Summer Body Inspiration: How Exercise Can Make You Feel More Body Confident
If you read gossip magazines, or you’re a fan of social media, you may have noticed an influx of pictures of celebrities on holiday. When it’s vacation time, most of us step up our pursuit of a beautiful bikini body. Are you after toned abs, muscular shoulders or an hourglass figure? Whatever your dream body shape, this guide will help you to feel more confident on the beach in no time.
The benefits of exercise
It’s tough to know where to start when it comes to extolling the benefits of exercise. Exercise has advantages for almost every body system you can imagine. It also provides excellent benefits for your mental health.
Physical benefits of exercise
Working out or playing sport regularly is the best way to boost your physical health. When your body is working, your circulation improves and this helps to lower your blood pressure. Exercise also reduces cholesterol and lowers your risk of developing heart disease or suffering from a stroke. Exercise also increases your strength and stamina. You’ll feel stronger, and you’ll notice that you can do more without getting tired or breathless. Regular physical activity also cuts your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and many forms of cancer. You can also reduce your risk of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis by working out more frequently.
Psychological benefits of exercise
You may be aware that exercise is a powerful natural stress-buster; but, it also has many other benefits for your mental health. People who work out regularly are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Exercise is also proven to boost self-esteem and make you feel more positive. When you engage in physical activity, your body releases endorphins, and your serotonin levels rise, which lifts your mood and makes you feel happier instantly.
Many of us are concerned about the way we look. We live in a world dominated by the media, and we’re exposed to images of perfect bodies every day. It can be tough to measure up, and we often put pressure on ourselves. Exercise can help us to feel more confident. It can also enable us to get the body we want. If you put in the hard work, you too can have a six pack or beautifully toned curves.
Choosing the right form of exercise
Most people assume that getting ready for vacation involves toning up and slimming down. But not everyone wants to lose weight in the summer. At the moment, curves are enjoying a revival, and many of us are embracing our womanly physique in perfect time for vacation season. If you’re not blessed with natural curves, there are ways of shaping your body. Likewise, if you’re a champion of the ‘strong not skinny’ motto, you may be looking to build muscle rather than decrease your body mass.
Whether you want to slim down, put on weight or build muscle mass, it’s wise to do some research. Find out what you can do to achieve your ideal body shape. Of course, it’s impossible to change genetics, but there are ways you can enhance your natural shape.
Are you aiming to lose weight before an exotic holiday? If so, the best way to do this is to moderate your calorie intake and increase the amount of exercise you do. Weight loss comes down to a basic equation: if you use more energy than you take in, you’ll lose weight. If you consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. Try and balance the books and you’ll notice a difference rapidly. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, and you want results quickly, try intensive aerobic workouts. High-intensity interval training is an effective means of burning fat fast. It’s always important to listen to your body, though, and don’t try any extreme or crash diets. You’ll only gain the weight and more back later.
If you’re a healthy, stable weight, but you feel a little jiggly around the edges, you may be looking to tone up. Exercise is your best bet for toning the abs and banishing “bat wings” and bra bulge. If you’re looking to tone up, introduce weights into your training regime. Many people may worry about lifting weights; but you won’t automatically gain broad shoulders or bulging biceps. If you do the right exercises, you’ll simply improve your muscle tone and create more definition. Try and combine resistance and weight training with cardiovascular exercises for the best results. Activities, which strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility are also excellent for toning. Why not join a yoga or Pilates class or try some online workouts?
If you’re proud of your curves and you want to enhance your feminine figure, there are various exercises you can try. If you’re focusing on your thighs and buttocks, squats are a great place to start. Try and increase the number of reps in your workout as you get fitter and stronger. Lunges and side lifts are also fantastic for toning the buttocks and creating more definition in the legs. Check out http://www.hipsandbum.com for more ideas.
If you’ve recently started exercising, you may be enjoying it and noticing amazing results. But what happens when the novelty wears off and the impact becomes less obvious? If you’re not used to exercising, you may find that lose weight quickly to begin with. You might also notice incredible changes in your fitness levels or your body shape. But results are harder to maintain once you’re in the swing of a training regime. This is why it’s so important to maintain motivation.
In the summer when the sun is shining, it’s great to be outdoors, working out and enjoying flaunting the results of regular workouts. But if you’re tired, you feel under the weather or its freezing, workouts may not be so appealing. Try and focus on the reasons you want to exercise. Have you got a target weight in mind? Are you going on holiday and you’re desperate to feel comfortable in your swimsuit? Are you working towards an ideal image in your head? Are you preparing for a special occasion, such as your wedding? Or are you simply eager to feel more body confident? If your enthusiasm levels dip, think about the countless benefits of exercise you could enjoy. Exercise your willpower, and give yourself a little pep talk. Think about how pleased you’ll be when you’ve completed your workout, and you feel amazing.
If you do the same workout all the time, it can get tiresome, so switch things up. Add weight training to a cardio session. Swap a normal gym workout for a spin class. Get out and about and try something new. Go climbing or take some friends on a bike ride. Try circuit training or join a team and start playing soccer, hockey or netball once a week. If you keep things fresh, you’re less likely to get bored. Mixing up activities also ensures you get a full body workout. For more training tips, visit http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/tips/.
Treat yourself when you’ve been working hard or you’ve reached a target. Get that dress you’ve wanted for ages, or enjoy a pampering session at the spa. Keep setting yourself new goals.
Getting the best out of your workouts
Anyone can go to the gym and say they’ve worked really hard. But have you really given your all in every session? Are you getting the most out of every single workout? To maximize results, make sure you warm up properly before every workout. It’s essential to prepare your muscles, and you’ll also reduce your risk of injury. Stay hydrated throughout the session and push yourself. If you know you can go harder, do it. Make sure you increase the intensity as you get fitter. Set goals and give it your all. After you’ve exercised, cool down, have a drink of water and take time to rest. Don’t overload your body. If you overtrain, you’ll increase your risk of injury. Leave at least 24 hours between intense workouts. It’s always a good idea to have at least one day per week off. If you want to exercise every day, alternate gym sessions with activities like Pilates or swimming.
If you don’t feel well, or you’ve got an injury, don’t try and push through the pain barrier. If you overexert yourself, you may make the situation worse. Put your feet up and come back the next day. If you’re worried about a potential injury, get it checked out before you resume training.
Most of us are aware that exercise can help to reduce the risk of serious illnesses. But did you realize that it can also have incredible benefits for your self-confidence? With vacations approaching, you may be feeling a little apprehensive about running around in a bikini on the beach; but don’t be. If you want to tone up, define your muscles or get rid of a few pounds, you can! Exercise is accessible to everyone. It may seem daunting at first; but once you start, you’ll really enjoy it. You can’t help but notice positive changes in your mindset as well as your physical appearance. Work hard, focus on your goals, and you’ll feel more confident in no time at all.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!