Vacations and spring breaks are coming up just around the corner. Soon it will be time to shed our winter coats and grab our bathing suits and flip-flops. That means that now is the perfect time to prepare your body and mind for vacation.
Although there is not much time left, crash diets, juice cleanses and extreme exercises are not the way to go. These unhealthy practices will have few positive effects and could result in physical injury and undue stress. Instead, try some of these healthy tips to get your mind and body ready for the beach.
Avoid food and beverages that cause bloating
Bloating can easily make someone look like they are carrying a few extra pounds. Avoid foods that cause gas like beans and broccoli.
These foods require the stomach to release gas to break them down in the digestive track that causes the stomach to fill with extra air. Foods with high levels of sodium can also cause bloating by forcing the body to retain water. Alcohol can also lead to bloating by irritating the stomach lining and forcing the stomach to release more gas to break down food.
Train with high intensity intervals
High intensity interval training is perfect for anyone with a busy schedule. Some HIIT exercise routines can take less than ten minutes and are more effective than longer endurance workouts.
A 2011 study by the American College of Sports Medicine reported two weeks of high intensity intervals can help improve your aerobic capacity as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training. HIIT also boosts your body’s fat burning capacity and can cause the body to burn fat for up to 24 hours after the workout.
Eat enough calories
Women should not consume less than 1200 calories and men should not consume less than 1500 calories in a day. If your body is not getting enough energy through calorie consumption, it will store calories by slowing down your metabolism, causing your body to retain fat.
Drink lots of water! This will help you keep hydrated, which will give you more energy, make you feel fuller and help you recover from workouts.
Pump some iron
Add lifting weights to your daily exercise routine to burn extra calories and help tone muscles. Lifting weights will also help your muscles burn extra calories throughout the day. If you are new to weight lifting, start with just a couple days a week of weight training with a low weight. This will prevent injury to muscles and soreness.
Skipping breakfast leads to hunger later in the day, which could cause you to curb your hunger by eating unhealthy snacks. Start your day off with a healthy breakfast of at least 300 calories to give you the energy and fuel you need to make it through your day.
Find a suit that flatters your figure
Confidence is one of the most important factors when it comes to looking good on the beach. Find a suit that accents your best features, this will prevent you from feeling self-conscious on the beach and help you relax.
Control your expectations
Weight loss and toned muscles do not come overnight or after just one workout. Be patient! Prepare yourself for not having your ideal body ready by beach time.
On another note, try not to build up your expectations of a perfect vacation too much. Your flight might be delayed, it might rain on one of your beach days or you could forget that book you’ve been dying to read. Things happen so prepare for a variety of situations to avoid disappointment.
Leave work at home
This is your vacation! So do not bring all the stress of school or work with you. Check in with your colleagues at work, but do not be on call 24/7. Leaving stressors behind will help you rejuvenate and return to the office or campus more driven and focused.
Molly Dutmers is a junior communication major at Wake Forest University from Chicago. Molly is currently the editor-in-chief of the Old Gold & Black, Wake Forest’s student newspaper. When she isn’t writing or editing, Molly is spending time with her two dogs, Lulu May Georgina and Sparky Eugene Xavier.