Sweater weather is out for now. So, what’s in? Skin! Bare legs, arms, and bellies that is. Show yours off this year. Head to the party or the pool with confidence. Smash your summer fitness goals and shed fat with these smart tips.


Get some zzzz’s

Surprise! You probably thought the first tip was about diet and exercise. It is, indirectly. Adequate sleep and stress management help you manage cortisol levels, control crazy food cravings and boost energy. You’ll need good energy for a workout that gets results. Aim for 7 to 8 hours’ sleep each evening and manage stress. Doing both will help you build the foundation you need to support a healthy diet and exercise habits.


Go harder

Here’s how to up your workout plan to build more muscle:


Try HIIT – high-intensity interval training alternates periods of high and low intensity to build stamina and burn more fat. An example might look like jogging for 2 minutes and sprinting for 1 minute. Another example might be a workout at an intensity level of 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 for 30 seconds and at a level 3 for 1 minute. Determine intervals and intensity depending on your fitness level or other factors important to your goals.


Shorten rest periods – push yourself to exercise like your hair is on fire. Doing so will help you burn more fat. For example, when you lift, do supersets and compound sets using enough weight that you don’t feel you can do more than 10 reps. Shorten rest periods between sets to no more than 60 seconds.


Exercise regularly

Commit to fitness if you want results. You won’t get them with miracle potions or couch surfing. You have to put in the work and sweat. Make a weekly calendar so your workout schedule doesn’t get lost among all the other things going on in your life.


Hydrate – dehydration robs you of energy and weakens your workout power. It also slows your metabolism and can cause you to take in extra calories. A good rule of thumb is at least half your body weight in ounces each day. You will need more when you work out hard or in warmer weather. Not sure if you’re getting enough? Check the color of your urine, it should be pale yellow not clear or dark yellow. You can also weigh yourself before and after exercise to adequately replenish lost fluids.


Snack smarter – don’t skip your post-workout snack. A mix of protein and carbs after exercise builds muscle and speeds recovery. Give some attention to what you eat the rest of the time as well. Think lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grain carbs. Just because you put in a good workout doesn’t mean you get to overindulge. Most people don’t move the scale because they overestimate how many calories they burn with exercise and underestimate how many calories they eat. To be sure, keep a food and exercise log or just use an app such as Lose It.


Celebrate your progress

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Create and celebrate milestones along the way to a leaner, healthier you. Your journey to health can begin today…take one step now and keep putting one foot in front of the other until you get where you want to go. You’ve got this.