The summer months are fast approaching and the numbers on the thermometer are gradually beginning to climb. Soon it will be time to shed those warmer clothes and put on something that’s going to show a little skin. If you’re one of those who dread the first day of summer, bikini season, or that warmer time of the year when everything you put on will emphasize those parts of your anatomy that are better left hidden, then you’re not alone.
There are lots of people who are afraid of the jelly belly, jiggling thighs, or even the “second hand bye-bye” as the Chinese call it. So as soon as the winter months begin to warm up they start a rigorous workout in hopes of shedding the extra pounds that may have helped to keep them warm all winter.
The problem is that when summer arrives so does vacation time. That means time with family and friends, hanging out at your favorite watering hole, drinking and eating as you recall memories of the old days or making new ones. This could throw you off your schedule and you might fear putting the weight back on. The good news is that weight loss experts have some pretty helpful advice on how to tow the line even when you’re not on full blast. Consider the comments made by Fitness Expert Jillian Michaels,
EXERCISE! Even if you overindulge a little, you’ll stave off weight gain by exercising daily. Second, I would say that you should eat the foods you want, but in moderation. Have a bite of cheesecake, for example, but don’t eat the whole slice. Be smart about your indulgences too – don’t waste your calories.
While you can get off your routine a bit, exercise can keep your body in balance so that you don’t lose complete control at the expense of all the work you’ve done over the past few months.
When You’re Away From the Gym
The great thing about exercise is that you don’t really need access to the gym to get a good workout. There are some very practical steps you can take to make absolutely sure that you get a chance to get your “burn” in. For example, consider using the stairways instead of the elevators if possible. Imagine how many calories you’ll burn if your hotel room is on the 20th floor! You’ll even burn a bunch of calories on your walk down as well. Even if you’re not in a hotel, choose high-altitude tourist spots that require you to put forth some effort to get to your destination.
Take Walking Tours
If you’re visiting a new city, instead of taking advantage of taxis, buses, or rental cars, rent a bike instead to get you around or better yet, do your sightseeing by going on walking tours around the city. If you’re staying in a hotel, check with the concierge for a map of the walking tours in your location. He’ll be able to point you to safe routes where little or no crime exists. Make sure you bring the right kind of shoes though. Walking tours can be quite exhausting and you don’t want to try one in a pair of stilettos; you can be cute from the ankle up.
Join Your Kids
If you really want to get a good calorie burn, spend time with your kids and do the things they want to do. Kids love pool time and you’d be amazed at how many calories you can burn playing in a swimming pool, or at the beach. The Pritikin Longevity Center makes these suggestions about what you can do with your kids,
Make sure you have some calorie-burning fun with the kids too. Play “Marco Polo” in the pool. Go bike riding. Shoot hoops. Pick up sea shells on the sea shore. Warm up those decades-old-but-you-never-lose-’em ping pong skills. Chances are, you’ll have as much fun (maybe even more!) as the little ones.
Whatever you plan to do, make sure that you balance it out with physical activity and you are able to keep those excess pounds from jumping back on your bones whenever they have the chance.
Try Something New
It’s great to book a vacation in a nice hotel with easy access to a spa or a gym, but vacations should be about new experiences. Everyone heads to the gym for fun but consider learning something new for a change. Instead of running downstairs and waiting your turn on the treadmill, try taking a salsa dancing class. Instead of lying on the beach and soaking up the sun, take a surfing class, and instead of spending time in a theater, try your hand at kickboxing or Tae Bo. The goal is to choose activities that will get your heart rate up and keep it up for an extended period of time. You’ll not only keep the calories down but you’ll definitely have more fun at the same time; it’s a win-win end game.
Resist the Temptation to Sleep In
Of course, it’s only natural to think of sleeping in when you’re on vacation. After all, it is a time of indulgences, no one wants to hit an alarm clock every morning when they’re on vacation. Nevertheless, if you have the right mindset you won’t see early rising as a chore. It’s all about “mind over mattress.” You can gain a lot from getting up with the sun or before. Consider the advice given by personal fitness trainer Tara Zimliki,
Wake up early to start your day the right way and go for a run or swim. I always run while on vacation because it is a great way to explore and see the sights. When I vacation close to a beach or on a resort that is where I run, and it feels great to challenge myself and explore a new area.
This method is also great if you’re vacationing with a group that is not concerned about fitness. They won’t be irritated by your efforts to stay fit.
On average, a person can gain as much as six pounds while on vacation. Why lose all of your hard work by throwing it away? You can avoid all of that simply by learning how to incorporate a little movement into your vacation time.