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7 Quick Ways to Lose Weight Before Summer

7 Quick Ways to Lose Weight Before Summer

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    It’s that time of year again when everyone wants to lose a few pounds, to get ready for summer and no doubt there will be an array of diets in the media. Many of these diets are unrealistic for the average individual due to not being able to afford countless ingredients, having the time to make meals that require a a lot of prep is difficult, or the diets that restrict the intake of food can be hard to maintain. Not only are they unrealistic, but they’re incredibly bad for you. If you do manage to lose weight on them it’s only a matter of time before you put it back on.

    What’s my take on quick ways to lose weight for summer? It’s the right way, and by that I mean it’s the healthy way.

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    There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to weight loss, as many people take the approach of less food and huge amounts of cardio. This couldn’t be more wrong. The main contributor to weight loss is in your food. Quite possibly the reason you’re not losing any weight is that you’re not eating enough. You should aim to have three main meals, three snacks and eight glasses of water each day. You’re made up of roughly 70% water, so it is essential to try and drink at least eight cups a day. It will help flush out toxins, is great for your skin and your heart, boosts your energy levels, and helps aid digestion. So drink up!

    While cardio is important for weight loss, it’s a combination of strength work and cardio that have the most impact on weight when it comes to exercise. When you strengthen and build your muscles your body will burn off more calories while you’re doing nothing, as it increases your metabolism. Now I know a lot of women don’t like to do a lot of strength training because they don’t want to get “bulky” but you need not worry about that. Women’s muscles are completely different than men’s and are naturally smaller, so you’ll feel stronger be more toned and have less fat. Why would you not want that?

    Exercise should be enjoyable. It should be fun and something you look forward to. If you don’t like the gym or don’t have a huge amount of time spare to attend classes, there are plenty of at home workouts available online that don’t require equipment or take up too much of your day. Check out this great beginner’s guide to at home workouts:

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      If you can afford a gym membership, try out a variety of classes and see which ones you like best. There are all kinds of classes out there, from beginners to advanced, from Zumba to Combat. If you can get a friend or family member to go with you, that will make it even more enjoyable!

      It goes without saying that food is by far one of the hardest things to have full control over thanks to the un-ending amount of temptation and media fixations. There are so many labels and articles saying to eat something one week and then next week it says to avoid it like the plague. It’s confusing right?

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      A great way to start adjusting to healthy eating is to not go mad all at once. It’s the gradual approach that works best. As opposed to eliminating foods, try substituting food instead. When it comes to rice and pasta, opt for the brown versions, as they’re higher in fiber and generally a whole lot better for you. The same goes for bread–swap the white bread for some whole meal; it tastes so much better with less calories! You can also swap those white potatoes for sweet potatoes. Add vegetables to your meals, try some salads, try to eat fruit in between your meals to stop snacking on food that aren’t helping your waistline!

      If you eat properly throughout your day, ensuring you eat decent-sized meals that are full of nutrients and vitamins and have healthy snacks you’ll be less like to go on a late night food bender. After dinner have a snack prepared to eat later, so you’re not tempted to just grab a load of biscuits or that last slice of cake. It’s perfectly fine to have something sweet during the day and have a cheat meal every now and again–the key is moderation!

      Emotional eating is becoming increasingly more popular due to the stressful nature of our lifestyles. Exercise will help reduce stress, and eating healthier will no doubt make you feel better, but we all still have those days when we just feel down and don’t want to do anything but eat a tub of ice cream, devour a cake, or order a deep-dish pizza and watch our favourite movies. The key to dealing with emotional eating is to consciously take control of the situation. When you’re just about to delve into whatever you’ve chosen, walk away and run a bath, paint your nails, or simply step outside, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself if you really want to eat it.

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      If you really struggle with controlling you’re eating I would advise you to keep a food log. Record everything you’ve consumed each day and at the end of every day write how this made you feel, whether it was a good day or a bad day so when you feel like eating because of your emotions you can read it and write down what it is you want to eat and why. Chances are that once you’ve walked away and taken control, you’ll realize you didn’t actually want it in the first place.

      Also ensure that you’re getting enough sleep. You should be aiming to get between 7-8 hours per night. This will help also help reduce stress and make you feel more energized and refreshed during the day. Those who tend to have less or worse quality of sleep find it more difficult to concentrate and do simple day to day tasks. This has a negative impact on how they feel and can lead to emotional eating habits. Get into a routine, with exercise, the times you eat, go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time, and try to avoid using your phone while in bed. You’ll soon develop a healthy sleeping pattern and have a good night sleep every night!

      So, here’s a summary of all that:

      • You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.
      • Enjoy your exercise, aim to combine strength with cardio three times a week for 30-60 minutes.
      • Eat three meals a day and snack in between.
      • Water is your new best friend. Drink it!
      • Avoid late-night binging.
      • Take control of emotional eating.
      • Get at least 7-8 hours sleep per night.

      Follow these 7 simple steps and you’ll have that summer body you’ve always desired. By doing it this way you’ll inevitably change your lifestyle for the better and reap a number health benefits that come from eating right and exercising, what you’ll look like is just a bonus! And don’t forget to have fun!

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      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

      There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

      One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

      In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

      Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

      1. Cat Camel Stretch

      Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

      Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

      Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

      Here’s a video to guide you through:

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      2. Go for a Walk or a Run

      This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

      Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

      The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

      Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

      Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

      3. Jumping Jacks

      Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

      Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

      4. Abductor Side Lifts

      Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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      Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

      5. Balancing Table Pose

      This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

      Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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        6. Leg Squats

        Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

        Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

        The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

        7. Push Ups

        You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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        An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

        Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

        This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

        8. Bicycle Crunches

        There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

        Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

        9. Lunges

        Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

        Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

        This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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        10. Bicep Curls

        You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

        Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

        Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

        Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

        Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

        These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

        You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

        Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

        More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

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