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Shape up for summer

Publish date: 01/05/2014

Shape up for summerWith the summer soon upon us and the holiday season around the corner, it’s a great time to look and feel your best.

Whether you’re off on a beach holiday, or enjoying time out with the family, it’s always a time of year when we feel more body conscious.

There are certain elements to be considered in order to create balanced, long lasting and positive changes in your well being.

Firstly, it’s really important to have a positive perspective of the desired goals, so visualising yourself achieving them is a great way of making the changes feel easier.

Secondly, the results will mirror what you put into your body, good quality food, with good portion control will mean that you have better and more consistent energy levels to enable your body to function well. Prepare your body with healthy calories to sustain you along the way, and shaping up will feel effortless.

Last but not least, is to get that body moving. Follow a structured exercise plan, with a good balance of cardio vascular and resistance training. Moving your body as much as you can with other activities, such as gardening or walking will top up your energy expenditure helping the process.

The power of positive focus

Have you ever noticed when you’re feeling good, everything in your life just seems to flow? How we feel is governed by how we think so if we think negatively about our bodies, we are going to feel negative about making changes. Sounds simple? So many people are stumbled by this one aspect, they end up with inconsistent results in a yo yo effect that is really frustrating. Think, believe and know you can, and you will! Think you can’t, guess what? You won’t! The subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between positive visualisation and something that has already happened.

Try it……Sit in a comfortable position just focus your mind on your breathing, the gentle rise and fall of your chest. Just notice the beat of your heart and any other sensations in your body.

When you are relaxed, visualise yourself exactly how you want to look, notice in detail how wonderful you look and how happy and relaxed you are. Imagine stepping into your perfect body, as you do, become aware of how great you feel, the sounds around you and your positive self talk.

There is a beautiful full length mirror resting against the wall, go over, take a good look at yourself, notice how great you look and feel. Spend a few more minutes just absorbing yourself in the image. Return to the room nice and relaxed. Back this up in your thoughts through the day, just returning to this positive visualisation as often as you can and have fun with it!

The power of positive eating

When we think about our diet we should think about it as a long term way of eating. Eating little and often will help maintain a good energy balance and boost your metabolic rate. Five smaller meals or snacks a day, with no longer than four hours between each one.

Keeping a food diary of how you feel and what you eat will help you to see a consistent pattern. If preparing five healthy meals sounds daunting, try juicing some fruit and vegetable combinations for elevenses and afternoon snack. Blending avocados, with the extracted juice makes an excellent and balanced snack. The good fats and amino acids will sustain you until the next meal, post work out protein smoothies can be made with yoghurt and fruit juices, nuts can be added to make delicious and nutritious options.

If you’re due to go on holiday, a juice cleanse is a fantastic way to shed unwanted pounds, help the body to function well and give a beautiful glow to your skin.

Hydration is an important factor in the process of weight reduction, be sure to keep topped up, especially if you have upped your training. Try and drink an extra half a litre (in addition to your normal daily intake), per half an hour of exercise and you will notice an increase in your energy levels.

The power of movement

Move your body into a healthier state, realise your daily chores are another excellent way of being active. From walking the dog, playing with the kids, to digging the garden, the lighter evenings of summer mean we can enjoy these outdoor activities for longer and burn even more calories.

Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk the escalators instead of standing, ride your bike to work. All these will have a massive impact on your weekly calorie expenditure. Balanced home and gym work outs, combining cardiovascular and resistance training will add structure to your training week. I recommend three times a week, with a day off in-between each work out.

Remember consistency is the key to success here so keep a training log to monitor your results and your body stats, to help keep you motivated. Taking measurements of your body is always a truer indication than weighing yourself on the scales as your weight can increase with muscle mass, this can be misleading as weight fluctuations are not an accurate representation of body fat percentage fluctuations.

Success is a measurement of effort, the more effort you put in the more successful you'll be!!

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