Winter is here, but don’t get too cosy because summer is already creeping up on us! It’s important to remember that change takes time. Quick fixes and summer crash diets are often unsafe and ineffective in the long run. It is advisable to take some time out to run through some goals with a fitness professional and take time doing some research. Make sure you have a clear plan to follow and a deadline of when you want to achieve the goal. Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and have a clear Timeline. Being organised and disciplined will play a big role in getting your summer body through the winter. Most people leave it too late to get in the best shape they can and fail year upon year to see much change. Start working on that beach now and remember, it’s a consistency and patience game… and nutrition is your biggest weapon in this battle.

GOOD, CLEAN EATING: If you are looking to lose weight or build lean muscle, your diet is the first place to start. Make sure you are eating the right foods to support your fitness goals. Cooking ahead and in advance will stop the likelihood of buying poor foods on the way home from work and putting something together in a rush at the end of a busy day. Try making the following changes in your daily lifestyle:

• High quality, lean protein with each meal and snack e.g. Whey Protein supplements, skinless chicken, eggs, tofu or lean beef.

• Smaller portions of low GI and veggie-based carbohydrates, such as sweet potato, butternut, oats and quinoa.

• Correctly portioned healthy fat sources with meals/snacks e.g. ¼ of an avocado, 1 tsp of natural nut butter or 1 tsp of olive oil.

• 1-2 portions of fruit and 3-5 portions of non-starchy veggies per day.

• Water intake of 2-3 litres is essential to aid normal body function and speed up metabolic rate. Everything in your body has a large percentage of water in it (Yes! Including both muscle and fat) SO DRINK MORE WATER

Remember to listen to your body and hunger signals, it’s never a good idea to force yourself to eat if you’re not hungry – just don’t skip meals to find yourself binging on unhealthy foods later! Don’t starve yourself and don’t eat to feed your emotions and cravings, KEEP YOUR BODY SUFFICIENTLY ENERGISED AT ALL TIMES.

PUT IN THE WORK: Exercise is an amazing way to boost cardiovascular fitness and strength while enhancing your mood at the same time! Get moving, but make sure it is something fun to keep you motivated. Involve your friends and family in your exercise routine to bump up your accountability. Join your local gym, sign up for outdoor runs or exercise classes or simply make time for some home workouts to keep your metabolic rate high! We recommend 30-60 minutes of exercise 4-5 times per week in addition to living a healthy, active lifestyle. All of your workout sessions should include a warm up, the main workout, a cool-down and stretching

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BE PROGRESSIVE: Part of getting your body to respond to your workout is putting your muscles under tension and shocking your body. However, if you’re going to stick to the same routine with no progress or changes your body is going to get used to it and stop responding to your workouts. So, when your workout starts feeling a bit too comfortable its time to make some changes, either increase the amount of reps you do, increase weight or increase your workout/session time.

SUPPLEMENT RIGHT:  Whether your goal is to lose or gain weight or simply tone up, supplements are a great way to boost your nutritional intake and enhance your progress. It’s important to remember that supplements are designed to complement a healthy eating and exercise plan, so supplements alone will not work to the fullest YOU STILL NEED TO STICK TO A GOOD DIET.

TRAINING TIME AND SCHEDULE: If your health and fitness goal is important to you then it will be part of your daily life like everything else that is important to you, we make time for what is important to us. Set your workout times and stick to them. Having a clear idea of when you will and can work-out will keep you on track and you can plan your life around this. Depending on how much you want it your workout should be prioritised into your day and week! Far too often people fall short because they allow things that can actually wait interrupt their schedule – things such as “work”, housework, meetings with friends (when they call and ask you out unplanned) and just day-to-day stuff.

FIND THE RIGHT MOTIVATION: It is great to look appealing and sexy but to see this through you will need look beyond the to keep yourself motivated. Most of your motivation should come within, always remember you doing this for you before anybody else’s thoughts and expectations. There are so many rewards to being to this lifestyle, feeling good, higher energy levels, feeling more confident, better posture, better physic, better overall health etc. So while you’re headed towards your goal, don’t forget to appreciate every single little change you experience in your journey, from feeling better to lifting heavier or running faster. Doing this will keep you going and remind you of the progress you have achieved, YOU WOULDN’T WANNA THROW THAT AWAY NOW WOULD YOU… SOO KEEP GOING

Don’t wait until the last minute to get in shape for summer, start now!

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