Now that Memorial Day has passed us, it’s officially summer! No pressure, but tans, scantily clad members of society, and vacations are now in full swing. Essentially, prepping for a summer bod is on everyone’s minds right now.
If you don’t feel like you should be where you’re at, get rid of your winter fluff by trying these five tips that will get the extra pounds coming off!
1. cut bread and alcohol
This summer, I’ve said goodbye to two of my greatest lovers: bread and alcohol. I can’t tell you how hard this has been for me, but within one week of my no bread diet I noticed that I had more energy, I was less bloated, and was that one ab muscle peeking through?
No bread was followed by a loose no alcohol diet. I’m a pretty social drinker and I’ve been known to pour myself a few cold ones when I’m watching TV at night. Since I kicked bread to the curb, I decided that alcohol should go as well.
That was all fun and games until I realized that my weekends are boring without a few drinks. So, I’ve modified my diet to include two cheat drinking days, which I’m sure most trainers would not encourage. I don’t care though, people are people and it’s going to happen. I limit myself to two days per week where I can drink two drinks. I mostly stick to wine, rather than hard liquor.
The results have honestly made a significant difference and helped me come to the realization that I probably have a gluten intolerance, because I feel a hell of a lot better!
2. Run 10 miles per week
If you run 1.43 miles per day, your on your way to becoming a happier and healthy you! I recently interviewed a trainer who said getting outdoors and running 10 miles per week is the best thing you can do for your body.
Although 10 miles sounds like quite a lot of running, it really isn’t that bad! I recommend finding a great park, beach, or neighborhood sidewalk to get that mile in. Running outdoors keeps your mind engaged with the scenery around you, thus distracting you from the utter pain that your body might be going through.
Eventually, you will build up stamina, so don’t try to kill yourself if it’s been awhile since you dusted off your running shoes. I started off slow, only being able to run a half mile, but eventually I worked my way up to about two miles per day. Now, I’m feeling like I could do more.
You’ve got to start somewhere, why not start today?
3. Pick Up a Sport
Picking up a sport this summer on an intramural team is a great way to get in shape. Well, if you skip out on the beer drinking that occurs before or after each game (see rule #1). If you were an athlete back in the day, it might be time to get back to your roots and chase after your ridiculous ambitions of becoming a pro.
Partner up with some work colleagues or friends and get back into your psycho competitive nature. Being that I was an athlete in high school, I’m still always determined to run faster, hit the ball farther, and lead the team to victory.
The best part about playing sports is that you’re having fun and staying active for a few hours, rather than sitting on the couch watching Family Guy for seven hours straight. Filling your schedule up with activities that require your physical participation is a great way to lose some weight before that beach trip.
4. Try Yoga
Men doing yoga was NOT a thing until I moved to California. Now, it seems like every dude that I meet is begging me to try yoga with him. Being from the South, I’m a bit skeptical of yoga, but I have been getting into a state of meditation with Tibetan monk music. I feel like I’m progressing and I might be open enough to try it here soon.
I wanted to put yoga on the list, because people here are always ranting and raving about the results. If you have any experience doing yoga as a man, please comment on this post and let me know how you feel about it.
Ultimately, yoga is known for clearing one’s mind, getting rid of negative feelings/energy, and stretching your body after a day of stress or tough physical activity. It’s a great followup to a workout that you’re doing to prepare your body for summer!
5. Set a Goal and Stick to it for 30+ days
This has been my number one practice since I’ve started on my summer bod journey. I told myself I was going to pick a few things that I would do in order to get in shape. It started with the gym, then led to no bread or alcohol, and now it’s all about clearing my mind. I find myself wanting to add more goals as time progresses and I feel like 30 days will turn into many more than just that.
Choose a couple of target areas that you want to focus on. What are your ultimate goals? Once you figure that out, find a 30 day challenge online that fits your needs. The best way to start is to jump right in. Make sure that you keep track of your progress through photographs and a calendar. This will help keep you motivated and notice your results.
Getting in shape for the summer is something that doesn’t have to kill you. Staying healthy is often as simple as changing your diet, staying active, and remaining dedicated to what you’re doing.