Toning Up For The Spring Summer Months

Every year, millions of people make it their intention and goal to get fit and tone up for the spring and summer months, and why not, because we all want to look our peak best.

For others, they just want to shed a few pounds and firm up their tummy, or maybe you would like to strengthen and build up those muscles a bit, so you can proudly walk around outside in those summer months with total body confidence.

After all, it is human nature to want to look and feel good, because not only is it good for your health, it will also make you feel better and improve your body posture. 

Many people do start an exercise plan, but sadly, far too often they give up and it is short lived and it just becomes another passing fad. 

Our bodies are designed for movement, and if you do not keep your muscles active then they will weaken, which can have a detrimental effect on your body structure and posture, so keeping fit and eating healthy, should be made a way of life.

How fit and toned you want to become should always be down to personal and individual choice, there are not set rules, so do what you're comfortable with, and avoid the too skinny and slim look. Have sensible role models, but try not to compare yourself to others.

In the end, it's all about what you're happy with, and only do it because you want to do it, you have not got to follow the latest trend, unless it is healthy and beneficial. 

Do what suits you, at a speed that is right for you, if you're not sure, always consult with your doctor first.

People are living a more sedentary lifestyle

These days we are becoming less active. With all the creature comforts we have in our homes and with all the advancement in technology, far too many people are leading more stationary and sedentary lifestyles, and it is very easy and convenient to fall into this trap. 

Depending on your age, some of us can fall into the way of thinking that it is normal to put on a bit of weight and become less active, especially as you get a bit older. 

But this old style way of thinking is only negative beliefs and myths, and we sometimes use them as an excuse, to justify our lack of fitness.

But the truth is your never to old or to young to keep fit and get into shape, and more and more celebrities are looking lean and fit as they enter their forties, fifties and beyond.

Most of them start keeping fit and eat healthy from an early age and they carry it on for the rest of their life, but you can considerably improve your body and fitness, regardless of how old you are.

If you want to shed a bit of weight, then you have not got to go on a strict calorie counting and punishing diet, combined with hours of grueling exercise workouts.

Try to avoid the trap of seeking quick and rapid results, instead just take one step at a time, because every workout, will take you a bit closer to the new ideal and healthy you.

Just make it a habit of eating well and keep active and to some regular moderate exercising, and in time your weight will balance itself out, without you having to torture and starve yourself, because it's more of a case of, what you eat rather than how much.

Get motivated 

As the warm spring and summer months approach, many people are aware that they should have a healthier lifestyle, which should include getting fit and eating healthier.

The golden rules for a long, happy and healthy life, is to have a healthy lifestyle, which should consist of, eating healthy, regular exercise or activity and reducing your stress, and exercise is a great stress reducer.

Before you start your fitness journey, you will need to get yourself motivated, and sometimes it can prove really hard to get motivated, especially during those long bleak winter months when we tend to feel lazy and sluggish.

The hardest part for some is, the getting started, but once you do, you won't look back, after you notice the positive results you're getting and how great you feel.

You ideally want to build up your motivation and then sustain it even during those times when you don't feel like it. Because if you're not fully motivated, then you will struggle to eat healthy and workout.

First, it can help if you write down all the positive reasons and benefits why you want to get in shape and be fit and healthy, including 

  • How good you will look 
  • How great you will feel 
  • How strong, toned and flexible your muscles will become 
  • You will be happier and energized 
  • You will have less stress and anxiety 
  • It can increase your life expectancy

A good way to get you motivated, is to create a vision board, with inspiring pictures of athletes or people who are already in great shape, you can also add pictures of good nutritious foods. If you have some older picture of you looking lean and fit, then add these as well.

Then add on some motivational quotes and pin them onto your vision board, or write them down on a small card and carry them around with you, so when you feel demotivated, just take a look at your fitness motivation statements. 

You can find plenty of fitness motivational quotes on the internet, like

"You’re only one workout away from a good mood".

"You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off your face".

Find a mentor or listen to somebody who inspires and motivates you, this can be sport stars, a celebrity or just somebody you know, and dwell on the idea that this could soon be how great you look. Try to mix with similar like minded people who also like to workout.

