Getting fit for the summer isn’t as complicated as you might think. If you want to get your body right for the beach or other summer destinations, follow these 10 summer fitness tips.
1. Focus On More Than Abs
The six-pack may be the centerpiece, but to really impress people, focus on working your entire body, including the chest, back, shoulders, arms, and yes, even your legs.
2. Weights First in the Gym
Performing weight training first will ensure you’re strongest when you lift. Plus, it depletes your glycogen storages, so when you do cardio your body will be more likely to burn body fat for energy, helping you get leaner faster than if you did cardio first.
3. Up The Intensity With Giant Sets
Giant sets mean performing at least four different exercises in a row without resting. An example would be Squats followed by Leg Presses, Leg Curls and Calf Raises. Giant sets make your workouts more intense, reduce the amount of time you train and confer a cardiovascular benefit. One word of caution: You might not be as strong with lifts in a giant set as you would be doing them individually, so leave your ego at the door.
RELATED: The Lifts That Build Muscle and Burn Fat Fastest
4. HIIT Cardio
High Intensity Interval Training has been shown to burn more calories during and after training than low intensity steady state cardio. It also takes less time. A 20-minute HIIT session can replace a 30- to 35-minute low intensity session. Check out the video player above for an HIIT cardio workout.
5. Keep Water Intake High
If you’re even 2 percent dehydrated, you can suffer serious performance issues in the gym. Plus, water plays a major role in all bodily functions. If it ain’t working right, it won’t look right. Eight glasses a day is a minimum. Since you’re training and it’s warmer in the summer, go for a gallon a day.
6. Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be your summer secret weapon. Containing medium chain tryglycerides (fatty acids of medium length), it helps with brain health, improves energy levels and decreases appetite. Applying topical coconut oil can serve as sunscreen while improving moisture of the skin.
RELATED: Athletic Performance Properties of Coconut Oil
7. Protein First For the Win
Eating protein in your meals helps regulate blood sugar, provides nitrogen for the brain and allows muscles to take in the amino acids they need to recover from training, which means you won’t lose much (or any) muscle mass when you’re trying to drop weight.
8. Shop the Outer Aisles of the Grocery Store
Have you ever noticed that the healthiest foods—like meats, produce and dairy products—are not found in the aisles but around the perimeter of your local grocery store? Keep this in mind when you’re shopping, because shopping in these sections will be best for your health, development and even your wallet.
It’s not just about what you eat but also how you process it. Taking a probiotic supplement every day will help your digestive system break down the foods you eat properly so you know nothing your body needs will be wasted or spared as fat.
10. Focus on Fiber
Protein, carbs and healthy fats are all important, but fiber intake is also something you need to take seriously this summer. Aside from promoting heart health and aiding digestion, foods rich in fiber make you feel full, so you tend to eat less per meal.
RELATED: 7 Fiber Supplements: More Than Just For Weight Loss