5 Simple Steps to get in Shape for Summer
It's finally starting to get hotter and those warm layers are beginning to come off, so now's the time that people start to take notice of their bodies and think about losing those little lumps and bumps we might have grown attached to over the colder months.
Unfortunately, many of us look for a 'quick fix' to get us back in shape for the summer, but a healthy, sustained approach is a much more effective way to get the results you want, and keep you on track all summer long.
Anthony Mayatt, personal trainer and founder of Breathe Fitness, shares his five simple steps for getting a healthy summer bod...
It sounds simple and it IS simple! Exercising daily will help to burn calories, increase blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, release endorphins into the system and generally make you feel good. I find it's important to do exercise you enjoy and you don't do just because you feel you have to. Don't worry if you're not a fan of the gym, how about a fitness class, swimming or going for a run outside? At the end of the day, exercise is exercise and if you have fun doing it, then you'll want to do it, which will help you to achieve better results.
2. Eat well
This tip is probably the most important of all because what you put into your body will ultimately determine how your body looks. There's a vast amount of information available to people now, so they can get advice on what to eat. The problem is, there's lots of conflicting information out there, too. My simple advice is not to cut out a particular macro nutrient as they all have their uses (protein, fat, carbs), never miss a meal, avoid processed foods and trans-fats. Eat more vegetables, fruits, nuts and lean meats (not red or processed) and you should fill full and energised.
So many people – especially new dads – don't get a full night of sleep anymore, but it's so important to try and get some proper rest each night. As well as waking up to tend to a crying little one, increased stress and the use of technology at bedtime can also disrupt your sleep patterns. You need to let your body naturally shut down at night, so try to read a book before bedtime rather than Facebook. Avoid caffeine late at night and try to take turns with your partner when it comes to attending to the baby, so you both have the opportunity to get an uninterrupted night's sleep. Many chemical changes occur in the body while you're snoozing, so depriving the body of this precious time to heal and repair will reduce the chances of you getting the good body you want.
It's surprising the amount of people that don't drink enough water each day. Staying hydrated throughout the day is vital for good health as it flushes out toxins from the body, keeping the skin in good condition. Around 60-70% of the body is water, so it is vital to keep levels topped up. Aiming to drink water throughout the day can also help prevent cravings when you suddenly feel hungry, so water consumption can have a huge impact on your calorie intake. Water helps the body to run normally stopping dehydration which would result in low energy. The body loses water throughout the day through sweat, so keeping levels up is vital for good health.
5. Control stress
Stress is sadly a problem that is increasing in modern-day life. Depression is becoming more common and conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome which can be linked to stress, now affect a large number of the population. Many diseases and conditions are a result of too much stress, so it's important you get it under control if you want to get the best from your body. High stress can make the body produce a higher level of cortisol, which is a stress hormone and that can lead to fat storage. Controlling stress is linked to the points above such as eating well, exercising regularly and sleeping enough, but meditation and relaxation techniques also work wonders when it comes to de-stressing. It may not be something you'd usually try, but you'll see more and more men taking up yoga, pilates or meditation, which are all great for both the mind and the body.
Remember, don't put too much pressure on yourself to get a dream body overnight – just take things one day at a time and aim to make small improvements and you'll soon notice positive changes taking place with both your body and your mind.
Anthony Mayatt has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years and runs a successful personal training business, Breathe Fitness. He trains clients from students to celebrities all over the world and regularly features in the media writing for various magazines and websites. Anthony has a degree in Sports Science as well as many other qualifications in his field and specialises in weight management.