By Kristin Sidorov
Pre-beach season (a.k.a. spring) usually carries a wave of what we like to call the “re-resolution”: To backtrack and revisit those pledges we made at the start of the year that somehow (ahem) got pushed to the back burner around the second week of January. Bikinis are a hell of a motivation to lose those last few pounds, aren’t they?
While the idea of strutting around in a two-piece might seem like a far-off (and slightly anxiety-producing) dream right now, don’t worry—there’s still plenty of time to reach your goals by summer. Stay motivated and stick to a healthy fitness plan that combines circuit, interval, and strength training that will boost your workouts into overdrive.
Mix up your average workout by starting with about 10 minutes of cardio, followed by 15 to 30 reps of strength training, and repeat two more times. Rest no more than a few minutes between each exercise (but be sure to catch your breath and keep hydrated), and you’ll have burned about 600 calories and given your metabolism a hefty boost.
There’s no better way to burn more calories fast than interval training. Alternate between periods of high-intensity exercise and low-intensity exercise to really get the most from your cardio workout. Intervals can be applied to almost any cardio exercise—running, biking, jumping rope, or dancing. Plug a few days of intervals into your weekly routine and you’ll notice a difference. Just be sure to always warm up, cool down, and know your limits. Oh yes, and please clear the floor of anything that might trip up your fast-moving booty.
Overall body strength is key to health. When lifting weights, do three sets of 15 to 20 reps, using a weight that’s challenging, especially during those last few reps. You want to feel the burn! Focusing on core strength is essential, too; it whittles down your midsection, back, and buns while improving overall stability and posture. Crunches, planks, leg raises, and swimming are all excellent core strengtheners. Looking for a little direction? Try this great strength-training program from Olympian Kara Goucher.
What else will help make you feel strong? Great breakfast menus to fuel your workouts, healthy lifestyle advice from bestselling authors, and fitness trends are at your fingertips in the new Tips on Healthy Living newsletter.