You may not be jetting off to San Tropez this summer, but chances are you still want to tone certain areas before swim season is in full swing. Now is the time to embrace styles that may reveal your arms and legs without fretting about showing a bit more skin. We hit up some local experts from some of our favorite fitness studios, and they’re sharing easy ways to incorporate good nutrition and additional movement into your busy schedule. With a little extra effort, you’ll see positive results in no time!
If you don’t have time for a full cardio session at the gym, is there a way to squeeze some activity into your workday?
“Try doing squats, standing lunges and planks throughout your day. If you have a Pilates magic circle, you can incorporate it into your squats and standing lunges for additional resistance. These moves target the whole body and will get your heart rate up! Instead of sitting in a desk chair all day, sit on an exercise ball. It will improve your posture and strengthen your abs.” —Jenna at Swell Studio
“Get your butt up out of the seat! In all seriousness, use half of your lunch break to take a brisk walk or jog outside, always making sure to eat after. And don’t let bad weather be an excuse. Even a cubicle can function in a pinch. Try using the stopwatch on your phone and do burpees for one minute, run in place for one minute, then chase that with a round of push-ups, followed by 60 seconds of bicycle crunches. If you complete that four-minute workout every hour on the hour, not only will it up your alertness, but you’ll have completed a full 30-minute workout by the end of the eight-hour workday!” —Joseph at Marathon Fitness
“I try to get in at least 15 minutes of some activity on days when I can’t make it to the gym or another fitness class. A great option, which can be done anywhere, is to do 5 to 10 minutes of Sun Salutation A’s and 5 to 10 minutes of Sun Salutation B’s, moving EXACTLY with your breath; one movement, one breath. Your heart rate will rise and you will be opening, stretching and building strength all at the same time!” –Susannah at Hot Yoga Plus
What advice can you give for beating workout boredom?
“Variety! Find three workouts that you enjoy and alternate them throughout the week or month. We encourage clients to take different classes with different instructors. We teach Jump on the Reformer (cardio), tower/mat using springs (strength and core training) and reformer classes, all of which challenge the body in different ways. Don’t forget to get outside and walk or run when possible. Change the route, so that you can enjoy new scenery and challenge the body with as many hills as possible. Listen to something enjoyable or use it as a mental health time to meditate.” —Luci at Align Wellness Studio
“Our classes are different every day, and the benefits of reformer Pilates exercises are almost endless. Pilates works the smaller muscle groups that are often ignored with typical workouts, which is why the results are so incredible! A few reformer Pilates benefits include overall strength, flexibility, balance, core strength, posture and coordination. There are over 500 different exercises you can perform on a Pilates reformer. So you’ll never get the same workout you had the day before, and every workout is a total body workout.” —Jenna at Swell Studio
“I often encourage clients to take a break—a sabbatical, if you will—to ensure that they’re not just training for training’s sake. Treat working out like practice for the activities you love. Go on hikes! Go rock climbing! Do that long jog with your husband and kids! That’s the reason we work out in the first place. If you’re bored, get back to the activities you love to do.” —Joseph at Marathon Fitness
“Workout with a friend! I often workout with my sister and what we are doing doesn’t really matter because the workout has become our time to catch up and hang out.” –Susannah at Hot Yoga Plus
Should you have pre- and/or post-workout snacks? If so, what is effective?
“Whenever you plan to work out, you want to make sure your body is properly fueled. If you exercise early in the morning, your dinner from the night before should provide enough energy for a great workout. Any other time, make sure you have a light snack, not a heavy meal, in your stomach 30 minutes before you begin. A banana, whole grain granola and almonds are all great options. Eat just enough to make sure your stomach is satisfied, and more importantly, stay hydrated. Water, water, water all day!” —Kady at Pure Barre
Get back to basics! Starchy carbohydrates, fresh veggies, healthy fats, organic proteins and yummy fruits are the best options to help you replenish, refuel and reshape.” –Meghan at Orange Theory Fitness
Something light but nourishing is best pre-workout so it doesn’t weigh you down. An apple with almond butter, a yogurt with a little granola or even a banana are all good choices. Post-workout, you want to replenish your body with nutrients for muscle recovery, water retention and to regain energy. We love to grab a juice from our Brentwood neighbors, Daily Juice or Juice Bar. Another solid post-workout snack is chocolate milk (or a latte if we’re honest) – milk does our barre bodies good! –Kelly at Neighborhood Barre
How do you stay on track on vacation while still enjoying food and drinks?
