Four Ways To Get Your Body Beach Ready Without Really Trying

We had big plans for getting in perfect shape by vacation time … but then life happened. Sound familiar? A sensible, healthy diet and regular exercise are the only tried-and-true ways of getting in shape, but we’ve found a few tricks to nudge that process along — or fake it altogether. Here are four doable ways to get your body beach ready without breaking the bank, or your back.

1) Try on a Tan: We love to sport a hint of a tint. It’s flattering, summery and slimming. But tanning the old fashioned way — frying outside or in a booth unprotected — is definitely not recommended. Store-bought self-tanner delivers a safe, affordable and easy-to-achieve glow that is a far cry from its streaky, orange predecessors. Be sure to exfoliate first for a smooth application. Better yet, consider something like the Coconut Creme Body Glow treatment at the Cinzia Spa (http://www.thecinziaspa.com) at The Breakers to soften and smooth skin before applying your self-tanner.

2) Suit yourself: Nothing strikes fear into our hearts quite like the thought of swimsuit shopping, but that feeling when we find the right flattering fit? Bliss. Rather than rushing in and out to simply get the process over with, we align ourselves with a knowledgeable salesperson at a store with a large selection. Being able to communicate needs (coverage, minimization, sport-ready, etc.) to a pro will lead to a much better outcome — and far fewer tears.

3) Mix fitness with fun: We love the idea of getting in shape without really trying — or at least feeling like we’re trying. Work up a sweat dancing at a club; hit the outdoor basketball courts; or grab a pal and go for a long oceanside walk. One of our favorites is beach volleyball, which works just about every muscle  as we jump around in the sand and have a blast doing it.

4) Pre-Beach Pump-Up: OK, so we’re still not totally chiseled, but it’s been proven that doing some ab crunches or push-ups before baring a midriff or going sleeveless does make us look more toned for a bit (keeping it up makes us look toned for a lot longer). Before hitting the beach, hit the mat — if for nothing else, a little confidence boost. Also, eat a low-salt, fiber-rich dinner the night before you plan to don a swimsuit, which will do wonders to cut water retention and bloat.

What about you? Any pre-beach rituals you use to bluff the buff? Share your ideas!

(posted 3/17/14)