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Want to Get Fit for Summer? Here’s How to Do It!

When the summer months start creeping up, I see patients begin to panic about their health and fitness. Summertime means shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits, so it's no surprise that people want to lose weight and get fit. As a doctor, I'm all about setting goals for a healthier lifestyle, but if you want to set yourself up for success, you've got to be smart about the process. Here's the advice I always give my friends who want to get in shape for the summer.

Start Now!

I don't think there's a person alive who hasn't uttered the words "I'll start on Monday" - myself included. But why wait until next week or month to begin making positive changes? If you've got a desire to lose weight or build muscle (or both!), today is the day to get into action.

Manage Your Expectations

I recently came across a meme that said something to the extent of, "I don't always diet, but when I do, I expect instant and miraculous results." It's hard not to crave instant gratification when beginning a diet and exercise program, but managing expectations and setting reasonable goals are important aspects of achieving long-term fitness. Aim for 1-2 pounds of weight loss a week.

Choose Fun Ways to Burn Calories

We all know that burning calories is essential to getting healthy, but that doesn't mean you need to get up at 5 am to do dead squats (unless that's your thing!). You're much more likely to stick to something that you actually enjoy doing. Instead of watching TV in the evening, take a walk and listen to your favorite podcast. Go for a bike ride with your partner. Jump on the trampoline with your kids! Whatever makes you happy - do it! (Safely, of course).

Stay Hydrated

It's warming up, you're exercising more, and you're watching what you eat – that means it's critical that you drink enough water! Staying hydrated can curb hunger and cravings while encouraging your body to do what it needs to do to burn fat and build muscle.

Don't Fall Into the "All-or-Nothing" Trap

Have you ever been dieting and then binged on a cheeseburger or a bunch of Girl Scout cookies? When that happens, it's easy to throw in the towel and say, "Well, I blew it. I might as well keep eating like this," or "There's no point working out after eating like that." That kind of all-or-nothing mentality is not conducive to getting fit! If you "fall off the wagon," forgive yourself and commit to making better decisions going forward. Just because you ate a brownie at lunch doesn't mean you can't reap the benefits of exercise or eating an apple later on.

Make Use of Apps

There are so many cool, free apps available to help you track what you're eating and drinking and to make exercise more fun. There's really never been a more convenient time to try to get into shape!

Looking for more tips on improving your health and well-being? I've got tons of ideas! Stop by my blog often for lots of useful suggestions from your friend – Dr. G!

The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


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