Summer is coming! For some of us, that means hitting the gym hard to gain some serious mass for that ultimate beach swagger. For others, it’s time to burn baby burn and get those abs of steal you’ve comfortably tucked away during winter. Maybe your goals are different to the usual lose weight, build muscle cycle and your aim is speed, agility and in the great words of Muhammed Ali you want to: “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Maybe this summer, you want to find exercises you enjoy, try new recipes, and live the healthiest version of your life! We sat down with Nutrition Warehouse’s Digital Content Producer and lover of all things health and fitness, Paula Vargas, for her tips on how we can achieve our goals this summer.
If you’re looking to build muscle and add mass to your frame, it’s a given you’ll be spending time in the gym but don’t forget that eating for muscle is important too. You’ll need to be in a calorie surplus or at least maintenance to bulk up and what you eat is vital too. If you’re looking to perform at your best, eating protein rich foods is key. If you’re lacking motivation, grab your workout buddy and train like nobody’s watching. As Paula says: “99% of people don’t care how much you lift, which is great news! You can leave your ego at the door and focus on real results.”
There is an overwhelming amount of information out there on how to “burn fat, lose weight now!” but it’s simple: if you want to lose weight, you need to eat in a calorie deficit. Work out what your weight loss goal is and break it down into a manageable weekly target. Make sure you increase your activity before decreasing your food and never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep! If you struggle to stick to the plan, find yourself an accountability buddy. And be kind to yourself, always. In the wise words of Paula: “Even if you’re doing the same program as your friend or your favourite influencer, you’ll still have different results. That frustrating “stubborn fat” may be unique to you and unless you want an unrealistic and unsustainable result, it will always be there to some extent. Learn to love your body!”
Training at home right now?
If you’re looking to improve your speed and agility, or perhaps you’re an athlete wanting to improve your performance in a fast-paced sport, then interval training and explosive movements are for you. Explosive exercises test your strength and speed but also reduce risk of injury in sport’s that require quick acceleration. Don’t forget to incorporate weight training to your workout regime and fuelling your body with fast-acting carbs before you train is key. “If you want to be like Usain Bolt, then you’d better start eating some chicken nuggets. Kidding! However, don’t be afraid of carbs,” says Paula.
Paula’s advice to anyone working towards their personal goals is kindness: “If you set a health goal and you slip up, be kind to yourself. Health anxiety is a real thing. Remember that mental wellness is just as important as the physical!” Try new, healthy recipes such as our No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Balls and find exercises that you really enjoy. Connecting with like-minded people is a wonderful tool when looking after our mental health. Talking, sharing, and connecting are great ways to look after ourselves and remember, mental health is ‘health’ too.