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Getting Strong, Fit and In Shape for The Summer Starts Now

Now that we’ve set our clocks ahead the days are starting to get longer and the temperature is starting to rise. You know what that means! Spring is just around the corner! Can you believe it? Are you as excited as I am?

It’s been a long hard winter for many of us Central New Yorkers and most of us are more than ready to put away our winter gear. If you feel like you’ve fallen off the wagon and the gym has become all but a distant memory, you need to snap out of it! There’s a lot of people in the same boat as you and there’s still time to do something about it.

Don’t wait until the last minute to do something extreme in order to get the results you want. It’s great if you adopt an all-or-nothing approach, but putting your mind and body through something extreme can-do untold damage on your body and create a negative or unhealthy relationship with both food and exercise. You need to find a way of exercising and eating healthy that you can sustain. You also need to devise a plan that will keep you in shape not just for a season, but all year round.

Unfortunately, there are no short-term or quick fixes when it comes to health and
fitness. The rule of thumb is that the more extreme the exercise and nutritional approach is, the greater the likelihood that you will gravitate back to where you started. Sorry, but that’s the truth.

You still have time to improve your health and your physique before summer arrives. You just need to start now! Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the upcoming season.

Exercise in the Morning

Finding the time to work out when the warm weather arrives can be an uphill battle. It seems as though we have graduation parties, weddings, barbecues and family trips planned every weekend. When you put your workout off for later in the day, it’s less likely to happen. Set your alarm for an hour earlier and have a workout planned and ready to go. Go for a run, lift some weights, or take a group fitness class at the gym. Now, you’ll have it done and out of the way regardless of what the rest of your day has in store for you.

Pack Your Lunch

No matter what your day has in store for you packing a healthy lunch is a great way to ensure your success. When you leave this simple task undone, it can be a recipe for disaster. Nothing can derail your diet quicker than an unplanned trip to a fast food restaurant.

Eat Real Food

Real food is a simple concept. If you eat what nature has given us: plants, fruits, roots, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs, milk and its by-products such as cheese and yogurt you will not only look good you will feel good too. Real food is kept as close to its natural state as possible. It should be
minimally processed, not man-made and it certainly shouldn’t have a list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Remember, if you can’t get it ‘out of the mouth,’ you shouldn’t be ‘putting it in your mouth.’  Meaning that if there are a long list of ingredients that you know nothing about, your best bet would be to stay away!

Cook from Scratch

If you don’t know how to cook it’s time to familiarize yourself with the kitchen! There is no better way to take control of your health than learning to cook from scratch. It means you will be eating fresh ingredients and you will know exactly what’s going into your food. When you aren’t preparing your own food there is a good chance there will be added sugar and salt (amongst other things) that you are unaware of.

Make It a Way of Life

Fundamentally, if you want to be fit, healthy and in shape long term you need to make all of the steps we are talking about a part of your everyday life. Thus, the term “Lifestyle Change.” Once you start to notice a difference in how you feel, and look, you won’t want to go back to your old ways. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing results!

Be Active Outdoors

This is the best time of year to take advantage of the warm weather and soak up some vitamin D. Being outside is so therapeutic and has a huge impact on our mental health. Go for a hike, ride your bicycle, rollerblade, swim, kayak, or play volleyball. It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are actively enjoying the outdoors.

Eat Local

There is something so satisfying about preparing a meal with locally grown produce. Know who your local farmers are and show them your support. Find your nearest farmer’s market or fruit stand. Maybe you have an interest in starting your own garden? If not – there’s always your neighbor. Get your hands on whatever catches your eye and put it to good use.

In Conclusion:

There is still time to make your summer a success. You just need to be willing to make the commitment to do what it takes to reach your goals.

Celebrate what your body can do! Rejoice in your healthy habits instead of looking at them as an obligation. Exercise should be something you look forward to, not dread. Be thankful for what you have and make use of it while it lasts.

Build a good foundation of training habits so that you are able to make the most of what you have now and maintain your body’s condition long-term. It’s true; we don’t know what the future holds for us, but we can do our best today to make a difference tomorrow. You’re worth it. Good luck to you!

Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak
I have been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.