Spring is almost here. You and your friends are likely gearing up for the annual collegiate pilgrimage called spring break. You’re probably headed to the beach. Or at least someplace with a pool and Jacuzzi, for a week of total hedonism. Your transportation has been arranged for months. You know exactly where you’ll be staying. Plus, you’ve even located the hottest nightspots in the area. The only thing you forgot to do is get into peak shape!
It’s not that long until you depart. You’re in a chaotic panic as you realize you aren’t the same person who showed up on campus in September. Winter’s cold, dreary days may have even packed a few unwanted pounds onto your formerly taut physic. Getting your body ready for spring break will be no easy task. Desperate, you make a pact with yourself. You refuse to eat until you fit into your favorite jeans. You spend a day drinking only a few bucketfuls of water and half a dozen cans of diet soda. So, you give up, exhausted, hungry, and frustrated.
Well, don’t throw in the towel yet! Getting your body ready for spring break can be done!
If you aren’t exactly in perfect condition, this article may be the ticket. Keep in mind, you can’t make miraculous changes to your body in a short time. Still, you can make some subtle modifications in that time to sharpen your physique. You can improve your appearance. These measures do not replace a year’s worth of hard work in the gym. Your friends are going to drag you to the beach anyway, right? You might as well do what you can to avoid looking like the NCAA pie-eating champion.
Getting Your Body Ready For Spring Break – The Final Countdown – 3 Weeks Out
1) Start a simple diet.
The key word here is simple, with an emphasis on balanced. You may be able to shed a couple of pounds a week. Clean up your eating habits. Stop eating all fried foods, oils, butter, margarine, and chips. Also, sugar and other refined foods. My suggestion? Consume four meals daily. Two consisting of meal-replacement drinks and the other two being low-fat meals.
Most meal-replacement drinks supply 250-300 calories. They have approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates and another 20-30 grams of protein. They’re also packed with a full array of vitamins and minerals. Your two low-fat meals should combine low-fat proteins. These include egg whites, chicken, turkey, or fish. Add one complex carbohydrate like potatoes, whole-grain bread, yams, rice or pasta, and a serving of vegetables. Have a large salad with one meal. Eat slowly. Try to leave the table knowing you didn’t consume an excessive quantity of food.
2) Engage In Moderate Exercise.
Sometimes the starver gives up, realizing he or she must eat, but compensates with a ridiculous amount of exercise. Excessive dieting and excessive exercise are equally insane. Getting your body ready for spring break doesn’t mean going off the deep end. Take the smart approach. Spend exactly one hour a day in the gym. Split the time between 30 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. This could burn off another 3 pounds of fat in the coming three weeks.
What if you haven’t been hitting the gym? The above approach may have an additional benefit. It improves your muscle tonus. This is an increase in the muscular electrical activity called “tone”. Your body can appear firmer. Your muscles won’t get any bigger. Still, you can reduce your jiggling to a minimum.
Then, of course, you have the always-popular “pre-pool pump.” A large number of men are familiar with this technique. Yet almost no one will admit to using it. At its simplest, it involves doing a couple of sets of push-ups or curls immediately before you step out the door of your hotel room. More complicated rituals involve decathlon-style full-body workouts. This will engorge every muscle with as much blood as possible. If you insist on doing this, I’d suggest the former. Either one will be temporary. A couple of sets of push-ups are less likely to leave you exhausted, cramping, and sweating like a Clydesdale in a sauna.
People who love to tan believe it makes them look better. In a lot of cases, it does. If you choose your local “electric beach,” three weeks is plenty of time to get a very solid base. Having a base tan can also minimize your potential to get sunburned when you’re outdoors on vacation. If you tan easily, you may get quite dark within 10-14 visits. However, don’t try to do it all in one or two sessions. You’ll either end up with results that are hardly noticeable. Or, if you opt for a UV marathon session, you’ll be peeling in time to hit the real beach.
Remember, when you subject yourself to enough rays (natural or artificial) to elicit a tanning response, you’re technically causing skin damage. In fact, says the University of California at Berkeley We//ness Letter, “Tanning lamps will soon be on the list of known carcinogens.” A government panel recommended that ultraviolet light, both from the sun and artificial sources, be put on the list, says the newsletter. What if you decide to use a sunless tanning lotion instead? Give yourself enough time to apply several applications so you can achieve the desired amount of bronze. The tan look is one of the keys to getting your body ready for spring break.
A reminder about sunscreen: Use it. What if you bake yourself to a crisp on the first day of spring break? You’ll end up covered head-to-toe with Noxzema. Not to mention, you’ll be watching soaps in your hotel room for the next six days. If you wind up getting skin cancer, that’s a whole different ball game. Yes, young people get it, too. Therefore, choose and use sunscreen. Go with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
4) Drink lots of water.
Water is nature’s diuretic. Increasing your water consumption to 2 gallons a day can help you shed a few extra pounds of unwanted water over this 21-day period. What if you dislike plain water? Add a slice of lemon or mix in your favorite flavor of Crystal Lite.
Have you ever noticed that runway and print models, both men and women, are devoid of body hair? Getting your body ready for spring break means a shave. Shave away any body hair that may be exposed when you wear a bathing suit. This can make your body look sharper and leaner. Imagine a bodybuilder like Shawn Ray with a thick mat of hair on his chest. He might still look muscular, but much of the detail would be obscured.
You can accomplish this shorn look in one of several ways. Depending on the coarseness of your hair and the sensitivity of your skin. A cream-based hair remover can cause skin irritation and patchy results for many people. For those with thick hair, try barber’s clippers. Or go with the shortest setting on a beard trimmer to remove the heavy stuff. Then follow up with a disposable twin-blade razor while showering. Be sure to use a moisturizer on your skin following the shave. Also, unless you’re a masochist, by no means use an aftershave lotion unless it has little or no alcohol.
6) Buy the right bathing suit.
Men have it easy. Oversized swim trunks that extend to the knee are popular. Loose-fitting, surfer-style corduroy shuns and a tank top is appropriate beach apparel. They offer effective camouflage for the muscularly impaired.
For women, this issue is a bit more complicated. Bikinis reveal more of your physique than one-piece suits. So if you have something to hide, you may not want to be stingy with the material. Bikinis with wide straps instead of strings will be most flattering for women who are concerned that they’ve “missed their peak.”
Make sure your suit fits properly. What if it fits great six months ago but now looks like skin on bologna? You may want to invest in a new one to avoid creating embarrassing rolls where the fabric meets flesh. Women can also enhance their appearance (or conceal flaws) by adding a colorful waist wrap to a bikini.
One-piece suits with vertical stripes can create the illusion of a slender or taller physique. A one-piece suit with a cutout in the midsection may be an appealing compromise between a bikini and a one-piece.
7) Get a haircut.
Politicians have the most perfect hair on earth. These men and women understand the importance of appearance. A fresh haircut conveys the message that you’re neat, clean, and concerned with your health. A new haircut might not get you elected class president. It may, however, improve the look of your student body.
8) Getting Your Body Ready For Spring Break – New clothes.
Professional makeover artists could make a downright chunky individual appear lean. All it takes is a change of wardrobe. New jeans, T-shirts, a skirt or a shirt can make you feel better about yourself. That’s half the battle in looking simply irresistible as you head off into that perfect spring-break sunset.