673-02139374It’s that time of year again. As the temperatures go up, we start shedding clothes. It can feel great as we ditch the heavy wool sweaters and put away the winter gear. There’s something so great about that first spring walk in short sleeves. I look forward to my first warm weather run in shorts.  Yet, so quickly, excitement about warmer temperatures can lead to anxiety about that bikini-ready body.

You can hardly turn on the television or flip through a magazine without hearing or reading about a way to kick your diet and exercise into high gear to prepare for bikini season. The carefree days of summer can quickly turn stressful with so much focus on the quest for a perfect body.

I do see an increase in private training sessions and attendees in my group fit camp classes in the springtime with clients wishing to slim down a bit before summer. But I hesitate to promote any type of program that will give you bulging biceps and six-pack abs within weeks. My belief is that fitness should be integrated into your every day life, not into the six-weeks before summer.  I understand the want for a buff and polish before donning a bathing suit, for sure. And I can help you there. But my focus is health. With a healthy and happy attitude towards exercise and fitness, strength and toning will follow.

Yes, summertime is quickly approaching, but it’s not too late. If you’re new to fitness or looking for a tune-up, there’s still time to feel great about yourself and your health. Here are some functional fitness tips, just in time:

1.     Skip the fad diet. But drink plenty of water.

Don’t deprive yourself.  Don’t restrict your calories too much. You could be at risk for malnutrition, which could have long-lasting effects. Plus you just won’t feel good. Focus on whole foods , but be forgiving. Enjoy the bounty of summer fruits and veggies, but a little treat every now and then won’t hurt. Most of all, don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Sometimes, we feel hungry when our bodies are really craving water.

2.     Enjoy it.

I’d love for you to attend every single one of my fitness classes and to fill my schedule with personal training sessions. But there are plenty of things you can do in the great outdoors that will strengthen your commitment to fitness. Get out there for a walk in the evenings. Find ways to increase your steps during the day, by taking the stairs or selecting a parking spot far from your destination. Take the kids out to the park and really play with them. Swinging, sliding, pushing the merry-go-round are all forms of exercise. Hike, bike, run, swim—if exercise is fun, you’ll find ways to fit it in.

3.     Have a routine. And a buddy.

A predictable routine can help you get your exercise in. Do you find yourself free on Mondays at 10? Then make it a habit to hit that Pilates class.  Mornings are your favorite time? Make that a time when you run. Add a like-minded friend to the mix, and exercise will become the “can’t miss” addition to your schedule.

4.     Being fit feels better.

Weight is just a number. Don’t focus on being skinny. Being skinny just isn’t the same thing as being fit.  Look at your whole body, for the entire year. A bikini body may look great on the beach, but a fit body will feel great every season.

Let me help you get started. Join me every Monday, starting May 13 through June 17, at noon for a free Fit Camp class at Serenity Day Spa & Wellness Center. I’ll help you find a routine that you love. To learn more, please visit my website at www.barbspersonaltraining.com or e-mail me at info@barbspersonaltraining.com. I hope to see you every Monday!