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Quick Summertime Fitness Tips

Bring on Summer!

Bring on the Summer of 2013!

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year, I’d rather be out doing something active than reading about it. So, here’s a simple Motivation Monday post with my top three tips for how to make the most out of this month and the soon-to-arrive summer season.

1) Stay hydrated:  As the mercury rises, we tend to be more aware of getting the right amount of fluids throughout the day. Be sure to drink 16 ounces of water one hour before your workout and keep sipping throughout. I know lots of people amp up on caffeine before hitting the gym, but just remember to proceed with caution. If I’m dragging at the end of the work day, iced green tea offers just the kick I need to get myself to the gym. However, we all react differently to caffeine, so be sure to gauge how much you can tolerate and avoid the jitters. Want my take on sugary energy drinks? Unless you’re an athlete running up and down a court or field for 90 minutes or longer, skip the extra calories and stick with water.

2) Love Your Bod: ‘Tis the season for short shorts, tank tops, bikinis and all-things skin revealing. Which makes it all too easy to start the self-sabotaging act of comparing ourselves to others. So, here’s an important reminder: no two bodies are built the same. Let other fitness fanatics motivate you to move simply because you want to feel the same endorphin rush they’re experiencing. It shouldn’t be about getting the same “six-pack” abs as the gal who just ran by you in nothing more than shorts and a sports bra or the same pecs as the guy doing push-ups on the park bench. If you’re doing all you can to exercise, eat healthy and take care of yourself in general, give yourself a pat on the back and bask in all the positives you experience because of your lifestyle.

3) Have fun! This really is the perfect season to explore your options beyond the four walls of a gym. Maybe this is the year you try paddle boarding, Saturday morning boot camp classes in the park or join a social dodgeball club in your area. Turn the outdoors into your fitness playground and mix things up!

If you have any tips that add to your summertime fitness fun, I’d love to hear about them! Here’s to another great week ahead filled with lots of opportunities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

The Power of Positive Thinking

With Fun & Fabulous Fitness Friend, Amy G.

Last week my friend Amy, personal trainer and group exercise instructor extraordinaire, responded to my request for blog topics with a very important aspect for all of us to remember as we continuously strive to be healthy and reach our fitness goals: maintaining a positive self-image.

As luck would have it, during my lazy Sunday morning routine, I picked up this week’s People and one of the cover stories jumped out at me: “How to Get Beyonce’s Rockin’ Body!!” I immediately turned to the article, only to be bombarded with images of five rockin’ bodies belonging to today’s top female music stars.  As I looked at their “perfect” legs, glutes, abs and arms, my self-esteem took a nose dive as I started feeling less-than-positive about all of my own above mentioned assets.  Of course, I then read the blurb next to each hot body and noticed they all ended with the same few words “says her trainer (insert name here).”

I have always said that if I won the lottery, after settling any debts and contributing to my favorite charities, I’d hire a personal trainer to kick my butt five days a week and also pay a chef to take the guesswork out of eating meals that taste good and are actually good for you.  Until that happens, I have to remind myself on a daily basis that in my reality, I am doing the best I can to take care of myself and feel good.  So, while I may never have legs like Beyonce, I do have a strong heart, strong spirit and strong desire to get my workouts in because I know the endorphins I get from exercising will make me feel like I’m on top of the world, even if it’s just for a little while.

So, as you start a new week filled with new opportunities, give yourself a mental pat on the back when you kick up your cardio for an extra 15 minutes, try that group exercise class you’ve been curious about, play soccer with your kids in the park or get in a run on your next business trip.

The bottom line is we all have to embrace who we are and really understand our goals. For me, around my 30th birthday I realized I would never weigh 115 pounds again and I could not survive on lettuce, water and vodka.  Now at 37, thanks to my daily responsibilities, I can’t spend three hours working out. However, I am healthier than I was in my 20s when I could exercise for hours at a time but consistently ate and drank alot of “bad” things.

I can’t lie. I wouldn’t mind winning the lottery. Until then, I’ll continue taking deep breaths when I read People and remind myself that looking like (insert name of celeb here) isn’t what’s needed to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous.

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