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An organized strategy for achieving a ‘beach body'

Tuesday - 4/30/2013, 9:56am  ET

LisaReed.jpg
The idea of achieving a 'beach body' can seem daunting, but local fitness expert Lisa Reed has a few tips. (Courtesy Lisa Reed)

Lisa Reed, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON - The idea of achieving a "beach body" can seem daunting, but local fitness expert Lisa Reed has a few tips to help simplify and organize a routine for a healthy summer figure.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Take before and after pictures. Don't wait until right before your beach vacation to try on your swim suit. Take a picture of yourself now in your suit and decide the areas you would like to work on. Embrace and love your body now, but be excited for the healthy changes you hope to make in your diet and fitness routine, and how those changes will reflect on your figure.

  • Find a daily affirmation. Find a quote or favorite word that motivates and inspires you to stay on track.

  • Hire a personal trainer, join a group strength training class or sign-up for a boot camp. Accountability and consistency are both key components to succeeding in any fitness routine. Plus, having a trainer or a workout group or buddy provides ongoing motivation and support. If you decide to go with a trainer, make sure your trainer is qualified and certified. You can work to fit a personal trainer around your own schedule and often times nutritional tips are provided to help enhance your hard work and results.

  • Limit the frequency with which you dine out. Eating out frequently can create a major obstacle in any health and fitness goal. Try not to dine out more than three times a week. And remember: When you do eat out, divide your portions and instantly doggie bag the meal for lunch the next day.

  • Eat breakfast and don't skip meals. If your mornings are busy, set your alarm for an earlier wake-up call so you make sure to eat a substantial and healthy breakfast. Eating every two to three hours keeps your body burning all day long, which equals, burning calories. Consider packing healthy snacks when you travel and run errands to keep your metabolism revved up.

  • Track your food intake. Commit to using an app or write down what you eat. Putting everything you put in your mouth on paper will make you less likely to indulge in high-calorie foods. According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, those who kept food diaries for six days a week lost about twice as much weight as those who kept food records one day a week or less.

  • Workout six days a week plus one active recovery day. If you want to be beach body ready, then move it -- now! My 30 day goal for you is to do two-to- three days of strength training (this can include circuits for cardio, too) and five days of 45 minutes of cardio. If you have a day where you can't squeeze in a longer workout, mix it up with a short day of circuit training.

  • Join the water club. No other liquids are allowed -- especially soda and juice. Try adding cinnamon, cucumber, lemon or raspberry iced cubes to your water.

  • Visualize. Remember why you started. Getting in shape is tough. If you feel like giving up, visualize yourself after you reach your goal, and imagine how accomplished you will feel.

  • Set a new goal. When swim suit time rolls around and you are proud of all of your work, don't stop there -- you've made it past 21 days from a habit to a lifestyle. Congratulate yourself how great you did and continue your workout routine by setting a new health and wellness goal.

To see a sample workout incorporating a variety of exercises that will help you to achieve your beach body, visit Lisa's YouTube Channel, Reediculoulsy Fit.

Lisa Reed is a certified personal trainer in the D.C. area and owner of Lisa Reed Fitness. Read more about Lisa at www.lisareedfitness.com. Follow @lisareedfitness and @WTOPLiving on Twitter.

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