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April 5, 2016 by
Jay Medley
The weather is getting warmer and the clothing is coming off. This is the time of year when many people start making new fitness goals so that they can look great in bathing suits, shorts, and other barely-there outfits. You can set a fitness goal, too!

Whether you want to fit into last year’s summer clothes, look more toned, or improve your posture, you can start now to get ready for the warmer weather. You may not lose half of your body weight in time for summer, but you can change your lifestyle and start seeing results within 30 days! Here are a few steps to changing your habits and getting toned in time.

1. Set Your Goal

You’re more likely to meet your goal if you actually set it. You can set long-term, big-picture goals (like losing a lot of weight,) but setting smaller goals with a shorter completion time as well will keep you on track to accomplishing that bigger one. Set a realistic goal and write it down (in a diary, in a note on your fridge, or anywhere that you’ll see it.)

If your goal involves losing weight, talk to a doctor about how much weight it is realistic for you to lose in a certain time period, like 5 lbs in 30 days. The goal can be as simple as fitting into a certain pair of pants by a certain date or seeing muscle definition in time for summer. Just having a goal will keep you more accountable to it.

2. Change Your Eating Habits

The food you eat is a huge part of losing and maintaining weight. Even if your goal isn’t focused on weight, eating the right foods will make your body work its best to get you the best results. Skip processed foods, even the seemingly healthy stuff – by making your own meals, you won’t fall victim to extra sodium and sneaky calories (even when you read the nutrition label, are you careful about the portion size?)

Fill your plate with lean protein (keep beans and lentils in mind as a protein source, too,) lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.

3. Change Your Exercise Habits

Change is good! Not just that – change is crucial to see results! If you already work out, try changing up your routine and go for a new type of workout. Your body was made to adapt to stress (like the physical stress of exercise) so eventually your muscles will catch up to where they need to be for your current exercise regime and you’ll hit a plateau.

You also risk getting bored with your workout and developing overuse injuries. If you usually stick to cardio machines at the gym, consider taking a TRX suspension or yoga class. Or try a brand new activity like rock climbing!

These full-body workouts will develop your core muscles and give you a great, strong body while burning plenty of calories. Plus, trying something new may reinvigorate and motivate you so you’ll be more likely to stick with it!

If you are just starting out with exercise, try picking something that will change regularly. Look at boot camps: the right ones will change activities regularly and incorporate many different exercises so that it offers a full body workout.

Boot camps also have a warm-up and cool-down included, so you can get your full workout led by an experienced instructor in just an hour.

No matter what your fitness goal is, you can get a great start on it in the next 30 days by setting that goal and making some positive, healthy changes.

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