Warmer days are always welcoming, but if the thought of exposing your flesh is filling you with dread, it’s time to take some action. Here are some effective ways to get your body primed for hitting the beach.
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Make a plan
If you want to look and feel good in a bikini this summer, there’s no time like the present to get started. Rather than having vague ideas about getting in shape, you need to make a plan of action that consists of specific goals and activities.
You’re more likely to stick to your plan if you write it down and tick activities off as you go along. Be realistic, however, with regards to how much you can achieve in your given time frame.
Add protein to your diet
Include a source of good-quality protein with each meal, such as lean meat, fish, eggs or legumes. Protein is not only filling (which can prevent you from snacking in-between meals), but research has also shown that it can aid with weight loss, and even reduce dreaded cellulite.
Keep a food diary
Write down what you eat and drink daily, and identify any unhealthy items that could stand in the way of you achieving your beach body dreams. Cut back on sugar, alcohol, saturated fats and refined carbs such as white bread. Be mindful of eating foods that also cause tummy bloating, such as leafy green veg or beans, or foods high in salt that can retain water in this part of the body. Speaking of water, make sure you drink plenty of it. This helps to prevent bloating and can banish toxins from your body that may contribute to cellulite.
Improve your posture
Standing up straight instead of slouching instantly makes your middle section appear slimmer, so get into the habit of holding yourself upwards with a few posture-enhancing exercises. Yoga and pilates are especially ideal, but you can also improve your core by focusing on crunches, leg lifts and plank exercises.
Tone your upper back
It stands to reason that you’ll want to focus on exercises that tone the tummy, buttocks and thighs, but don’t neglect your upper back. Upper back muscles that are well-defined can make your waistline appear slimmer, so add exercises such as bent over dumbell rows into your routine.
Exercises can help to target specific parts of the body that you want to tone up for days on the beach, but there are plenty of other ways you can help to get your body beach ready. Many of these involve making simple lifestyle changes that can get you more active, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift or getting off the bus one stop earlier.
Focus on beachwear
Hang your bikini or bathing costume up so that you can see it every day. This will help you to stay motivated in achieving your beach body aims. Regularly try your beachwear on and take photos or body measurements so that you can identify any progress made.
Bear in mind that some colours or styles of beachwear are more flattering than others, so choose ones that fit well and offer good support. Darker colours and vertical stripes can have a slimming effect, for instance.
Even if you don’t resemble an extra from Baywatch by the time summer arrives, try not to feel too self-conscious when you do hit the beach. Wear your beach items with pride and relish the good times.