It can also help to keep a journal, jot down any progress you make, no matter how small. If you're feeling unmotivated or you feel like eating some healthy foods, write down the reasons why you feel unmotivated or negative. 

Because expressing how you feel through writing can be a great way to show you, what is really going on in your inside world and your life, and it will help you to release, what area's you may need to work with emotionally, and it will help you to let go, of your troubles, thoughts and feelings.

Exercise not only makes you look good and radiant, it is also a great mood booster as it encourages the release of those good feeling endorphins, some people even use exercise to lower their stress or help them to overcome addictions.

Then, even if you don't feel like doing your workout, still go ahead and do it, (unless you feel ill), then after you have completed your workout, write in your journal, how better you feel afterwards, as this will help your mind to keep you motivated. 

Because your mind wants you to feel good and it will use the positive feedback as evidence and a reason to keep you motivated and inspired, and you rarely regret and feel worse after you have done your workout.

So even if you don't really feel like doing your workout, perhaps you feel a bit tired, stressed or you are struggling for time, always try and do a bit, even if it is not as long or as intense as you would normally do, because if you do nothing then nothing can change.

If you can combine your workouts with your hobbies or the things you like doing then that is an added bonus, and it will help to motivate you.

To start off, most people are enthusiastic and motivated, especially if you're going away on holiday, and they exercise regularly, maybe hitting the gym or doing some form of sport or outdoor activity.

But for many, they soon become demotivated, and it is not long before your inner mind starts to talk you out of going to the gym or doing your workout or exercise routine.

That self defeating inner voice, can soon start to throw up all the reasons why you should skip your workout, with all the usual excuses and reasons like, you feel too tired, it's raining, there is something good on TV, or I'll give it a miss today but I'll do it tomorrow.

Although you have not got to stick to a strict set schedule, and there will be days when you don't feel well enough to exercise. 

When you regularly skip a session of your exercise routine, it makes it that much easier to skip the next one, and the next one after that, until you return back to your old sedentary ways.  

To keep you motivated, it can help to keep focusing on all the positive benefits and the rewards you will get for your efforts.

In your mind, picture and envisage this new fitter, toned and healthier you, and notice how good you feel and look.

Try to make your exercising enjoyable, exercising and keeping active should not feel like a chore that you think you have to do, you should always try to make it fun. 


Exercise tips 

1) Dress appropriately  

It can help to dress appropriately for the occasion, this can range to wearing the right clothing for the type of activity and the environment you're exercising in. The right clothes, can make you feel in the mood.

How you dress can also affect how much effort you put into your workout or your exercise regime, it is also important to wear the appropriate clothing and gear to suit whichever activity you're doing.

Because when you look good, you will feel better and all that positive energy can motivate and inspire you to work out better. Try to dress like a sports person or athlete to further put you in the right frame of mind.

2) Listen to some music

Music is a great way to lift your mood and get you feeling upbeat and ready to go. You can either listen to some good feeling music before you do your workout, or whilst you're performing your exercise routines.

3) How often should you exercise 

Although there are no set limits or rules too how often you exercise, a lot depends on your current level of fitness, if you have not exercised for a while, then it is better to build up your times and frequencies slowly and gradually.

The average that is recommended is, you should try to exercise for around 30 minutes a day, at least three times per week.

If you're unsure, check with your doctor first. You have not got to work out vigorously in a gym, especially to start off with, and any form of physical activity for around 30 minutes, will greatly benefit you

Be it walking, yoga, hiking, swimming etc. Being active everyday makes you feel alive and alert, and once you get the momentum going, you will automatically want to be more active. 

4) Train with a partner or a group

Sometimes it can pay to work out alone, as you won't get distracted and it can be more relaxing when you're working out by yourself, especially if you're outdoors and you're observing nature. Exercising outdoors in nature can be very therapeutic and calming.

But sometimes it can be hard to get and stay motivated when you're working out on your own. If you find your motivation is sagging, then it may pay you to exercise with another person or even a group of like minded people.

We tend to be more competitive when we are exercising with others, and you will probably work out more intensely, because you won't want to be seen as lagging behind. 

You are less likely to miss sessions when you exercise with a partner, because you won't want to let them down, plus they will motivate you, on the days you don't feel like working out.

