It’s that time of year when the flowers begin to bloom and the summer countdown begins. While we can’t wait for barbecues, pool parties, and beach trips, we aren’t as psyched about the pressure to get in shape. But don’t fret. We’ve reached out to some Westchester-based fitness experts on how to get your desired beach bod — and fast. Below find some crucial tips on how to get toned before donning that new swimwear.
It’s true what they say, you do need beauty sleep. “It’s important to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep every night,” says John Moljo, owner of Team Moljo Strength and Conditioning in Shrub Oak. According to Healthline, short sleep duration increases the likelihood of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults. A lack of sleep can also increase your appetite.
Hydrate hydrate hydrate. “Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day,” says Moljo. Eliminate sugary drinks, like soda, and if you crave carbonation, reach for a natural seltzer instead. “Buy a cute water bottle and keep it with you at all times,” adds Nataliya Karpov of New York Sports Club Scarsdale. “This way, you’re not as easily tempted to grab a sugary drink that won’t even quench your thirst.”
A healthy diet does not mean starving yourself. It means being mindful of your daily intake. “Eat vegetables, dark leafy greens with every meal,” says Moljo. “You’ll also want to include a source of protein with every meal.” When it comes to foods to avoid, empty calories, sugars, and processed foods should be eliminated or minimal. “Instead of chips, try alternatives like freeze dried mangos or strawberries from Trader Joe’s,” says Karpov. “Be sure to buy real fruits, instead of pre-made smoothies or juices, which typically have significantly higher amounts of sugar,” she adds.
“Get outside and do something!” says Karpov. “If you don’t want to join a gym, embrace the nice weather and start by going out for walks to get yourself in the habit of moving your body. Also, find a friend to join you. Walks, hikes, and classes are all made better if you have someone supporting your new habit by your side,” she says.
“Get your heart rate up every day for 30 plus minutes,” says Moljo. For the traditional fitness route, “Run, run, and keep running. It’s the best way to lose weight — time tested,” says trainer Patrick Damiano of The Body Blueprint in Pelham. “For those who don’t enjoy running, there are other fun options. Boxing, for starters, is one of the most effective and fun workouts you can do.” Karpov emphasizes the advantage of the great outdoors when it comes to cardio. “Hiking is my favorite cardio,” she says. “A long steady hike will burn hundreds of calories, and is endlessly entertaining thanks to the variety of trails available to Westchester residents.”
We all long for washboard abs, but it’s important to focus on every part of the body to ensure a toned appearance. “For arms, don’t neglect your shoulders! Try lateral raises coupled with rear delt rows to give you nice rounded shoulder caps,” says Karpov. “Hip thrusts are instrumental when growing glutes — my favorite muscle to train. For abs, I like to do high intensity tabata circuits of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off with moves like mountain climbers and Russian twists.”
A class is a fun and easy way to get a full workout with direction. Classes focus on target areas and can be a less expensive way to have access to a trainer. “I would recommend beginners try yoga and Zumba before jumping into high intensity classes like total body conditioning and cycling,” says Karpov. “Get used to moving to a rhythm and keeping up with the group. Small classes result in more personalized workouts.
Moljo, Damiano, and Karpov all agree, if you can afford a personal trainer, go for it. With a personal trainer, comes a specific regimen crafted around your current health status, level of fitness, goals, nutrition practices, and expectations.
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