What do you think of first when getting in shape for summer? Do you think, “Oh no, not again”? Or, you might just be the fitness fanatic or the person wanting to get a wee bit more toned. Regardless, according to fitness experts, it does not matter if you are one of the most sizzling people on the planet, there seems to always be room to improve and shed that bear winter weight.

After scouring the Web for sources, it’s time to shine some new light on the hottest new trends and tips for the summer of 2015! It was fun searching —there were many crazy ideas, and then there were the subdued, causing both a smile and then a small giggle. In short, these are the 3 steps among the experts that seem to wield the most clout:

To tone or not to tone:

Do toning exercises using your body for just 5 minutes a day.

Effie Quintana, fitness instructor and owner of EQfit, says you can use your body as resistance to target different zones. Those zones may include those bathing suit areas such as the inner/outer thighs, gluteus (butt), and pectoral muscles (chest and underarms).  Quintana suggests doing either squats, lunges, or plank poses for 5 minutes a day and choosing what you want to do each day, making it a fun way to play with resistance training.

How to get started: Monday-Wednesday, squats for 5 minutes. Thursday-Saturday, lunges for 5 minutes; and Sunday, plank pose or modified plank for 5 minutes with 10 second breaks each minute if needed.

Less is more when it comes to cardio:

Exercise 3 times a week at 30 min, using high intensity cardio exercises or interval training instead of long daily routines

Houston-bound fitness trainer Dewayne Malone, featured on ABC news, says that working out every day is time consuming and often counter-productive because you plateau. Your body simply gets used to its humdrum routine of working out for an hour every day, or even 5 days a week. Try doing interval training for 30 minutes, three times weekly instead.

According to physical therapist and author Rob Cowell, “HIIT workouts can be very effective for all age groups and ability levels”. Most of these workouts just cycle between slow and fast movement; for a common example of interval training:

Warm up by walking for 5 minutes, then brisk walk or jog/run for 1 minute, then walk at a steady, easy pace for 3 minutes, then repeat brisk walk or jog/sprinting for 1 minute, then resume walking at steady, easy pace for 3 minutes; and you repeat that cycle for 30 minutes.

For other ideas on cardio interval training follow Cowell’s link: http://www.whyiexercise.com/high-intensity-interval-training.html

Let them eat cake!:

Substitute that one snack or drink in your diet daily, but don’t starve or fully eliminate.

Don’t deny the cake, muffin, or sweet cold ice cream or frozen yogurt. It only makes it worse and then you’re just walking around town feeling “hangry” — new urban term meaning hungry and angry. You might get skinny or fit, but it’s not worth it if you’re angry or fatigued all the time.

So to keep it simple, cut out and then substitute the excess things you notice in your daily diet, like that mid afternoon soda or stale cookie lying around in the break room. It may even be the nightly dessert or sweet confection you can’t deny. Try limiting that to only 3 nights a week instead, and substitute for tea with lemon and honey, or with a bowl of strawberries. The point is to not starve or deprive, but to make better choices. Sounds too simplistic? According to Dean Ornish, MD, author of The Spectrum, “Studies show that people who eat the healthiest overall are those who allow themselves some indulgences.”

So, that is it—the 3 steps to that rocking summer bod. It’s (1) tone 5 min a day, (2) do cardio interval training 3 times for only 30 min weekly, and (3) consider your snacks and substitute one thing daily without fully eliminating things you love! Always remember, your body is a temple. And it deserves the best.

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