Quick Shape Up in Time for Vacation!

Vacation is approaching fast and you want to look your best. Here’s how to shape up quickly and healthily before you depart.

Try cutting a few simple things out of your diet the week before you go for a quick slim down. Things to cut could include: sweets, soda, condiments, and chips. Sweets, chips and soda are obviously bad for you. Especially if you are a loyal soda drinker or candy lover, you will notice a difference right away by cutting them out. I cut condiments a lot of times because they are just extra calories. Eating dry food saves some calories. Mustard is okay because it doesn’t have any calories but if you can manage to cut mayo, jams and jellies, cream cheese, or sour cream, you’ll be saving a lot of extra calories.

Try adding fruits, veggies, and water. By adding a lot of fruits and veggies you’ll still be able to eat a lot and feel full, but they won’t stick on your stomach. Drinking a lot of water will help you to feel full and hydrated faster and it will save the calories from other beverages. I have heard that if you drink a glass of water before you eat, you are likely to eat less and feel full quicker.

Do a lot of cardio. Try running for short amounts of time or even walking. Sometimes even lightweight lifting can be considered cardio if you use light enough weight and do a lot of reps. Many people enjoy biking or swimming laps as well. Find something you enjoy that can get your heart rate up and do it every day for 30 minutes. Cardio combined with a slight altering of your diet will instantly shape you up.

Finally, work those abs! YouTube has a million ab videos to help you get started. A lot of times it’s easier to have someone telling you what to do and counting for you to keep you from moving too fast or rushing. One of my favorite videos is called “thin q fitness ten minute abs.” This video is literally just ten minutes and it always makes my abs feel awesome. I encourage you to try this one or find another video you enjoy with an instructor you like. Doing abs every other day is an important part of shaping up quickly.

I hope these tips will help you to feel great in time for vacation. You’ll be sure to look amazing in you swim suit after applying each of them. Remember, you can’t just do one. A combination of diet, cardio, and muscle work is what it takes to really shape up quick. You can do it!


How to Stay in Shape During Winter

Winter, the time of year when everybody stays busy and frozen. For those of us who go running a lot, it’s a time when we need to make changes in our workout routine to stay in shape. I personally find no joy in jogging while it’s 13 degrees outside. At the same time, I understand that if I eat 5 pounds of Halloween candy, 3 full plates of food for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and drink massive amounts of alcohol for New Years, I will put on a few pounds. Over the years, I’ve found a few fun ways to stay in shape during the freezing months of winter. Sections are broken down into 3 categories: diet, exercise, and fun activities. Check them out:


1. Cut down on your diet. If you know you’re not going to have much time to workout, try to cut the portions of your meals. This way you won’t gain any weight, but you should try to stay active either way.
2. Drink water, lots of it. Drink a full 16-ounce glass of water before any holiday meal. This will make you eat less and help you avoid that feeling you get when you know you’ve had way too much to eat.
3. Diet-based New Years resolutions are a great way to begin the New Year in a clean and healthy way. Common diet based New Years resolutions that have worked for me over the years:

-I WILL stick to fruits and vegetables for snacking.
-I WILL drink more than 4 full glasses of water daily.
-I WILL eat 1 salad each day, without ranch dressing.
-I WILL NOT consume more than 2 soft drinks per week (Diet drinks still count!).
-I WILL NOT eat more than 1 meal of pizza per week.
-I WILL NOT partake in more than 1 night of alcohol consumption per week.

1. Stick to the basics. If it’s too cold to workout outdoors, do some of the more basic workouts, like: push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, doorframe pull-ups, etc. Aim for 30 minutes each day, or 60 minutes 4 days per week.
2. Find a dedicated workout partner or hire a personal trainer. Having someone else with you at the gym will help you learn new exercises, and it makes you more likely to go in most cases. Remember new workouts= new results, keep the body guessing.
3. If you’re sick of going to the same gym, try something new, like hot yoga. Chances are you will be able to find a place that offers hot yoga, which was designed as a rejuvenating exercise that strengthens the entire body, from head to toe. What’s better when its 20 degrees outside than doing yoga in 105 degree heat with 40% humidity?

Fun Activities:
1. Find a place to go skiing. Skiing is an excellent workout, and it’s exhilarating. It’s a fun way to get your blood pumping, and it’s good for cardio and fat burning. A man who weighs 180 lbs. will burn approximately 409 calories per hour, and a woman who weighs 130 lbs. will burn approximately 295 calories per hour skiing.
2. Try ice-skating. This is another fun way to do cardio exercise. Find an indoor ice-skating rink and it won’t be nearly as cold as the coldest months of winter.  Ice-skating will help a 180 lb. man burn approx. 572 calories each hour, and a 130 lb woman burn approx. 413 calories per hour
3. My personal favorite: sledding. Find a huge hill and take a flat trashcan lid with you. Many people don’t realize how good of a workout this can be. It combines running/walking up hills, having fun, and cold beer. I’m telling you now that it’s ok to drink cold beer while you’re freezing. Sledding burns approximately the same amount of calories as ice-skating.

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