Are you ready to switch things up this Summer? Or just make this the summer you start to get healthy!!? Or achieve your physique goals once and for all and gain the confidence that you have always wanted? Yes, you are ready for this. You are ready to reach higher than you have before, break the glass ceiling of progress and show yourself some love through body movement and self-perception improvement.
Water Your Body
Let’s start with the basic’s… start focusing on water intake. We all know we SHOULD be drinking water, but it is the number one thing that gets neglected. Water is known to aid in weight loss, boost your mood, protect against getting sick and so much more. Interesting fact: did you know being thirsty can disguise itself as feeling hungry? Next time you reach for some food ask yourself if you are truly hungry, or maybe just thirsty. Have some water and wait a bit to see if the hunger is still there. On average we should all be drinking about 8-14 cups a day, challenge yourself to drink more than you did yesterday. Grab a reusable water bottle and keep it with you daily to sip on. I am chugging water right now as I write this. And as the hashtag goes. #SeeAChugSendAChug.
Fuel Your Body
Everyone is different when it comes to nutritional needs; however, there are some basic tips for everyone to follow when trying to improve your diet and get ready for the summer. Number one is trying not to drink your calories. This goes back to the first paragraph with the importance of water intake before all other liquids. Have you ever checked the back of your soda or your fancy coffee drink? Some of those can have more hidden calories and sugar than the meal you ate for dinner. Start paying attention to what is really in the drinks that you are letting flow into your body.
With all my clients I have found that diet affects their goals over movement. I believe that it is 80% diet and 20% movement because you can’t out-train an unhealthy way of eating. Look at the food you put into your body as the fuel for your engine (the body being your engine). You want to give it the best fuel that you can so it works most efficiently for you for the most amount of time. So focus on eating a colorful diet with many different green vegetables and protein sources, do not ever let your food get boring. You do not need to cut out all the processed food (yet), but just like your drink labels, start paying attention to food labels and the amounts of added sugars in the food. You may be blown away by the amounts you see in some of your favorite snacks.
Portion Size Tip:Another important fact is picking the right portion size for yourself, as overeating is a huge culprit of weight gain. When it comes to eating, I like to keep it simple by using my hand, yes you read that right, my hand. Hold your hand in front of you with your palm facing up, the size of your palm is about the about of protein you should be having in your meal. Protein is important because it will give you energy and helps your body recover, very important after doing any physical activity or even daily activities. Now close your hand into a cup, that is the amount of carbohydrate you should be consuming per meal.Carbohydrates are a quick energy source; I prefer sticking with non processed carbs like sweet potatoes, quinoa, fruit, or oatmeal. Make sure there is some fiber in your carbs as well; Fiber will help keep you fuller longer. Now hold out your thumb, the tip of your thumb to your first bend is the amount of fats, like olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters, that you should be consuming. People here the word “fats” and think that it will make them just that…fat, but this is not the case. Fats are extremely important for regulating hormones and building strong nails, hair, the list goes on. Now make a fist, this is the amount of vegetables that should be on your plate during a meal. This is a quick and easy way to be able to know portion sizes. Many people know WHAT they should be eating, but tend to overeat. This is a helpful tool that you can guarantee you will always have with you to avoid overeating.
Working Your Body
Cardio, cardio, and then add more cardio, right? NO. More cardio is not always better. I hear people always making the same mistake of thinking that in order to lose some weight they have to be on the treadmill for hours. Sure cardio is a great way to torch some calories, but once you stop, the calorie burning stops too. Wouldn’t you like to keep burning calories, even when you are done with your workout? Talk about getting the best bang for your buck (in this case, time). Well, guess what? There is a way to keep the burning going. How? Let me introduce you to two things to Switch It Up that will bring your calorie burning to the max, HIIT and Strength Training.
So you want to switch up your routine and start torching calories all day long?
Perfect. First, incorporate some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your workouts.
HIIT is a combination of high-intensity movements for a specific time frame, followed by a lower intensity movement or even a rest period. This training method will boost your endurance if practiced continuously. HIIT is good for so many reasons and really beneficial if you are crunched on time. You can knock out one of these workouts in 30 minutes or less (great 25 minute HIIT below to try out), and even better you can do it practically anywhere. I have been known to bust one out while waiting on a load of laundry or even in a hotel bathroom while traveling. No excuses with this because you do not even need equipment to get this done, just yourself. Don’t believe me? Here is a quick HIIT you can do in 25 minutes with no equipment needed:
Set your timer for 45 sec “ON” and 15 seconds “REST.” Do every movement for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds in between. Complete 5 times through (roughly 25 minutes, but can be altered to fit time frame needed)
- Fast to Moderate Speed High Knees
- Walk out pushup (repeat for 45 seconds)
Bend at the hips and place your the palm of your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, a couple of inches in front of your feet.
Walk your hands forward until your body is in a pushup position. Perform a pushup.
Now walk your hands back to your feet and return to standing.
- Mountain Climbers on floor
- Walking Lunges
- Jumping Jacks
Are you sold yet? HIIT will also increase your metabolic rate, which will have you burning more and more fat and gaining that lean muscle while getting stronger.
Speaking of lean muscle and getting stronger, now let’s tackle the second thing that will get those calories burning all day. It is the one thing that most people avoid in the gym; weights and strength training. How many times have we all gone to the gym and made a beeline straight to the cardio area, avoiding eye contact with the intimidating weight racks or weight machines? Lifting weights does not have to be scary and it will not make you bulky unless that is what you are trying to achieve. There are numerous benefits to strength training besides that it will also have you burning calories all day. For one, you will become stronger in your daily activities such as carrying your kids, or heavy objects at your job and it will allow you to go longer without getting as tired. It will also help prevent injuries because of the strength that you will be gaining in your muscles and connective tissue. This can help improve your quality of life, physically.
So where do you begin? If you are a beginner it is best to begin with light weights and simple exercises. Even weight machines can be a great start because most will provide a diagram on the machine for proper use. A few key points to remember when starting to lift weights is to never swing weights. If you find yourself swinging a weight, you may want to drop down in weight. Never be afraid to ask for help. A gym can be intimidating, but most people there (including fellow gym-goers and staff) are willing to give pointers or suggestions if asked and can help you avoid any kind of injury.
The Most Important In My Book; Loving Your Body
Now that we have covered some physical basics, let’s touch on another important aspect to the equation. What you think and feel about yourself, your Self Perception and mental health.
The one thing I have learned through my many years (over 27) of training clients is that no matter what changes they make on the outside, if their inside is not aligned and their Self Perception is not healthy, then it does not matter. The first challenge comes with accepting where you are right now in your fitness and health journey, loving yourself for who you are right now. You cannot use hate to fuel yourself in the gym. Hate only breeds more hate, plus why waste your precious life hating yourself. Love where you are starting, love the journey that you have ahead of you. When you go into a workout, look in the mirror and be proud of yourself for showing up FOR you. Cheer yourself on and celebrate the little victories. Look in the mirror and focus on what you do love about yourself. Flash yourself a smile and say “You Rock” and give gratitude for all that your body has done and is doing now for you. I promise it will make this journey so much more enjoyable and sustainable.
See, its easy to start; Increase your water intake, focus on healthier eating and fun workouts while you love yourself, and you will have a great summer! Enjoy!
Cathlene Miner has 27 years of experience in training from the inside out with results.
She is a mom of 4, grandmother to 2, best selling Author and author of the 30 Day Self Perception Makeover and On-Air Personality. For more fitness and Manifesting Magic in your everyday life go to www.cathleneminer.com/manifestwithfitness
Photos by ALR Imagery