Finding your healthy summer body doesn’t have to be about cutting carbs or implementing an intense and potentially unrealistic exercise routine. While you may be aiming to have a smaller waist by June, it’s important to shift your mindset from achieving an aesthetic goal to feeling healthier inside and out if you want lasting results. If healthy lifestyle changes make you feel good, you’re more likely to stick with them, which means you’re also more likely to maintain your summer body all year long. To get started, here are some tips to keep in mind, from choosing the right workout to incorporating superfoods into your diet.
Reframe the “Summer Body” Ideal
To some, the idea of achieving a summer body can cause anxiety, leading to intense dieting, over-exercising or a vow to steer clear of beaches all season long. But placing less importance on aesthetic goals like chiseled abs or a smaller bottom and focusing instead on how you want to feel this summer can make a world of difference in how you approach healthier lifestyle habits (i.e., without stress). To take the pressure off yourself from the start, throw out the idea of what a “beach body” or “bikini body” is supposed to look like. Give yourself permission to wear whatever swimsuit you like no matter what you look like. Keep in mind that an infinitely better term than “summer body” is a “healthy body,” and that will look different to everyone according to age, body type and lifestyle.
Approach Exercise With an Open Mind
Some people love hitting the gym, but others avoid it like the plague or count down the minutes while they’re there. If you tend to think of exercise as a chore, you might just be doing the wrong type of exercise. While some combination of cardio and strength training is a healthy baseline to work from, encourage yourself to have an open mind about what exercise is supposed to look like. Sure, running on a treadmill and lifting weights are fine, but there are other activities that count as exercise, and you may find them to be more enjoyable. From swimming and dancing to yoga and rock climbing, exercise doesn’t always have to happen in a gym. Even little changes that force you to be more active build up over time and count as exercise, from taking the stairs instead of the elevator to parking your car in the faraway parking spot. If the idea of being active still makes you shudder, you may just need a boost of energy for motivation. Try Om Mushroom Superfood's Energy+, powered by organic whole food mushrooms, including cordyceps, reishi and lion's mane, vitamin-B complex, and natural botanicals, including guarana, yerba mate and turmeric for non-jittery and sustained energy all day long.
Sleep Your Way to a Summer Body
Your ideal summer body should also be a well-slept body. Poor sleep is a major risk factor for weight gain and has been linked to a higher body mass index. It can also increase your appetite due to an imbalance of the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should aim to get seven to nine hours every night. Some people find that avoiding strenuous exercise right before bed helps them sleep better, so try to keep your workouts to mornings or afternoons.
Eat a Varied, Healthy Diet
Instead of harsh dieting or fasting, shift your focus from limiting the amount of food to increasing the number of foods, but make sure those foods are healthy. Om Mushroom’s Maitake superfood powder added to juice, a protein shake or smoothie may support your wellness goals by helping with a healthy blood sugar level and supporting weight management. Aim for a nutritious and varied diet to banish boredom and get as many vitamins and nutrients as possible. This, of course, means squeezing in as many fruits and veggies as you can, and simply replacing not-so-great carbs like refined white bread and processed foods with healthier carbs like brown rice, whole wheat and quinoa. Eating well takes some awareness and discipline, but don’t confuse it with intense dieting. One easy trick to eating well is to note how you feel when you eat unhealthy food as opposed to how you feel when you eat something healthy. There’s a good chance you’ll want to stick with what makes you feel fuller longer and full of energy.
Integrate Superfoods Into Your Diet
Superfoods, such as functional mushrooms, can also help you achieve a healthy summer body — and not just by increasing your energy for harder and more workouts. If you reframe the “summer body” as a “healthy body,” immunity is key, and Om Mushroom Superfood's Immune will help support your natural defenses. Powered by reishi, turkey tail, agaricus blazei, and maitake mushrooms, Om’s Immune offers broad spectrum immune support to keep you powering through the whole summer feeling better than ever.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.