Updated: Jun 7, 2019
It’s a three step process. One, put on your swim gear. Two, drive to the beach and park. Three, walk onto the beach. Done! You’re beachbody ready. Anyone and everyone can do this, unless you’re a minor and can’t drive. Then please refer to your parents.
Okay, in all seriousness, summer is right around the corner. Beaches here in SoCal are going to be packed with people taking in the sunshine and the cool, temperate water. It’s a wonderful place to have fun and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer, but it also brings a level of anxiety, fear, and/or embarrassment about our bodies. We are bombarded every year around this time with pictures of what our bodies should look like to go to the beach. Thoughts of how people may scrutinize our bodies at the beach can engulf us in fear and anxiety.
I want to share a little bit of my own experience. I was in Maui, Hawaii a few years ago. There I was, standing on the beach with sand between my toes, with the blue ocean waves crashing. All I had on were some board shorts. Suddenly I felt really conscious about how my body looked. Why? Because it’s Maui and there’s A LOT of people on the beach.
For more than a decade I’ve work hard and stayed consistent in my eating habits and my workouts. A positive side-effect of doing so is having 6 pack abs. (PSA: not everyone’s body is meant to have visible abdominals.) It was never a goal of mine to have “rock hard abs.” I would feel really sorry for my wife if my abs were rock hard. She would be really uncomfortable laying on my belly. Either way, I felt self-conscious about the way I look, about people judging me, and so forth.
From my experience, we all struggle with some form of body image issues. How does my body look? That doesn’t matter. What I can tell you is that I’d fulfill the requirements to be an A&F shirtless model, standing outside their stores, and advertising their clothes. So glad they did away with that. What a way to shame people. So one could say, you shouldn’t feel conscious or embarrassed at all, but I still do.
So I came to realize, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like. Rocking out at the beach has nothing to do with that. Whether you have a six pack in your belly, or a 6-pack as part of your belly, it shouldn’t stop you from having fun at the beach. Hang ten or kick a hen (please don’t). Wear a shirt, don’t wear one. Love your body and take good care of it. The good part about beach season is it can be a reminder if you’ve been neglecting your body.
Love your body by giving it what it needs; a well balanced eating habit along with consistent exercise (5 days a week for a minimum of 30 mins). Your body would gradually take its natural shape and develop a healthy balance.
As a fitness coach and personal trainer, the best advice I can give you is be consistent. Your goals maybe to lose weight or to gain muscle mass. Both are legitimate goals, but they don’t happen overnight. It takes months and years.
The battle isn’t the workout, it isn’t the food, it’s our mentality. Working with any personal trainer that sells you instant satisfaction, or says they’re going to turn your body to look like a cast member of Baywatch should be a red flag to you. Your body is unique of how it’s going to look and feel. Learning to love your body is a path worth walking, and make sure to find the right health coach or personal trainer to support you along the way.
What should I do for exercise? Here’s what you may have come to read this article for. A workout routine to help you get active and to increase your strength and conditioning. What’s more important, is eat a balanced diet that’s right for your body. I’d highly recommend consulting a dietitian. However, you can follow a simple rule of mine. Eat wholesome (limit your intake of processed foods); portion control; watch your sugar intake.
Barbell squats / Goblet squats - 12 reps
Barbell deadlift / Trap bar deadlift - 12 reps
Push-ups - 10 to15 reps
Push-ups - 10 to 15 repss - 10 to 15 reps
Battle ropes (alternating slams ) - 30s to 60s
Plank - 30s
3 to 5 rounds with minimal rest to no rest in between.
One thing I’ve found that almost always helps me reduce my anxiety and fear is, DOGS! Don’t have a dog, borrow one. More than likely, people are going to pay more attention to the dog. Unless they’re allergic. All the better because they’re probably going to stay as far away from you as possible.
Have a great summer!
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