5) Eat more healthily

If you want to tone up for summer, or maybe you want to lose a bit of weight to look good, then it is also important that you eat a more healthy and balanced varied diet.

It will be tempting to feel like eating some of the more less healthy foods, and although you should not deprive yourself of the occasional treat, try to keep mainly good and healthy foods in your house, so you will resist the urge to eat the less healthy options.

The formula is simple, eat good food and you will feel good, eat bad and you will feel bad, eating healthy will make you shed a few pounds, but working out will shape and tone your body.

When you combine healthy eating and exercising together, then you will find a winning combination, and it is going to increase your self confidence, when you look in the mirror and you see the reflection of the new fitter and toned you. 

The real benefits of working out are the way you're going to feel after your workout.

6) Building your body can take time

One of the major reasons why people fail or struggle to change is because they want instant results.

The reality is, it can take time and effort before you will start to see the positive results that you're seeking.

When you're expecting instant and quick results and you don't immediately see or achieve them, then this can quickly demotivate you which can lead you to giving up. 

You have not got to seek for perfection either, it's more about progressive and continuous improvements, and it does not matter how long it takes, what is more important is you do not give in.

7) You have not got to do long, gruelling workouts 

There are a lot of different opinions about how long you need to spend working out to get the results that you desire. 

So what is the optimal workout length? A lot depends on what suits you, your goals and ambitions and how much time you have available to work out.

There is no need to spend hours in the gym, seven days a week. If you want to build muscles and increase your strength, then working out for more than 45 minutes can actually have a detrimental effect and counterproductive effect.

Long, grueling workouts can put a lot of stress on the body which can soon result in burnout and exhaustion, which can lead to feelings of depression.

You can split your workouts into two shorter sessions a day, let's say, make each one about 15 to 20 minutes long, or you can do one 20 to 30 minute session.

Try to make sure that you allow a couple of rest days a week, this will help to avoid burnout and it will give your muscles a chance to recover and grow bigger and stronger.

8) Keep changing and varying your workouts

Although most forms of training and exercising will initially help you to tone up your body and shed a few pounds if that's your goal, after a while you will need to progress in our workouts, otherwise your body will adapt and you will hit a plateau.

Your workouts need to get harder as you get fitter and stronger. It can pay dividends for you, if you have a plan to follow and a goal in mind.

As you begin to progress with your workouts, it will be time to step up your game by adding some resistance to your training, to build your muscle tone and make you stronger.

One of the best and the most easiest and most comfortable ways of adding some form of resistance, is by wearing a training weight vest.

A weight vest will add some extra resistance to your training which will allow you to get more benefits from each of your workouts.

 9) Vary your workout routines

If you have performed the same workout or routine for a while, then it may be time to change to something different, or vary your workout a bit, otherwise it can start to feel too much like a repetitive routine and chore, and we have far to many of them in our lives already. 

The more variation and the more resistance you keep adding to your training workouts, then the less chance your body will have of adapting to your exercises, and your workouts won't become boring or feel like a chore.

Try to incorporate a different style of training, if working out inside in the gym or your home, gets outside, or try alternating between one and the other. If the weather is good, get outside, if the weather is bad, workout indoors.

If you work out with weights, vary your workouts, instead of just sticking to one style. So you're mainly doing cardio based workouts or you only lift weights, try mixing them together a bit.

If you go jogging, walking, cycling or swimming or any other similar type of physical activity, instead of just sticking to one pace, vary your speeds, spring or speed up for a short distance, then go back to your normal pace for a while, and keep repeating.

Stay fit all year around 

Although you probably want to tone up so you can look great for those long summer days, keeping fit should be an all year round activity and regime.

In the warmer weather as you begin to feel more active, you will probably want to take advantage of the better weather and spend a lot more time outside than in.  

There is nothing better than getting out in the fresh air in the warmer weather, and if you can combine your exercise routines with being outside, then that is an added bonus, because you tend to get less bored when you exercising outdoors.

Some of the most popular outside physical activities are hiking, running, hill climbing, cross country, sand rope workout, resistance training outdoor workouts.

In the winter months, it does not necessarily mean that you have to work out indoors,  you can still do outdoor activity like, cross country and skiing.


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