Getting ready for bikini

Can you feel it coming? It’s about about 2 months away  . . . swimsuit season. And while I’d like to say you should try to maintain your bikini body year-round, I think everyone is a less focused on it during the winter. First of all, we are wearing more clothing, so we’re not as body conscious. And, secondly we eat differently in the winter — heavier foods to keep us warm and satisfied.When the warmer months come, we tend to eat lighter and we are definitely more active.

So, how do you really get a flatter tummy? Well, of course, what you are eating is key. Cutting things out of your diet like pastas, and breads, crackers — basically anything with gluten. Lots of fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Cutting back on desserts — make them a treat, truly. Just like you do with your kids (hopefully). Cutting back on alcohol (sorry!).

Cardiovascular exercise is also key. In my Ab Lab class, we spend half the hour doing cardio and exercises that keep the heart rate up while challenging our cores. If you are a runner, and you still have some love handles, chances are you need to change up your routine. Your body always responds best to surprise — so change your speeds, distances and even where you are running. If you aren’t a runner, try things like jumping rope, or riding a bicycle. I had to quit running last summer (old knees) and I started jumping rope, riding a stationary bicycle, doing the step mill at the gym. Definitely less exciting, but easier on my knees. And, I was surprised that I stayed just as lean as when I was running. The key on gym machines is you have to keep your intensity up. Don’t get stuck on one speed. And watch your posture — no hanging on the machine.

You should try to do cardio at least every other day — forever until you are an old lady. Seriously. Even if it’s only 20 minutes.

Lastly, doing core work will give you a nice tight tummy and will keep back issues at bay. The abdominal crunch below is basic but always a good one. Listen to my cues about how to lift up off the floor — make sure you’re not just pulling on your head.

Enjoy and have a great start to your week!