Get Swimsuit Ready In Winter
For a large number of people getting swimsuit ready is not something they are committed to in the first couple of months of the year. Some are motivated by New Year's resolutions to get swimsuit ready in winter while others are motivated for their long term health. Many are not motivated at all. But, as the weather gets warmer, the realization that we may not look as good as we'd like to in swimwear, shorts, etc. can make some people avoid certain clothing, pools, and beaches even when the weather for these things is perfect.
Looking at the bright side of things, winter is the perfect time to start weight loss efforts because there is plenty of time to reach the popular goal of looking great in the perfect swimsuit. However, being more active for your overall health as well as for self confidence are the best reasons to work towards getting swimsuit ready. Those of use who are sedentary (whether work related or not) increase our risks of many different diseases and ugly side effects such as extra fat and atrophy of the gluteal muscles.
As a figure skater, I am asked by non-athlete friends how to lose or maintain weight, often after they've had a long layoff from the gym or their sedentary job has taken a toll on their body. Having at least a couple of activities that are fun for you is the most important thing in working toward the overall goal of getting swimsuit ready and more healthy overall. Even those who don't like strength training or weightlifting will likely continue doing these things for the recommended 30 minutes 3 times weekly as long as their importance to the overall plan is understood and the person enjoys most of what they do. It may take trial and error to find what you prefer, but stick with it because your health and self confidence are worth it.
Diet is also very important but many people wrongly think they can diet their way to weight loss but diet alone can start a vicious weight gain cycle. If you are not exercising and challenging your muscles at least 2 or 3 times a week, you will lose muscle tone and mass (and be a detriment to your bones as well), making you more likely to gain fat. This applies to men and women. Exercise such as running, cycling, walking, sports, etc., should be done regularly in addition to weight or strength training. Only you can determine how to fit it into your schedule, but you should also know that it's fine to do smaller workouts such as walking for 15 or 30 minutes before work and doing another 15 or 30 minute workout later. Breaking up workouts is convenient and good for you. Much more so than doing nothing. Do whatever is within your means to improve your health.
Muscles burn calories even when you are at rest, while fat cells are excess calories in storage that increase in size and take a great deal of effort to shrink (but it CAN be done). Build muscles! When cutting calories below what you need without exercise and weight/strength training, you are negatively resetting your metabolism and actually slowing down the rate at which your body burns calories if you do this for too long. Don't do this to yourself. If you need motivation to exercise, remember that your heart is a muscle and it needs to be healthy to do all the work that is required of it 24/7. If your heart takes a break (as occurs to many people each year) you can sustain lifelong damage or die! If that is not motivation enough, then please stop reading now.
As we age, our bodies actually need fewer calories to perform vital functions and this should be taken into account with your activity levels. No matter what your age is, if you eat in excess and don't exercise enough you will have excess fat which contributes to a variety of diseases at any age. There is a lot of information online about caloric intake that I will not contribute to here, because every person is unique and some may have medical conditions or medicines they're taking that will affect their weight loss goals. Check with your doctor and a nutritionist to get the best recommendations for you.
Your level of fitness when you start on your path to getting swimsuit ready does not matter but sticking to a plan for at least six to eight weeks to see results is important. If you are just wanting to lose under 25 lbs it will take you longer to see a difference than it would someone who is starting from a point of being very overweight or obese. This is why many feel frustrated in their attempts to lose just 2, 5, or 10 pounds. Those with much more weight to lose, lose weight faster, and at some point most people hit a plateau.
Find activities you enjoy doing so taking care of your health becomes a good habit. I enjoy figure skating, jumping on a trampoline (great excuse to get off your duff while watching t.v. or listening to music), using free weights, stretching, dancing, exercise bands, walking, using an elliptical, and swimming. I alternate because I don't like to get bored and know that certain muscles are targeted more than others with certain activities which is necessary.
If you're in a sedentary desk job like I have been in the past, it is crucial that you get up and move around or stretch for at least 5 minutes out of every hour and get exercise outside of work. If crunched for time or money, remember that getting into better shape does not have to cost you, but illness due to lack of exercise will eventually cost you in medical expenses or your life. For example, taking daily walks and using free weights at home just 2 or three times a week will make a huge difference in your level of health and fitness. If you haven't used free weights, get a qualified instructor to show you proper form and injury prevention. The investment in at least one or two of these personal sessions is well worth it. If you can't afford it or don't have the time research respected, experienced, and certified instructors online and try to find video of them showing exercises with proper form.
Plateaus in exercise and weight loss is common. Perhaps you are not losing weight but exercising regularly. It's possible that you need to adjust your exercise, diet, or get more sleep so that you can get swimsuit ready this winter. If you find that you can do the same amount of exercise you did two or three months ago without breaking a sweat, you've reached an exercise plateau and should step up the intensity or switch your activity. If this adjustment is not made, you will likely find yourself making no gains or further down the line actually gaining fat/weight.
Weight loss for women should be approached differently than weight loss for men. Women have higher percentages of fat than men meant to nourish and bear children and we need fewer calories than men in general. Weight loss for men will need to be powered by more protein, vegetables, and carbs in comparison to women because men tend to have more muscle than women and require more calories. Weight loss for women requires that she eat more protein, vegetables, and carbs in the correct portions to build and repair her muscles while providing energy. But we women don't have to eat the same amount or more protein than a man would unless she is an athlete training several hours daily. The sooner you take the first steps, the sooner you will benefit from fat loss, self confidence gain, and you will be swimsuit ready when summer rolls around. Now is a great time to start.
© 2012 Express10
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