the challenge. Do these exercises three or more times per week to get a tighter and lifted bottom in your swimsuit.
- HIIT (Interval Training). Start with 12-14 minutes of high intensity interval training three to five times per week either on the stairmaster, treadmill, elliptical or walk in your neighborhood. Complete 90 seconds of steady pace with a 30 second sprint and repeat until the 12 minutes is up. This is a short amount of time to donate in consideration to the benefit it provides in burning extra calories and fat.
- Abs for Days. Complete three sets of any abdominal exercise five times per week for four weeks to begin to see that 6 or 4 pack that has been hiding for the past few months! Each set should go until failure to begin to see a difference in that waistline. Women, refrain from working the obliques, or “side abs” to avoid a square shaped mid section.