Get your body ready for summer

September signifies spring; a time synonymous with change and rejuvenation.

If a recent visit to the beach or an epiphany in the mirror this morning lead you to the conclude that your physique might not exactly be deemed beach-worthy come summer, it is now the ideal time to eliminate bad habits and adopt an effective exercise routine. Here are a few tips:

1. Set realistic expectations

Let’s be honest: three months (before summer) is certainly sufficient time to adopt healthier rituals and, consequently, benefit your body, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll look like you emerged from the pages of a fitness magazine.

“Age, body-type, weight and genetics all determine how long you’ll need to realise your goals, and what is possible for you to attain. Never lose hope or declare your efforts futile – everyone’s journey is different” says group training specialist Ivana Buchanan from Zone Fitness

2. Exercise is only the beginning

A lack of gym-time isn’t the only thing that doesn’t do you any favours. Quit the cigarettes. Take the stairs. Get the amount of sleep your constitution requires. Replace the takeout and chocolates with home-cooked lean meats and leafy greens. Minimise alcohol intake. Eat compact, balanced meals at fairly regular intervals long before bedtime.

What you’re about to embark on isn’t a sacrifice; on the contrary, the future you has everything and more to gain.

3. Don’t overdo it

Pushing yourself is key in making progress; exertion is not. Your body needs time to adjust to the practices of a new, better you.
“Three days a week in the gym consisting of moderate cardiovascular workouts and intermediate weight-lifting should do for now; wait at least a month before you progress to a more strenuous exercise routine” says Buchanan from Zone Fitness.
“Gradually cut out the bad stuff (sugar, processed carbs, and so on) to reap the rewards in the mirror faster.

4. Have support

Be it a gym buddy or the occasional confidential chat to your dog, it’s important that you have some form or support structure in place.

5. Reward yourself

No one said it would be easy – and yet, if you have managed to persevere for a week, a month or ten years, you deserve a treat. Junk food, ice cream, a day off from exercising – your pick. Just make sure it’s not going to impact your hard work too much.

6. Have a plan

Perhaps this is the most crucial point of all – you’ve made a commitment, and now you must successfully execute it. Incorporating the expertise of qualified personal trainers, dieticians and biokineticists is essential to help you develop an effective, viable strategy.

Don’t wait for the new year to make commitments – there has never been a better time to start than right now!

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