“My friends and I make it a priority to research studios and healthy, delicious restaurants in the areas where we’re staying. The yoga community is incredibly supportive and connected, so we reach out to other yogis for great power yoga studio recommendations and accommodations nearby. We have yoga practice each morning and also look for great hiking trails when we travel. I try to get active in the morning, so that I can enjoy all the great food and drink around me. If it’s a beach vacation, I take a couple of long walks on the beach, too! ” —Lauren at Shakti Yoga
“I try to eat healthy throughout the day and get in a bar online class during the day, so I can splurge at night!” —Carrie at The Bar Method
“Staying on track on vacation can be tough because of all the great food and drinks. But working out is a stress reliever for me, so I look forward to my vacation workouts. We normally vacation at the beach, so running, playing tennis, walks on the beach and swimming fit well into our vacation plans, which helps me to feel like I’ve earned that second glass of wine or whatever it may be at the end of the day!” —Anna at Studio Novo
Can you give one great fitness move for a little extra lift in the rear?
“Squats! Build up to 25 reps and do them three times a day. It takes less than two minutes, and it will get your heart pumping, too!” —Luci at Align Wellness Studio
“Bridge pose! Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your feet lose to your glutes. On an inhale, lift your hips up. You can hold here or pulse up and down for an extra boost.” –Susannah at Hot Yoga Plus
“One great fitness move that you will see us do regularly is a deep squat. A half a squat equals half the benefit! Get deeeeep with that squat and you’ll definitely see results!” –Meghan at Orange Theory Fitness
You’re 10 days out from going to the beach and you need some quick results. What are good diet/fitness tips for the person in need of speedy results?
“For quick results, immediately reduce your intake of sugar, white flour, grains and dairy. Consume mostly fresh fruits, veggies, fish and lean meats. If you can, try doing at least 60 minutes of cardio-based exercise several times before you leave. I recommend high-intensity intervals, combined with light weights and isometric barre work, which burns lots of calories and tones your muscles.” —Kady at Pure Barre
“Drink lots of water, limit sugars, grains and dairy, and fill up on fruits, veggies and protein. Look for a dynamic fitness program that will burn calories and tone your muscles. And any time you can get outdoors for a brisk walk always provides an additional mental and physical boost. Lastly, make sure to get a good night’s sleep. You’ll be well rested and less likely to fall off the wagon with both your diet and fitness regimen.” –Kelly at Neighborhood Barre
What if you struggle to find time in the busy day to work out … which should you focus on, cardio or strength training to lose weight?
“I actually have two thoughts on this, from personal experience and seeing hundreds of success stories at Iron Tribe. First of all, if you want to see AND FEEL results, you’ll have to change the way you eat. When I started following a paleo diet—modified to my needs—I saw better results than I ever could have imagined. My body composition, meaning the percentage of fat on my body versus muscle, changed drastically. I had been exercising and dieting for about two years and had gotten down to a pants size of 38. My pants size went down four MORE sizes to a 34! Abs are made in the kitchen!
But outside of the diet, the best way to lose weight LONG TERM, for both men and women, is to strength train. Lifting weights causes a calorie burn that lasts much longer than the workout itself. What I find the most efficient with the best long term results is the combination of strength training with the short term calorie burn of cardio, in the same workout, which gives you results faster!” – Ward Kennedy, manager Iron Tribe
To find more great fitness studios near you, check out our SB Guide!