Get Your Fit OnJanuary 17, 2013
Feeling flabby after the holidays? Thanks for asking. Why, yes, we sure are. How ‘bout you? All that, well, all that everything we consumed and imbibed everywhere we went every chance we got from Thanksgiving to New Year’s finally caught up with us.
But now it’s a new day, a new month, a New Year, and we’re finally ready to get back to our fighting weight (and width). Summer’s only a few months away, and Spring Break and President’s Day Weekend are both way—way!—sooner.
So, to help us get our fit on, we turned to our favorite source: our very own Mikhail Barnett, one of the members of our crack fitness team at the resort’s Mandara Fitness Center. He shared with us these five tips for a head-to-toe fitness reboot in 2013.
Vary things up by using every piece of cardio equipment in your fitness center for your aerobic workouts: Create a changeable routine so you can burn a total of, say, 500 calories on some combo of time spent on the treadmill, the elliptical, the stair climber, the recumbent bike, etc., and not just all on one piece. We can even shock our bodies into slimming down further with a fitness regiment that incorporates weights into cardio exercises.
2. Weight Training
First off, remember that the body needs 10 to 15 minutes to warm up before it starts burning fat, so take time for a little active stretching or cardio before jumping into a weight routine. As for the weights themselves, how you lift all depends on your goal: If you want to simply strengthen but not necessarily bulk up, keep your reps low, under five; if you’re looking to really increase endurance, think high reps, more like 13 to 20; and if you want to maximize the enlargement of your muscle mass, keep the number in between, between six and 12—and then just set the weight you lift accordingly, so you can complete that number of reps across two or three sets.
3. Eating Right
Plain and simple, go for a diet that’s high in lean protein and low in fat and carbohydrates. From there, make sure you eat—and eat right and in proper portions—every three hours, grabbing three small snacks between the three main meals of the day. This will actually increase the rate you burn food (as fuel), as opposed to storing it (as fat).
4. Drinking Better:
Water and plenty of it is the first secret here: Studies show that people who drink one to two cups of water before meals tend to eat 76 to 90 calories fewer at every sitting. As for soft drinks, soda and other sugary substances, they’re best avoided—as you know—especially in large quantities, but coffee may not be as bad for you as you think it is, with research showing drinking it in moderation can have all sorts of health benefits. As for alcohol, you don’t need us to tell you not to overdo it, but if you do let yourself go, just be prepared to work it off at the gym the next day (or, let’s be honest, the day after the next day).
5. Thinking Outside the Box
There are so many ways to stay in shape. Don’t think of fitness as just for the gym, the running track, the ball field or the pool. Rev up your routine by changing it up: Climb a mountain, take up beach volleyball, join a kickboxing team. Open your body and mind to different ways of getting fit, and find the one you love. At the end of the day, all we have to do is stay active. After all: A body in motion tends to stay in motion!