Embrace Your Summertime Body

Dr. Clayton Lawrence, CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on overall wellness in an otherwise toxic world. (Always consult with your own physician before beginning any new diet/exercise routine).

It’s finally June! That means picnics, sunshine and, yes, swimsuits. If the thought of revealing your body after a long winter of hibernation sends you into hyper-panic mode, relax! There are plenty of things you can do to get prepared for poolside temperatures that offer benefits not only for achieving beach bod status, but that aid in overall health and wellness.

So, when you think of putting on that swimsuit, don’t focus only on your perceived problem areas. Think about the fun that comes along with summer months and the much-needed time with family and friends.

Prepare your body (and mind) for the summer months with a few of these tips in mind:

Work on your confidence

Confidence is the key to overcoming any difficult situation and for some, putting on a swimsuit can be an overwhelming experience. Changing up your workout to include regular challenges can help you feel powerful and capable, which goes a long way when it comes to self-esteem. Remember that your body is unique. It is not like every other body you see on social media (that is often altered to appear flawless). Accept your body for the amazing machine that it is, with its battle wounds and survival scars, and stop judging yourself based on what (or who) you aren’t. Work on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones and tune out the critical language that can come from the mirror. Make confidence the most important thing you wear this summer and the rest will look amazing.

Target areas

Try on your swimsuit and narrow down a few areas you’d like to work on – then make it a point to work those body parts each day. If your problem area includes your legs or butt, classic exercises that can be done just about anywhere can keep your routine simple. Try lunges, squats and squatted jumping jacks to tone up and get the heart rate going. For arms and legs, pull-ups, push-ups and tri-cep dips can firm up and create definition. Planks, sit ups and crunches work wonders on abs. Add a few of these to your circuits every day, whether first thing in the morning, at work on break or in the evening when the day is winding down and you’ll be surprised by what you can accomplish.

Eat clean

Eating clean is one of the best ways to be sure your body is getting all the nutrients and vitamins that it needs without slowing it down. When you think about food as fuel, think about foods that are homegrown or straight from the farm. Be sure your fruits and veggies have been grown free of pesticides and other chemicals. Choose from a variety of colors that offer a rainbow of vitamins and nutrients that work to keep you happy, healthy and glowing. As far as proteins go, look for meats that were grass-fed and free of antibiotics. Lean meats are best, so stay away from fatty beefs and stick with white meat chicken or fish for Omega-3 fatty acids. Adding plenty of beans and lentils to salads and soups, and munching on nuts for snacks is another great way to fuel your body to get through the day and transition into your workout.