By Bryce Romig
With prom season coming up, high schoolers are trying to increase their fitness fast to help them feel and look their best. With all of the weight loss and fitness myths, it can be confusing on where to start. Use these tips to help you get healthy and prom ready in no time.
Tip #1: Drink water consistently throughout the day. Not only will you feel better, but staying hydrated also helps you push harder through your workouts. Although this may sound gross, make sure your urine is a clear or light yellow color. This helps you decide whether you’re properly hydrated or not. Avoid sugary carbonated drinks; instead replace them with tea. Tea is a healthier alternative to soft drinks, and is great for people who don’t like the taste of water. Tea also provides antioxidants that can help get rid of toxins in the body.
Tip #2: Make small changes. Instead of quitting junk food cold turkey, try to make minor changes in your diet. For the first couple of days, slowly get rid of unhealthy snacks and drinks. Limit them to once a day the first week, and slowly cut them out of your diet. Just because you are trying to shed a few pounds doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every now and again. Save your favorite treats and snacks for one day a week, and savor every bite of it when you finally get to eat it. Not only will this make your favorite foods taste even better, but it helps keep you on track and avoid bingeing in the future.
Tip #3: Have a quick and easy workout routine. It’s no secret that exercising isn’t the most enjoyable activity, and is put on the back burner on most people’s agendas. Avoid this by keeping your workouts fast and intense, allowing you to still have free time in your daily schedule. This will also help keep you motivated by limiting the amount of excuses you have to avoid your daily workout. Choose at least one day at week to avoid intense exercising and do something you enjoy. Try going for a walk in the park or going to a local swimming pool. Anything that boosts your mood and gets you somewhat active is never a bad thing. Learn to enjoy exercising; your body will thank you in the future.
Tip #4: Keep track of your progress. Recording your progress with pictures will allow you to see the small changes in your body. Take a picture at the end of each week starting with Week 1, and place them side by side to see how rapidly your body is changing. Not only will this give you a confidence boost, but it will also boost your motivation even more when you see that all of your effort is making an impact. Ditch the scale, though, as muscle mass can sometimes be confused with fat weight and may actually trick you into thinking your gaining weight. Scales are misleading because they aren’t very accurate.
Tip #5: Have fun with it. If you hate lifting weights, don’t do it so often. If you hate cardio, try attending a Zumba or Turbo Kick class instead. Many gyms offer alternatives to traditional exercise, many of which are more entertaining and even fun. Don’t be embarrassed to get your sweat on dancing, either; everyone is in the class for the same reason as you. These classes are still tough, so don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re taking the easy way out. Check your local gym’s schedule to see when the next classes are.
Tip #6: Pile on the veggies. Vegetables are filling foods that provide you with a full stomach with a low amount of calories. Try vegetables rich in iron and vitamins such as kale or spinach. These power foods will also provide more energy to your body, allowing you to increase the intensity of your workouts even more. Your skin will also benefit, thanks to the many vitamins found within the vegetables. If you don’t like chewing your vegetables, try making a green smoothie. Put kale,spinach, and any fruit in a blender and blend until smooth. Try adding agave nectar for added sweetness with limited calories. Green smoothies are a great post workout fuel.