Top tips for the ultimate summer body

Top tips for the ultimate summer body – by Jenny Pacey and Wayne Gordon, exercise experts from ICON Health and Fitness, which can be found on Twitter @iFitLiveUK. .

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to ditch the woolly jumpers and thick tights for vests, shorts and flesh-exposing swimwear. However, this summer you don’t have to worry – simply follow our top five tips and you’ll feel confident and beach ready in no time.

Fit Tip 1: Perfect posture will instantly improve your shape

Think about how you carry yourself; stand up straight with your feet together and not slouched on one hip – tuck in your bottom (tail bone), pull in the abs and subtly squeeze your shoulder blades together – this immediately makes you look taller and slimmer and will help relieve pressure on the back.

Fit Tip 2: Fat burn

Try working out in the morning before breakfast to raise your metabolism for the rest of the day and boost calorie burn. Having a piece of home gym equipment makes quick workouts easy. The Nordic Track X3i Incline Trainer, which takes up very little space, offers a really interactive workout and can help you get toned up ready for summer – you’ll also burn up to five times more calories compared to walking.

Alternatively try a brisk 45mins walk, or a challenging 30mins run; you will dip in and out of your fat burning zone, as well as gaining a low intensity workout.

Try little tricks to increase your daily calorie burn such as:

– Always walking up escalators – you can get quite a sweat on at certain tube and train stations!

– Try parking as far away as you can from the shops – the added weight of carrying shopping bags on your way to your car burns even more calories

– If you have to take the tube or train to work you may want to consider walking or maybe even cycling to the station.

Fit Tip 3: Feeling fit and wearing the right kit

Look good and you will feel amazing! Invest in beautiful work-out clothing, which is functional and makes you feel good about yourself. Boosting your confidence before you work out will really help you to be motivated, even in hard core training sessions. ProForm offers a wide variety of specifically designed clothing that will have you feeling fantastic during every workout.

Fit Tip 4: Nutrition is key

Many people believe that exercise alone is the key to weight loss, and overlook their diet in the process. However, understanding what you put into your body is just as important, when trying to achieve your summer body dreams:

1. Kick-start your day by always eating breakfast! Breakfast raises your metabolism for the rest of the day, helping you to regulate your blood sugar and reduce food cravings. Start the day with lemon water to cleanse the stomach.

2. Eat little and often! Eating every two to three hours regulates your blood sugar, appetite and mood. Consuming five to six smaller meals each day means that you are less likely to crave and binge on high calorie foods later in the evening. Also, make sure you include five portions of fruit and vegetables in your diet daily; the majority are low in calories and fat and are packed with good vitamins and minerals.

3. It’s all about balance! Eat sensibly for six days of the week, then plan and enjoy a moderate blow out day as a reward – no food is out of bounds, eat and drink what you like. This will help you stay both focused and motivated, and stop you from getting bored.

4. Water! Fat cannot be utilised by the body unless you are hydrated,

so try the following:

· Aim to drink at least two litres of water a day, flavouring it with squash if needs be

· Drink two glasses of water before meals

· If you are feeling thirsty then you are already dehydrated. Take a small bottle of water with you wherever you go.

5. Eating out and alcohol. Choose the protein part of your meal first, for example fish, chicken or steak. Then swap carbohydrates e.g. chips, potatoes or creamy pasta, for extra vegetables. Avoid picking from the breadbasket and share a desert. Alcohol is high in calories and low in nourishment and it will stimulate your appetite. Alcohol reduces your metabolism for 24 hours, so choose lower calorie options such as wine (75-100cals per 115ml glass) or spirits (34-70cals per 25ml) and drink in moderation.

Fit Tip 5: Setting summer goals:

Set yourself short and long-term goals, and remember you cannot transform your body and health overnight. Remain motivated by setting yourself an exciting and physically challenging goal, such as doing a 10k run or triathlon, eating five sources of fruit and vegetables a day or losing three inches from your waist ready for the summer!

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