With swimsuit season right around the corner, we want to remind you that every body is a bikini body. To that point, Nashville’s health and fitness experts are sharing their tips to help you look and, more importantly, feel your best this summer, no crash diet or gym cram session required. And never, EVER compare yourself to others — there’s only one you! Keep this list handy, because these tips will help you feel confident at the beach and beyond.
“Confidence in anything we do is the key to doing it! Being a mid-lifer and owning a hot yoga studio surrounded by instructors half my age that can rock some yoga posture has given me plenty of opportunities to find a level of comfort with my own body. That mindset comes in handy when summer rolls around and I put on a bathing suit, offering up even less coverage than my yoga wear. My belief is that regardless of my weight, grey hairs and wrinkles around my eyes, I must be happy with myself where I am in the present moment. That means, first, I start inside. When I’m my authentic self, the physical worries lighten up a bit because I’m comfortable being me.” — Niki Manscill of Sumits Yoga
Be daring, be caring, and love your life.
“A summer well spent isn’t about being in perfect alignment with your goals, it’s about living an inspired life. Research shows that our thoughts create our reality. So if you want to change your reality, change your mind.” — Janice Cathey of Ha.Lé Mind and Body
“As we are all hovered over our phones and computers so often nowadays, our shoulders are hovering too. We can instantly look taller and slimmer by rolling our shoulders back and standing tall like a string is running through the center of the body through the top of the head. Imagine someone pulling the string to the ceiling like a puppet. Additionally, think of a string on the inside of the navel and someone is pulling that towards the small of the back. Instantly, the illusion is taller and slimmer! It’s all about the illusion!” — Robin Channell of Vigor Fitness & Wellness Studio
Choose whole, colorful foods.
“We tend to feel more confident when we feel good. A few things that are almost guaranteed to make you feel good and boost your mood are choosing whole, colorful foods over processed foods and drinking lots of water — not only is it important to stay hydrated when it’s hot outside, but water helps flush toxins out of your body. And finally, find a good, fun workout that will make you sweat! Getting a good sweat in will also help flush out toxins and release endorphins!” — Laura Lee Gilliland of Iron Tribe Fitness
Be grateful for a healthy body.
“Increase your water intake, stay hydrated, spray tan or soak up some vitamin D. Just get moving, whether it’s a walk outside or an Orangetheory class. When you take care of yourself from the inside, you’re more confident on the outside. Also, be happy and grateful for a healthy body, no matter what size.” — Jenny G. of Orangetheory Fitness
Use a probiotic.
“We all have that occasional meal that doesn’t agree with our tummies, and we bloat. Probiotics help balance out gut flora and decrease bloating. Of course, it is recommended to check with your local physician anytime you add supplements to your daily intake.” — Robin Channell of Vigor Fitness & Wellness Studio
Drink more water.
“Push the water! I like to jazz mine up with freshly cut herbs, such as mint, and frozen fruit. Refreshing by the pool or on the go! Mint and lemon or blueberry and cucumber are my favorite!” — Taylor L. of Orangetheory Fitness
Do one thing for your body every single day.
“My main recommendations are always to eat thoughtfully and do one thing for your body every single day. Starting my day with 10 minutes of meditation and a few sun salutations (because yoga is always the answer for me) and choosing a Kind Bar over a donut can make all the difference in how I feel about myself, which in turn, makes all the difference about how I feel I look.” — Niki Manscill of Sumits Yoga
Increase natural diuretic foods and minimize salt.
“Increase natural diuretic foods like asparagus, celery and spinach, and eat them in a raw state. Also minimize salty foods. This helps with decreasing water retention and feeling puffy.” — Robin Channell Vigor Fitness & Wellness Studio
Find a swimsuit that actually fits.
“Trying on swimsuits can be daunting, and that fluorescent lighting never makes us feel good, but being able to go outside to a pool or to the beach and feel confident in your body and in your swimsuit is as good as dropping those last five pounds of winter weight. Stop thinking about the size of the suit you have on, and really look at the fit. Sometimes going up a size might make you look like a hot bombshell versus can of cranberry sauce. Harsh? Maybe, but also true. Go get that new suit, make sure it fits, take a friend with you and turn it into a fun afternoon. It is worth it!” — Jennifer Reynolds of Studio Novo
Do more yoga.
“Yoga is so empowering in empowering you to believe and know that you are enough exactly as you are! Practicing yoga teaches you how to find joy and contentment for their own sakes, not because of how you look. So put that bathing suit on and start doing more yoga!” — Susannah Herring of Hot Yoga Plus
Here’s to looking and feeling your best!
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Get more great advice from local pros in our Health & Fitness section.