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It's that time of year again! Time to shed the heavy coats and winter clothes. The month of May will be here before we know it and summer is fast approaching. You ask yourself,  "Is my body Derby dress ready?"  "Is my body bikini ready for the summer?" If you want to get fit and stay healthy, try these nutritional and fitness tips.

Most importantly fuel your body with the proper nutrients. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We want to make sure we start our day off right. We've been fasting all night so it is important to grab breakfast to break that fast. I personally like to eat steel cut oats or eggs in the morning. Try to grab healthy snacks throughout the day -such as: fruit, veggies or nuts. 

The goal is to eat six small meals throughout the day. #1. Breakfast, #2. Snack, #3. Lunch, #4. Snack, #5. Dinner, and #6. Snack. 

Dinner should be the smallest meal of the day since your metabolism slows down at night. 

Try to just drink water throughout the day. 

Avoid salt and sugars. 

Try your best to limit going out to eat at fast food restaurants and drinking alcohol. Empty calories just slows your metabolism down and it is harder to stay lean.

Exercise every single day for 30 minutes. Cardio exercise elevates your heart rate and burns calories quickly and sheds fat mass. If you have access to a gym, try to do the elliptical, treadmill or bike for 30 minutes. Try intervals- 2 minutes push the speed fast on cardio equipment and slow it down 2 minutes at a regular pace. Do these intervals for  30 minutes. This helps elevate your heart rate and shed!

If you do not have access to a gym, try walking outside or jogging outside. Even simple exercises at home such as marching in place or climbing up and down your stairs are cardio exercise. Also, participating in fitness classes helps motivate and push your body in a positive way! Try Milestone classes. We offer the most classes compared to any other gym in Louisville!  My personal form of exercise is dancing! I teach hip-hop at Milestone on Fridays at 4:30 p.m. My class has fun shimmying and shaking to upbeat music!

Calisthenic exercises can be done every day as well. 

Examples of calisthenic exercises are push-ups, abdominal crunches, wall sits, leg lifts, planks and calf raises. Try doing calisthenic exercises every single day and adding more reps each day to challenge yourself. Start with 30 seconds and increase your time weekly.

Weight training should be done every other day when doing a full body workout. 

If you choose to do weights daily, make sure you are working different muscle groups each day. 

A great  upper body weight training program is: Chest press, Lat pull-down, Row, Dumbbell Bicep Curls and Tricep Push-down. 

Lower body: Leg press, Hip Abduction and Hip Adduction.

These are great overall weight training exercises to get your body in shape for Derby and bikini season.

If you are wanting to develop a long lean body, use weight that is not overly challenging and do 2 sets of 15 reps. If you are wanting to build more muscle, lift more weight and do less reps Ex- (3x5). Make sure warm up on cardio equipment for about 5 minutes before you lift weights and stretch after each workout to prevent muscle soreness and lengthen your muscles. Hold your stretches for 30 seconds. Your stretches should be static (hold still), not ballistic (no bouncing).

Remember to get your beauty rest! Try to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night! Drinking water, eating healthy, exercising daily and sleeping helps keep a healthy and fit body!

Alison Cardoza -B.S. Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Minor in Health Promotions from University of Louisville.  ACSM-CPT Personal Trainer and Fitour Hip Hop Group Exercise Instructor at Baptist East Milestone Wellness Center.  Former University of Louisville Ladybird and former NFL Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader.

Milestone Personal Training