Spring has sprung! Time for warmer weather and trips to the beach! Spring break, anyone? For those of us who live on an island, it’s summer year-round. And you know what is terrifying about that? Every single day is fair game when it comes to having to suit up. At a moment’s notice, you may have to pull out your favorite, or better yet, your most forgiving swimsuit, and bare your beach bod, ready or not!
If someone told you to suit up and hit the beach in ten minutes, would you be ready? If you said yes, good for you! If you panicked, is it maybe because you didn’t eat perfectly all winter? You put on sweats and hibernated a little through the cold winter months? And you didn’t feel like going to the gym with 4 feet of snow on the ground? Ok, so you’re normal. Relax!
Even though we should be practicing good healthy habits all year- whether we live in New England, the South, or in the tropics- the fact is, sometimes we wait until we have an upcoming trip or a special event to really focus on getting our bodies in tip top shape.
Here are a few simple things that may help you as you plan your beach body approach:
1) Get a tan! I know what you’re thinking… Easy for you to say, you live on an island! And you’re right, I am tan, and I know that is not good to have this much sun exposure! But alas, I am human (a white human) and I believe that my body looks better with a little color! Do you feel the same about yours? A healthy idea is to get a fake tan, and I don’t mean frying in a tanning bed! Slather it on my friend!
2) Find a workout you love. For me it was a combination of Pilates/barre and cardio dance classes when I lived in Charlotte. Now that I am on St. John, I am lucky enough to get to teach my own fitness class at the beautiful St. John School of the Arts. Check out my site for the schedule and details!
You may have to get out of your comfort zone and try something new in an effort to find the workout that you love, but trust me, the journey will be well worth it as you burn calories and meet new friends while finding what motivates you!
If you don’t love the workout, it’s oh-so-easy to mark it off your to-do list. Trust me, I know because I was briefly a member of a gym, and I hate working out alone, even with a classic to entertain me… So I quit the gym!!!
3) Hydrate. Perhaps where you live, water is actually cheaper than rum, so this shouldn’t be an issue for you! I find that when I am thirsty I crave all sorts of unhealthy foods. Drinking water sometimes helps me realize I wasn’t really hungry after all.
4) Eat less processed foods. Processed foods typically contain a lot of sodium, which causes us to feel bloated. Also, I won’t even get started about the chemicals in some processed foods that are made in labs and only mimic food. Scary stuff, and it doesn’t do our bodies any favors. Low fat, sugar free, and other such claims aren’t good for anyone, anywhere!
Oddly, I always felt best about my body around late March, early April in the states. Most of my friends say they gain weight in the winter and then end up losing it in the summer months. I actually find that when it’s hot I tend to eat more and crave worse things. Therefore, I find myself constantly hungry on the island (because I’m constantly hot)! Year-round summer has its positives and its negatives.
What do you have planed for the upcoming months? Are you ready to suit up on any given day? Does your weight fluctuate seasonally? Regardless, it is best to form healthy habits and try our best to stick with them year-round. There are certainly worse things than a few unwanted pounds and there are most definitely worse things than pale skin. But give these easy tips a try and tell me if you feel better in your swimsuit.
Whatever your plans may be, suit up, be confident, and have fun! Life’s too short to be worried about not looking like a Sports Illustrated model, and if you were, they would airbrush you anyway! Happy Spring Y’all!
Ashley Cates, USVI Blogger