Every year when summer comes around, it seems as if everyone is talking about how to get in shape for the season. That type of thinking can become toxic, especially if “getting fit for summer” means restrictive dieting.
After all, restrictive dieting is not effective in the long run. Plus, it puts people into this all-or-nothing mindset that can lead to feelings of deprivation and even result in binge eating. At the very least, restrictive dieting often leads people down a path to having a strained relationship with food and their body.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to focus on your health and wellness goals in a balanced and healthy way? This article will explain how to get fit for summer in a way that is safe and sustainable.
Define Your Goals – What Does Fit Mean to You?
Before you can embark on any new plan or lifestyle, it’s important to take a step back and think about your goals. Instead of making broad goals such as “get in shape” or “eat healthy”, this is where it’s really important to be specific. That way, you can know exactly how to approach these goals, as well as clear ways to measure your progress.
So, think about it: what does being fit mean to you?
Maybe being fit means nourishing your body with enough energy every day so you can smash that workout, or be able to have enough energy to play with your kids in the yard.
Maybe being fit means working on improving your strength and flexibility. The stronger and more flexible you are, the more you are protecting your body from injury.
Or, maybe being fit means finally getting serious about eating more fruits and vegetables so you can provide your body with a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
It may be beneficial to steer clear of goals that focus on weight loss, because there are so many reasons why it might be difficult for your body to lose weight. If your goal is weight loss above all else, it can be tricky to prioritize other really important health goals. You might even find other aspects of your health suffering if you’re ultimately not eating enough for your body, such as impaired sleep, mood swings, and anxiety.
After you’ve thought about what “fit” means to you, it’s time to hunker down and set realistic goals. The next section will explain exactly how to do so.
Set Realistic Goals, But Try to Challenge Yourself
The key to setting good goals is to set SMART goals.
SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. By ensuring your goals meet all of these criteria you will be rest-assured that the goals you have set are strategic and focused.
Let’s use the goal of getting fit as an example. This goal in and of itself is quite broad, and as a result, it’s a pretty weak goal. To get more realistic and specific, it’s important to use the SMART acronym.
Perhaps you set the goal of being able to run a 5k.
For one, this goal is both specific and measurable as it states a particular benchmark achievement. For the sake of this example, if you’re somewhat active and don’t have any injuries, let’s assume this is an achievable goal.
Next, it’s important to ask yourself if this goal is relevant. If the goal is something that feels important to you in the overall lens of being fit, then it’s relevant. Lastly, set a time limit for yourself for accountability purposes. For example, maybe you give yourself 1 month to work your way up to running a 5k.
To summarize, your SMART goal may look something like this: I will run regularly and accomplish running a 5k in 1 month from now.
Of course, that is just one example and there are infinite goals you can set for yourself. Most importantly, choose goals that are realistic and relevant, and don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Finding a way to move your body regularly is a key component to feeling your best. The body thrives off of a combination of cardio, strength, and flexibility training, so it’s a good idea to find an exercise routine that combines these aspects.
However, it’s important to consider that your mind thrives off of exercise that you feel good doing. Consider taking a dance class or even dancing around your kitchen for some feel-good movement. Maybe you love kickboxing or yoga classes, or perhaps you enjoy going on long walks with your dog.
Approaching exercise as a one-size-fits-all approach is a sure way to struggle with consistency. Rather, find movement that you enjoy doing so you’ll be excited to get your body moving.
Optimize Protein Intake
Although there are many several ways to improve your nutrition status, perhaps one of the most important considerations is to optimize your protein intake.
Protein is super important for every process in the body. It’s needed to build and repair muscles, allow for optimal metabolic function, support healthy hair and skin, and much more.
On average, most people need 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, and sometimes even more than that if someone is particularly active. This means someone weighing 175 pounds would need about 64 to 96 grams of protein daily.
However, busy lifestyles and a lack of planning can lead to inadequate protein intake. That’s why finding quick and easy ways to increase protein intake can be super helpful.
Finding ways to add in a high-quality protein powder like grass-fed whey from Naked Nutrition is a great way to boost your protein intake and ensure your needs are being met.
Simply blend 2 scoops into milk, water, or your favorite beverage for a simple way to optimize protein intake before or after a workout, or as a midday snack. You can even blend whey protein with fruits and other ingredients to make a tasty nutrient-dense smoothie for a more filling option.
When it comes to getting fit for summer, it’s important to think about specific goals. For a more sustainable and well-balanced approach, it’s best to think about goals that are sustainable and realistic.
Finding ways to exercise regularly and ensuring adequate protein intake are two key aspects of improving health and helping you feel your best.