Sunday, March 9, 2008

Top 3 Fitness Tips: Get lean & mean for swim suit season

It's Spring Break season here in Florida and it's time to awaken the hybernating fitness god or goddess. So you may have packed on a few winter points- had too many deviled eggs or an extra bottle or two of champagne. It isn't hard to get your body into rock hard shape. It just takes an hour a day, a revised grocery shopping list and some mindfulness to get your body into a rockin' shape.

1. Cardio, Cardio, Cardio!!

Aim for an hour of cardio every day. It can be any form you want but it must be intense and sustained cardio that keeps your target heart rate up around 85 percent of your max. (A quick way to calculate your target heart rate is to take 220 minus your age and multiply by .85. This is not perfect but is a basic enough equation to get you in the ballpark. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, you can determine your heart rate by counting your pulse for 6 seconds and multiplying that number by 10.)

2. Do Split Training

Try to do your exercise first thing in the morning. And -- if you can -- go for another round of cardio later in the day This is called split training and is another secret to dropping pounds.

If your main goal is to look slim and trim, stick with basic body-weight exercises such as crunches, planks, lunges and squats. Really put your focus on aerobic activity this week. It's all about sweating.

If, however, you’re a guy who wants to pump up his chest and arms, certainly go ahead and hit the iron, too. To get an extra bang for your buck, do circuit training and skip the rest breaks so you keep your heart rate up. For added oomph, do 50 push-ups every day (not necessarily all in a row).

3. Watch the calories

The wrong diet can easily undo the calorie burn from all that cardio. To see the quick results of your hard work eat a diet rich in veggies, veggies and more veggies, plus lean protein such as white fish or salmon.

Start out with a boiled egg, a glass of grapefruit juice and a bowl of high fiber cereal that is low in sugar. For lunch have veggie lasagna or grilled fish/chicken with veggies and a small side of brown rice. For dinner go light- eat a spinach salad with grilled fish/chicken and at least 5 colorful raw veggies and fruit (peppers, tomatoes, carrots, papaya, pears, apples).

*If you can wake up hungry- hit the gym and eat after- you'll have burnt calories while you were sleeping.

4. Visualize your inner fitness god or goddess.

Every other day you take 30 minutes or longer to sit still by yourself with zero interruptions. Simply stretch, breathe and be. Clear your mind of all current congestion and future fears and fill it with presence, strength, acceptance and grace.

Repeat in your mind words that represent the amazing person you are. This process is vital, so don't skip it. Leave the world alone for just 30 minutes and, trust me, this last one makes the other three work!!

Have a question about your fitness regime?

Want to learn more about how to get into spring break shape?

For a free health consultation feel free to email ( or call
Melissa Gallagher at 727-954-8968.

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