Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cankles and Bat Wings: Just Say No

Summer is here and that means it's shorts, t-shirt and bikini season - You know, the dreaded one? For many, summer time is synonymous with not only with sunshine, warm weather, freckles and highlights, but also insecurity, low self-esteem and oftentimes shame.

Think about it - it's the first time our pale Canadian skin gets a chance to peek out from underneath our pants, sweaters and scarves - and sometimes this brings about the realization that 'hibernation mode' may not have been the best plan to follow last winter. Well folks, it's time to ditch that chin sack, skin skirt, elbow frump and those bat wings (Thanks urban dictionary!)

Although weight loss is 80% diet-related, it's important not to neglect that last 20%! What's missing, you might be asking? How about physical activity! By building lean muscle tissue, you will rev up your metabolism and accelerate your calorie-burn and weight loss...not to mention the fact that your clothes will fit better and your health will improve!

Did you know that for every pound of lean muscle tissue on your frame, you burn 30-60 calories per day, even in your sleep? Yup, exercise helps you to increase your muscle mass and decrease your fat mass, increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower your blood pressure. In addition, it helps you increase your bone density and energy levels as well as your strength, endurance and flexibility, and best of all - improve your self-esteem! Yes indeed, it really can do all of that!

So, if you aren't a member of a gym and you don't have a personal trainer, don't fret - summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and take advantage of the gorgeous weather. The park is your gym. The sidewalk is your cardio machine. Get moving and shed those excess pounds faster than you can say 'yellow polka-dot bikini'!