By Bryce Romig
It’s that time of year again. The time of year where everyone hits the tanning salon, buys a gym membership, and gears up for spring break. With all of the fitness and health myths out there, it’s hard to distinguish fact from fiction. Are you ready to look great and be in the best shape of your life? Follow these tips and you’ll be beach ready in no time.
- Stay Hydrated. The human body is composed 80 percent water, and it’s no surprise that staying hydrated is extremely important. The rule of thumb most people go by is eight glasses of water a day, but according to MayoClinc, the average human needs about 12 cups of water a day. Water also helps clear the skin of any blemishes or pimples and give you energy when you’re tired. If you don’t like water, try drinking tea or coconut water. They both have many antioxidants that help you stay hydrated.
- Get Active. Ditch the computer and cell phone, and get moving. If you have a gym membership try to go at least three times a week and focus on different muscle groups each time. No gym? No problem. There are many free and effective exercise programs on the internet and each will help whip you into shape. Exercise tones and trims body fat, along with releasing endorphins that boost your mood and fight depression. My suggestion is POP Pilates with abs for a fun way to get active.
- Eat clean. We’ve all heard those scary words before, cut out all junk food. Try making small changes such as not using condiments, not drinking sodas, and not eating chips and then work your way up to the big stuff. Try to steer clear of all high sodium, high sugar foods. Think organic and not processed foods. Don’t forget the rule of thumb; moderation not deprivation. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean cutting out your favorite foods, it simply means knowing when and how much you eat. Your skin replaces itself every 30 days out of the food you eat, what you eat literally becomes you.
- Get adequate sleep. Our parents bug us all the time to turn the computer off and go to bed, but for some reason we can’t get off and end up staying up past midnight sleep deprived the next morning. Sleep is just as important as exercise, as it helps replenish muscles and help with weight loss. Try to go to bed before ten, as falling asleep afterwards can slow your metabolism and lower your energy. Aim to get eight to nine hours of sleep each night, and feel the wonderful benefits of a good night’s rest.
- Rid of stress. That big test coming up, your boyfriend flirting with other girls, and your parents grounding you over the C you received in your worst subject even after you studied hard. We’ve all dealt with it for years, stress. If you feel like you have less energy, can’t sleep at night, or have a hard time concentrating you may be dealing with stress. Try joining a local yoga class or buying an at home DVD and doing it three to four times a week. Yoga helps calm and clear the mind due to strict focusing on inner breathing. Yoga also helps clear acne caused by stress, and improves your flexibility enabling you to work out more effectively. Yoga is a great way to relax, and is easily accessible online.
- Workout with a friend. Working out with a friend helps keep you motivated to keep working out and have fun doing so. You are less likely to forget exercising if you have plans to do so with a friend. Working out with a friend also helps you push yourself harder as you naturally don’t want to look like a weakling in front of your friends. It also keeps working out fun and gives you something to look forward too. If you’re not ready to work out with a friend, try various exercise videos for all the encouragement of working out with a friend, but in the privacy of your own home.
- Stay Motivated. Staying motivated can be a serious challenge. Try making a fitspiration board with your favorite athletes and sayings. Place it next to your bed so you see it often. Focus on how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go. Remember to always love your body, and be proud of who you are. Nourish your body well and stay active, and watch your body change rapidly. This is the most motivating part, and seeing the changes will keep you on your toes.