We’re coming up on that time of the year when people make that second round of resolutions after the ones from New Years have failed. All the winter holidays are over and we’re getting spring fever…or at least hopeful spring will come and so will summer. But that can only mean one thing-summer clothes: shorts, short sleeve shirts and swimsuits! Listen closely and you’ll start to hear everyone talk about getting their “summer body” ready. That’s weird. I live in mine all year long! In fact, I want to be healthy and fit all the time, not just for a season.
People are ramping up the pressure on themselves once again to get a certain look. But what are they really doing to create a healthy body to live in? What if instead of looking to sculpt a body for a swimsuit, they create a body that will allow them to enjoy more days? The goal should be health, a vibrant life, heck, the ability to swim and enjoy summer without needing a day of rest from your day of play!
Should You Diet for a Summer Body or Healthy Body?
The strategy most people have for this new summer body (I wonder what will happen in September…) is two-fold. First, diet and weight loss. The key for most people is to lose weight, then they’ll be happy with their body. They pay too much attention to the number on the scale. But what if your body isn’t prepared to let go of the weight? Maybe the weight is there because of an underlying condition you aren’t aware of. You need to know what the roadblocks to weight loss could be.
If you take the time to get healthy, often the weight comes off too. One thing to be sure of, there are plenty of unhealthy ways to lose the weight. Some people try diets like keto when their body isn’t ready. And plenty of consequences due to the spiral you put your body into when you go about it the wrong way. If you’ve been around for any period of time, you know how we feel about that one!
How to Exercise for a Summer Body
The second part of the strategy is exercise. Oh, there is no one more motivated than a person with a shiny new gadget to keep track of the calories they burn with their new gym membership card and squeaky-clean running shoes! But is that the best strategy for your body? Have you prepared your body to run miles on an elliptical and lift massive amounts of weights and lunge the length of the gym? On the first day. Without proper instruction. Maybe it’s time to slow the roll a little bit and consider what we are asking our bodies to do.
First of all, remember that step one above? Are you fueling your body appropriately? You wouldn’t expect a jet to fly you across the country with the same fuel you put into the family mini-van. That is one quick way to cause more harm than good to the body you are trying to show off.
Exercising incorrectly can not only hurt muscles, joints and other structural parts of your body, but it can cause those hormones to tank pretty quickly too. You would hate for your body to think you are running from danger and cause a fight or flight response when you are just trying to get into those tricky preset rhythms of the step machine.
The mistake most people make with exercising is either jumping in too fast and too hard or not getting started at all. Maybe start by taking those new shoes for a walk, or better yet, get the family involved in a dance party. I’m sure you’ve got some slick moves that are sure to make the kids jealous. Figure out the best way for your body to exercise. That may take a little guidance. From someone who knows about both fitness and health. Want to know more about what fitness is? Check out our article on it!
Hopefully you are motivated, not to get a certain look for a short season, but to start a healthy lifestyle. For all of life!
Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn