So you’ve spent all winter wrapped up in blankets and an extra layer of nature’s insulation, and the closest thing you’ve done to a beach activity is couch surfing. Now it’s time to dig out last year’s swimsuit to see if you can still squeeze into that tiny little number, which seems to have gotten even tinier during the offseason. Face it; it’s time to get back in beach shape by following these six tips.
Eat Right: There will be plenty of time for the seafood buffets and ice cream parlors once you get to Myrtle Beach, but for now it's time to delay the pleasure and be smart about what you eat if you want to drop a few pounds before bikini season. Breads, pastas and foods high in carbs are your worst enemy for trimming your trouble areas. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as fuel for your step up in exercise routine.
Exercise to Drop a Size: Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there are no shortcuts to getting buff before bathing suit season. However, some exercises are better than others for weight loss and toning. Aerobic exercises that burn maximum calories are best for losing weight, while weight training helps turn flab into firm muscle mass. Target the areas of highest concern with specific workouts designed to tighten those muscle groups.
Get Some Shut-eye: You may be planning to get plenty of rest and relaxation during vacation, not before. But by sleeping eight hours a night, you are allowing your body to recover from your increased workout routine while also properly digesting your final meal of the day. In addition to the many health benefits of sleep, you will also feel better, which is the first step toward feeling confident in that new swimsuit this summer.
Great Hydrate Debate: Lots of people mistakenly believe that drinking too much water will make them look bloated in a bathing suit, but downing six to eight glasses of good ol' H20 instead of coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages will do wonders for helping you shed a few pounds. After all, you can't develop a six-pack if you are constantly drinking them. Drinking water will also help keep your skin healthy and hydrated, an important part of avoiding the negative effects of sunburn.
It’s All About That Base: Hotel balconies are filled with victims of one of the most common tanning myths. In a hurry to add some color to that pasty winter body, many make the mistake of getting too much sun on the first day at the beach and spend the rest of the week sitting in the shade covered with a beach blanket. Be sure to get a light base tan before you hit the beach in a bathing suit and expose tender parts of your body to the skin-sizzling sun. Once you arrive, use plenty of sunscreen and slowly build your way up to a nice healthy tan that will last all summer.
The Big D: If you aren't currently taking any dietary supplements, try one with a healthy dose Vitamin D. The body makes its own through exposure to sunlight, so most people become Vitamin D deficient during the winter months. That's what causes you to put on a few extra pounds during the darker months and makes you less likely to get outside and exercise. Vitamin D has many health benefits but helping jump-start your workout routine and exposure to sunlight are particularly helpful in getting your body swimsuit ready.