Summer is upon us – a time for going to the beach, hiking with friends, and getting your body in shape.
For some people, getting fit can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t mean you have to go on an extreme diet or intense exercise regime. Here are four easy and practical ways to get in top shape this summer.
Take a few extra steps
There are several ways to pack a little extra cardio into your day without too much effort. For instance, instead of taking the lift up a couple of floors, why not take the stairs? Or rather than taking a bus or taxi, maybe you can walk home instead?
Staying active and mobile will not only help you burn some extra fat, it’s good for the environment and might save you a bit of money, too.
Don’t look at walking as a chore; instead, look at it as an opportunity to enjoy your surroundings and get some light exercise.
Cut down on junk food
We all know what junk food is – crisps, sweets, ice cream, soft drinks and all types of snacks. While delicious, these contain extremely high levels of sugar and fat, and almost no nutrients. In other words, they make you fatter without giving any benefits to your body. What’s more, it’s very hard to feel full after eating this type of food so you end up eating more.
Cutting out – or at the very least – strictly limiting your intake of junk food will do wonders for your body and health. However, it's hard not to reach for a snack when you have a craving. A good way to counter this is to make sure you have healthy snacks - like fresh or dried fruit, nuts, or pre-chopped fresh veg like celery or carrots - close to hand.
Eat sensible portions
If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight; if you consume less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Balance is key to maintaining a healthy weight, but keep in mind, that healthy weight is different for everyone.
While cutting out junk food is a great first step, this does not mean you can eat a huge amount of “normal” food such as rice.
It's not good for you to ever starve yourself, but at the same time, you should avoid overeating. Try to find the sweet spot between fullness and hunger. Eat till you're content, then stop.
Pay attention to how much you eat and how your body responds. This way, you can find the amount of food that is right for you.
Find yourself a sport that you enjoy
If you really want to stay fit, it’s important to find a way to exercise regularly. And let’s be honest: you’re a lot more likely to keep exercising if you’re enjoying it. This is why you should find a form of exercise that works for you.
Everyone is different. Competitive people might enjoy playing ball sports, such as basketball, football or tennis. People who want a bit of fresh air and enjoy the scenery can go jogging or cycling outdoors, whereas those who prefer to stay indoors could go to the gym.
So get out there, try a few different things, find something you love, and stick with it!