Summer is here, and together with it come vacations and staycations that often include hours spent by the beach and the poolside. ‘Tis swimsuit season – that time of the year that strikes fear in the hearts of every sedentary executive who didn’t have the time, or the gumption to exercise during the last couple of months. Alas, those jiggly bits resulting from one-too-many mealtimes spent gobbling up burgers, fried chicken, pizza and extra servings of rice, are now threatening to break free in broad daylight courtesy of the skimpy swimsuits or board shorts you cannot avoid wearing this time around.
But fear not. There are still some things you can do to prime your body in the next couple of weeks before you take that summer plunge. Most importantly, it’s never been good time to start taking care of your body starting now.
Let our panel of fitness experts guide you with their top 3 tips to get you into shape.
Personal Trainer & Fashion Designer
TIP 1: Perfect time to jump in the water! Do laps in the pool if know how to swim. If you don’t, summer is the perfect time to learn. If you’re more of an outdoorsy kind of person, try surfing or any beach activity. When you engage your body in any of these activities, you burn more calories as compared to doing aerobic exercises on land due to water resistance on every movement. It’s also good for strengthening small neglected muscles.
TIP 2: Do lots of leg exercises – squats, calf raises, etc. This goes for both guys and girls out there. Summer is board shorts and bikini season so this is the season where you show them off more than ever. A common mistake people do during their summer prep is that they focus all their time on their upper body. If your body doesn’t look well-proportioned, it’s just as embarrassing as not having a good upper body in the first place. Our legs have huge muscles and working them burns more than working out your chest or shoulders.
TIP 3: Diet. Try hard to fight the temptation of going for ice-cream or halo-halo every now and then when it’s 40 degrees Celsius outside. Go for frozen yogurt instead. You can also do home made fresh fruit yogurt treats simply by freezing your favorite fruits in the freezer like bananas, apples, berries and etc. Just chuck them in the food processor, add your fat-free yogurt and spin it! It’s simple, easy and low in calorie.
Triathlete, President – Filipino International Triathletes
TIP 1: Be active. Get into a sport that you will enjoy. For me, I started doing triathlons 5 years ago and enjoyed it so much that I’ve been training 6 times a week.
TIP 2: Hydrate. With the training that I do plus living in a place where it’s extremely humid during most days of the year, I drink a lot of fluids. Being well-hydrated helps my metabolism and prevents fat deposits.
TIP 3: Get enough rest. I’ve tried over-training and I would either get injured or sick. When that happens, it becomes harder to get back into my exercise routine. I also tend to overeat because my metabolism slows down. So now I see to it that I get enough rest at night and during my days off.
Rica Rodriguez and Divine Masinsin
Group Exercise Manager and Senior Pilates Instructor, Fitness 360
TIP1: When at the gym: Go for high reps and crank up the weights while you’re at it. Aim for 2-3 sets of 20-25 repetitions for every muscle group.
TIP2: In the kitchen: Chew it instead of drinking it. Many think that smoothies and fresh juices are the best options to go for. Just think, 5 oranges = 1 glass of juice. You won’t get to eat 5 oranges! Try keeping sodium intake on a low as well.
TIP3: In the bedroom: We repair and build muscles when we sleep. Getting enough rest (6-8 hours) will not only leave you feeling fresh and energetic. It will also reduce the amount of cortisol (a stress hormone that contributes to fat storage) in your body.
General Manager, MMA Fitness Center
TIP 1: Eat 4 to 5 small meals a day to boost your metabolism, skipping breakfast and then having a big lunch and dinner is the worst eating habit that most people have.
TIP 2: Stock on healthy food at home. If you are hungry, it’s most likely that you will pick up that bag of chips. But if you have healthier options readily available, then you just brought yourself a step closer again to that 6-pack you’ve been hoping for.
TIP 3: Learn to love working out, think of your health and that beautiful figure will follow as a reward. Invest your money in a gym otherwise that money will go to future hospital bills. And sadly, you won’t develop a 6-pack while you are sick.
Personal Trainer, MMA Fitness Center
TIP1: Detoxify and burn fats by drinking water infused with slices of lemon, cucumber and ginger. This is better than drinking sodas and juices with high sugar content. This infused water works like a miracle and can make you lose weight.
TIP 2: Weight training doesn’t make us women big! But cupcakes definitely do! Weight training makes muscles more toned not big. So if you want a more defined abs then start lifting weights.
TIP 3: Unstable blood sugar levels make us crave sweets. It’s actually not psychological but it is physiological. Most of the time it’s our fault because we got our bodies used to consuming foods like chips, chocolates, or to eating too much heavy carbs, like bread and rice. If we train our body to eat more natural foods, the healthier kind, then our sugar level will be stabilized and the cravings will disappear.