The Healthy Girl’s Guide to Prepping Your Body for Summer *Guest Post*
The Healthy Girl’s Guide
to Prepping Your Body for Summer
By: Maurine Anderson
There are a ton of lose-weight-quick guides out there that are geared toward helping people lose as much weight as possible before the summer season hits. This isn’t one of them. Rather, this is a guide that is meant to help you take a more comprehensive approach toward preparing your body for summer. Because while it is always a good idea to reassess your diet and exercise habits as the weather warms up (as long as you’re looking to make healthy changes), I find that it is equally important to consider what else you should be doing in terms of personal hygiene, beauty regimen, and more. So, without further ado, here are what I have found to be the best tips for preparing your body for the summer season.
Let’s all agree not to go on any crash diets in the name of getting a “bikini-ready body,” yes? Not only are crash diets ineffective (see this article), but they also leave the body lacking in essential nutrients. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve found that eating a well balanced, nutrient-rich diet goes so much further in making me feel great than any diet to lose weight would. So, as you prepare your body for summer, look for ways that you can bring more balance to your diet. Tons of produce is in season during spring and summer, so an easy way to start eating better is to buy more fresh, in-season produce. Then, try incorporating it more into your everyday eating with smoothies, salads, roasted vegetable casseroles, and more.
Exercise, of course, is essential for strong overall health, regardless of what time of the year it is. That said, the weeks before summer are a great time to reassess your exercise habits and get going on a regular workout regimen that can keep you feeling your best all summer long. As this article points out, exercising right can boost your mood and help you think more favorably about your body. So if you’re concerned with having a “bikini-ready body,” keep in mind that while exercise can help give you a more fit looking physique, it will most importantly help you think more positively about your body.
If you haven’t found a good workout regimen that works for you, feel free to start slow. Start by exercising for about 30 minutes a day, three times a week, doing something that you love (be it lifting weights, running, bicycling, rock climbing, or swimming.) Then, gradually move toward a goal of working out for 30 minutes a day five times a week, alternating between cardio and strength training workouts.
There are a few things that fall under the “skin” category, including tanning, acne care, and general skincare changes.
It seems that just about every girl wants to waltz into summer sporting a warm, just-of-the-beach glow. However, it’s best to resist the temptation to lay out in the sun or, worse, to step into a tanning bed for a tan. Ultraviolet rays, even when they only tan the skin, cause sustained skin cell damage. Ultimately, this type of damage will lead to premature skin aging and possibly even skin cancer. Instead of subjecting your skin to damaging UV rays, use an at-home self-tanner or visit a spray tan salon where you can get either a spray booth tan or custom airbrush tan. Then be sure to use a broad spectrum, high SPF sunscreen any time you are out in the sun.
You’re going to be baring more skin once the weather warms up, so it’s a good idea to assess how healthy your complexion is. Do you see any acne on your face, décolletage, or back? If so, I highly recommend making an appointment with a dermatologist, who can help you know exactly what your skin needs. When that isn’t an option, I’ve found that using a gentle facial cleanser on the face, a slightly heavier benzoyl peroxide cleanser on the décolletage and back, and a benzoyl peroxide gel as a spot treatment work best for controlling acne. Use this for a time before summer hits to find what works best for you!
There are a few other summer skin care tips you should keep in mind. Summer weather can be drying to the skin, so be sure to apply moisturizer to your skin every time you get out of the shower. If you notice that your feet and hands get especially dry during the day, consider applying an extra strength moisturizer to your hands and feet before bed. In addition to moisturizing, it’s also important to exfoliate regularly. Try using a gentle face scrub and a gentle body scrub once or twice a week in the shower. A facial brush is also great for the face, while a dry brush or exfoliating glove is great for exfoliating the body. For dry heels, try scrubbing them with a pumice stone after you get out of the shower.
It’s also a good idea to change up your beauty regimen as summer draws near. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to adapting your beauty regimen for summer:
- Use a facial moisturizer that contains SPF. You should be doing this year-round, but it’s especially important during the summer. Be sure to apply a facial moisturizer that contains broad spectrum SPF to your face, neck, and décolletage every morning, underneath any other makeup you will be wearing.
- Switch to a darker foundation. If your skin is a tad darker during the warmer months than it is during the rest of the year, be sure to adjust accordingly by switching to a slightly darker foundation for summer.
- Go for a more lightweight foundation. While you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to switch to something more lightweight if you’re used to using a heavier foundation. BB cream and tinted moisturizer are great options to consider.
- Highlight. Even if you don’t use highlight much during the rest of the year, it’s a great makeup item to consider for summer—especially when you’re applying less makeup overall. Highlighter will make you shine just that much brighter in that summer weather!
- Try setting spray. Setting spray could really spell the difference in making your makeup last all day in hot summer weather. So if you’ve never tried out makeup setting spray, now is a good time to try it!