Remember once upon a time when 20 of your closest girlfriends would hop on a plane to Mexico, or a Florida island, or insert magical sounding destination here for an entire week? Recall how you had enough time and motivation to work out twice a day and eat sub 1200 calories for two months leading up to said vacation? Ah, to be young and in college and not an adult and not pay bills and not file taxes again.
I am sadly not hopping on a plane with a bikini it tow anytime soon, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to hit the gym a little bit harder as it now stays light until 6pm, and summer doesn’t seem quite as elusive as it did 2 months back. It also hasn’t hurt either that I peruse Pinterest more often than I’d like to admit and my thinspiration board has gotten a little out of control.
As your resident fitness lady, I’m striving to do a few more personal posts that hit on some of the tips, tricks, and habits that have allowed me to find success in my never-ending fitness journey. And to also be transparent about the failures, and the times that I cave to eating like 2 pounds of mac and cheese because I’m human and really like food and that translates to thighs that don’t always look great in my jeans. So, for my first transparent attempt to aid in achieving fitness goals, here are a few tips that have helped me slim down, tone up and want to bare my midriff proudly for the world (ok, def not the world, but maybe Instagram) to see:
Drink Plenty of Fluids
I know, I know, you’ve heard it before. But consuming more water than your body is outputting reaps major benefits. From digestion, circulation, maintaining body temperature and metabolism, H2O is your first step to getting some lines drawn across those abdominals. If you’re anything like me, sometimes drinking water can be a major chore. I’ve started using an app called Plant Nanny to help incentivize me to drink water. While I’m somewhat embarrassed that watering a virtual plant is what reminds me to hydrate on the reg, it’s also kind of hilarious that all of my friends constantly check in and ask if I’ve managed to keep it alive for over a week. Embarrassing? maybe. Effective? Absolutely.
A common misconception to upping your ab game is that you need to do a gazillion and two sit ups in order to obtain a six-pack. While core work undoubtedly helps tone those tummies, if there is a layer of fat overlaying the muscle, no amount of crunches is going to help. I aim to run at least 30 minutes 3 times per week. It doesn’t need to be running all the time, and in fact, I recommend switching it up between the elliptical, stair climber, walking during a one-hour show, interval treadmill work outs, jumping rope, rollerblading, or long runs outside. Anything that gets your heart beating is a great thing.
Watch What You Eat
Hey! There’s this wild concept that says if you consume less calories than you output, you’ll lose weight! It’s wild. I don’t need to tell you that late night Taco Bell runs aren’t going to help out with your fitness goals, but there are certain foods that have been proven to aid in the never-ending struggle to get a flatter stomach. Eggs, soy, apples, quinoa, berries, leafy greens, greek yogurt and salmon should undoubtedly be on your grocery list if a six pack is on your to-do list.
So, if you’ve ever googled “how to get a six pack,” you’ve probably read the above tips before. But here’s one you might not have: on top of cultivating the aforementioned habits, I’ve started using an incredible, life-saving, and six pack-inducing technology called Slendertone. Previous to using, I was able to trim down my stomach, but still had some seriously stubborn areas, especially my lower abdomen. Real talk: I have never felt better about how I look in a bikini than after I used Slendertone for three weeks.
Slendertone utilizes Electrical Muscle Stimulation to force your abdominal muscles to contract, precisely the way they would if you were doing crunches. Consistently. For a half hour. While you are actually doing a gazillion other things that you also need to be doing besides working out. Can you tell that I really dig this product?
After downloading the app and inputting my personal fitness goals, I got started. It took less than 2 minutes to follow the directions, fix the stickers that would transmit the EMS, and put the belt around my abdomen. When the electrical shocks started, it was the craziest, and oddest sensation to feel my abs contracting even though I wasn’t on the floor doing 872 crunches like normal. The app tracked my progress and told me the level of intensity I needed to hit in order to achieve my goals. After a half hour of catching up on Scandal, my workout was complete…. and the craziest part was that my abs immediately felt tighter.
If you are busy, have a hard time hitting the gym, or need something extra on top of the regiment you’re currently doing to achieve your fitness goals, there are zero products on the market that I recommend more than this one. 100% of users have reported having firmer and more toned abs after using. I like those odds.
Fit Your Ab Work In At Work
As with anything, the more you do it, the better you get. Work on your abs all day long.
Try Slendertone. It’s easy to wear underneath clothes, and it would allow you to get in a quick abdominal workout without doing nearly as much of the work(out), while you get your 9 to 5 work done.
If you don’t have a Slendertone at the ready, contract your abs on your own. If you’re a person that swears by an alarm, set a quiet timer for a half hour. Every 30 minutes, contract your abs for 15 seconds, stretch, then do it again. If you’re less regimented like me, I contract my abs whenever I think about it for 12 seconds at a time. These sporadic 12 second workouts have not only helped tone my abs, but have also been a great addition to my 12 morning coffee cups (kidding… kind of) to help me reenergize and refocus on what I was working on.
Mix Up Your Routine
If you do the same workout every single day, no matter how strenuous, your body will grow accustomed to it. Like your mind, your career, your relationships, if you stay within your comfort zone every day, you’re not going to grow. Not to mention it’s insanely freaking boring to do the same thing every day.
Find different Youtube videos of 10 minutes ab workouts like this one. If you’re a member of a gym, hit up their ab classes. Try rock climbing. Use machines to get an abdominal workout in. Find a dance class. You might even find a workout that you (dare I say) enjoy, and that is the pivotal difference in getting your best body: finding workouts that you love because I guarantee you’ll show up to those.