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25 Ways to Get Ready for Swimsuit Season

Girl in bikini at beach with closeup of abdomen

Improve Your Posture

Good posture is the quickest, easiest way to look better — and several pounds thinner — in your favorite bikini.  Slouching takes inches off your height and makes your tummy look rounder. Practice good posture by keeping your back straight and your shoulders back. Distribute your weight evenly on both hips. Your body, and your reflection, will thank you.

Woman exercising on beach

Start Moving

In the weeks before swimsuit season, aim to move your body more. “It’s like putting pennies in a piggy bank,” says Pamela Peeke, MD, author ofBody for Life for Women. “Every single piece of physical activity adds up.” So turn on some music and dance. Try a Zumba class. Use the stairs at work. Every ounce of sweat will bring you closer to your goal.

Woman doing pushup on knees

Toning Timesaver: Push-Ups

To help get your body bikini-ready, “why not multitask?” suggests Peeke. “Push-ups are my No. 1 favorite because you can hit six muscles at once: biceps, triceps, deltoids, pecs, abs, and gluteals.” Start with a bent-knee push-up, and have a trainer watch once to check your form. If you have a medical condition, get a doctor’s OK before starting a new exercise program.

Midsection of woman doing squats

Toning Timesaver: Squats

For the butt and thighs, Peeke recommends squats. A simple way to do these is to squat against a wall or an exercise ball, into an invisible chair. Keep your feet hip-width apart, and squeeze your abs to avoid arching your back. As you become stronger, you can hold dumbbells to increase the intensity. Aim for 3 sets of 6-12 repetitions.

Note: If any exercise doesn’t feel right, stop and check with a fitness pro.  Depending on your condition, some exercises may not be recommended.

Woman in bikini rowing boat

Toning Timesaver: Rows

Rows are terrific for beginners hoping to exercise their arms and back. You’ll need resistance bands or cables. Sit with your knees slightly bent and your back vertical. Gently lean forward to grasp the cable. Exhale when pulling backwards. To go forward, inhale and extend your elbows. Do 2-3 sets of 6-12 reps.

Woman doing deadlift with weights

Toning Timesaver: Deadlifts

Deadlifts help tone the whole body, particularly the back, butt, and legs. You’ll need a barbell or dumbbells to do this one. Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width. Keep the weights close to your body as you lift them off the ground. Be sure to raise your shoulders and hips together, and avoid arching your back. Technique is important, so you may want to get some pointers from a trainer. Do one set of 8-12 reps.

Women doing pilates with trainer

Toning Timesaver: Pilates

Peeke is a fan of Pilates because it strengthens the core of your body: your back and abs. Can’t get to class? Try a classic pose similar to the one shown here in your home. Lie on the floor and gently lift your legs and arms. Beginners should keep the knees bent and the arms parallel to the floor. As you become more advanced, aim to straighten your legs. Holding this pose will tighten the muscles in your back and tummy simultaneously.

Three thick-cut Potato chips

Cut Calories

“You could do crunches ’til the cows come home, but still have a belly,” Peeke says, “unless you rein in your calories.” Skipping the fries in favor of a low-calorie fruit or veggie side dish is an easy way to start. Substantial benefits can come from cutting way back on refined carbohydrates: white bread, white pasta, white rice, and, of course, sugar. These foods “wreak havoc on your appetite.”

 

Atlantic salmon on spinach

Fill Up on Protein

Foods that are high in protein or fiber can actually help slow the digestive process. The result is that your stomach feels full longer and sends a message to your brain that you don’t need to eat more. You get more satisfaction with fewer calories.

Close-up of salad in a bowl

Be Picky About Salad

Salads can fill you up and help you resist more fattening meals. But remember that not all salads are low in calories. Dressings, oils, croutons, bacon bits, and cheese add a lot of additional calories and fat. For a low-fat, nutritious salad, stick with vibrant vegetables, such as spinach and peppers.

Grocery basket filled with vegetables and fruits

Reduce Bloating: Boost Fiber

Besides curbing your appetite, fiber can prevent that archenemy of the bikini-clad: constipation and bloating. By keeping you regular, a high-fiber diet may help your tummy look flatter. Just be careful about adding too much too quickly. Some high-fiber foods, such as beans, can make bloating worse at first. Other sources of fiber include veggies, fruits, and whole grains.

Spilled salt shaker

Reduce Bloating: Skip the Salt

“Salt makes you bloat like a blowfish,” Peeke warns. And the puffiness can last for days — not a good thing when you’re planning to debut your new bikini. Cut back on salt by eating fresh foods instead of canned. Ask for the sauce on the side when you eat out. Another way to reduce bloating is to eat smaller meals throughout the day.

Beer in glass

 

 

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Categories: Health

Author:Tamisha Monet

Fashion Editor (iStyleFashionBeauty.com) Tamisha Monet calls Oakland home as a Bay Area native but resides in Houston. She's a staff writer for The Rouge Collection magazine, in their Beauty and Style department. She is the art contributor for the West Coast division of F.A.M.E. The Experience magazine. In the blogosphere, she’s worked with Vogue, Lexus, True Religion and more. She works as a Business Life Coach for various fashion and beauty start-ups through her company iStyle Fashion and Beauty Society.

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