Winter days are long and gloomy. And as the snow falls, our motivation to be active and willpower to get off the couch seem to follow in its path. To escape from the frigid cold, we hibernate at home and only venture out when we really have to. Before you know it, this dreary season has completely taken over your body both mentally and physically. It’s been weeks (maybe even months) since you last exercised and no, the 10 slushy steps you take to and from your car don’t count. While hiding under oversized sweaters, baggy sweatpants and a down jacket might help hide the truth, pretty soon the snow will begin melting and those layers will start peeling off. Whether you want to believe it or not, June is only 4 - yes FOUR - months away! In a flash, you could be sitting poolside, cracking open a nice cold brew and wishing you had started working on your summer body just a few months earlier.
With the warmest season racing in without notice, mid-February/beginning of March is the perfect time to get going. The goal is to be beach-bod ready by the end of April -- hey, you never know when the first scorcher might be!
Without seeing the sun and feeling the heat, it can be hard to stay incentivized. Struggling to get in the zone while there’s a blizzard outside? Totally get it. Here’s how to break free of your lazy winter habits and welcome summer with open (and toned) arms!
New Year’s resolutions back in action
Most of us had the same resolution coming into 2017 -- but have we stuck with it? Chances are, your goal to get in shape began to dissolve around the end of January, and hasn’t picked back up since. Well, now’s the time! With the perfect amount of leeway prior to bikini season, it’s the ideal time to hop on the stairmaster and lift some weights. Dropping 10 pounds and getting back that 6 pack won’t happen in a month. With time, you will begin to lunge your way into achieving all of your fitness goals!
From month to month
End of February: Ease into your fitness routine with simple cardio workouts and an updated lifestyle plan. Adding fruits and veggies into your everyday diet is a simple and effective way to begin to look better, and consequently, feel better. By eating healthy, you will feel refreshed and energized, giving you the proper motivation to hit the gym!
Beginning of March: Now that you’ve been going to the gym 2-3 times per week, it’s time to kick things into high gear. You should start making your way there 4-5 times per week and truly cut out all sugars and sweets from your food intake. It’s very important to keep a balanced diet at this stage -- the food that you eat, and the amount, plays a large role in your weight loss and fitness progression.
End of March: Finally entering Spring, feeling healthy and happy! Don’t let the couple dropped pounds get to your head -- you still have a ways to go! Start moving from fast-paced cardio workouts, to ab and leg repetitions. Focus on every part of your body that you want to truly tone.
Beginning of April: You’ve almost made it! You said you wanted to be in shape by this time and it’s now the moment of truth. If you’re not where you hoped you’d be, don’t get discouraged. Turn that frustration into motivation.You’ve come so far and can’t give up now. The beginning of this month is to reflect on the past few weeks, put it all into perspective, and keep pushing harder!
End of April: By now, you’re a champion! You can lift 50 pound weights like they’re nothing and even run for a half hour on the treadmill, barely breaking a sweat. The gym has become a routine part of your day and missing a day no longer seems like a tempting option. Leading into the prime summer months, you will need to continue on your health streak and remain an avid fitness guru. By setting more and more goals for yourself, you will be in constant competition with yourself, always proving that you can go the extra mile to look and feel better than you ever could’ve imagined.
If you get off the couch and change things up now, you will see the results you want by late spring. By then, your lifestyle change will reward you with a pat on the back and a free pass to indulge in some of your guilty pleasures. The countdown is on until summer -- will you be ready?