With summer quickly upon us, and temperatures in the Valley already hitting the high 90’s, here are some tips to help you feel confident and look fabulous this summer.
PERFORM SIDE PLANKS, DAILY
For a stronger, more well-defined core incorporate the Side Plank. The Side Plank is the safest and most effective core-strengthening exercise. The Side Plank primarily targets the oblique muscles on each side of the body. To lose the “love handles” you have to work the obliques. However, this is a full-body exercise that also trains the muscles in your hips, chest, and shoulders. The lumbar spine is designed for stability, not mobility, so repeated moving of the vertebrae in ways they are not designed (as in ab crunches) can predispose you to back pain and possibly even lead to injury, such as a herniated disc.
There are plenty of Side Planks variations to meet everyone’s needs. The Side Plank can be challenging for both the beginner and the athlete. For example, the Side Plank can be made easier by bending and keeping the knees on the floor, or it can be made more challenging by performing a Side Plank with leg lift or you can incorporate a Side Plank Knee to Elbow Crunch, or Side Plank Rotations – performing a side plank on one side, then a regular forward facing plank, then a side plank on the other side. Here are a few examples:
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT (Literally)
Studies show that when people ate unhealthy food in front of a mirror, they consumed about ⅓ less of that food. This is because looking at yourself while eating a food you know you shouldn’t be eating causes psychological discomfort. By placing a mirror in front of you as you eat, you can break bad eating habits and strengthen positive eating habits. Watching yourself eat the healthier option can feel good, be satisfying and motivating.
LET GO OF CARBS
Cutting out processed and starchy carbohydrates from your diet can help you control cravings, cut sodium levels, and help you stay away from unnecessary preservatives which can lead to water retention and bloating. Take a look at the ingredients of the foods you eat. If it contains an abundance of ingredients, especially ones you cannot pronounce, try and stay clear of it. Find out what fruits and vegetables are in season for a guilt-free snack.
DRINK MORE WATER AND LESS ALCOHOL
Assess how much alcohol you consume every week and try to identify days or instances where you can cut back. Decreasing the amount of alcohol you consume will help you reduce the number of calories you consume. Believe it or not, an easy way to get rid of excess water weight is to drink lots of water. You should aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day to stay hydrated and increase your fat-burning potential.
STAND UP TALL
An easy trick to look up to 10 pounds thinner is as simple as changing your posture. By slumping over, you appear shorter and wider. Standing up straight and engaging your core does more than just change your appearance, it can help relieve headaches, back pain, and help minimize the degeneration of the disks, joints, and cartilage.
Best in health,