How to Get Fit For Summer
For most of us, Spring ushers in warmer weather, longer days, and the sudden dreadful realization that swimsuit season is around the corner. But if last year's beachwear is suddenly feeling a little snug, don't fret. With the right attitude and a little will power, it's still possible to get fit for summer—especially if you dedicate yourself to a brand new fitness routine. Below, we gathered our five favorite fitness classes to help you get fit for summer in record time.
When time is of the essence, hard-core exercisers know there's no substitute for a grueling boot camp session. Led by experienced trainers, most sessions take place outside a gym or utilize unusual props (think giant tires and fire hoses) designed to engage the entire body at once. The result: maximum calorie burning and a summer body in record time.
It might sound intimidating, but many routines are scalable, meaning there are variations on the exercises that you can do no matter what your current fitness level. And some boot camps are even designed with beginners in mind, so you'll be paired up with other newbies who work at a similar pace. The only requirement is that you be willing to put forth your best effort in order to see measurable results.
As much as we love the results from boot camp, there's no rule that says you have to flip a tire or do a hundred burpees to get amazing results. The proof: Pilates, the slow, controlled workout beloved by gymnasts, dancers, and bodybuilders alike.
Unlike workouts that emphasized working fast and hard, Pilates uses controlled movements with an emphasis on form, breathing, and proper posture, in order to strengthen rock-solid cores and improve coordination and balance. If you prefer yoga to weightlifting and running, Pilates is a great way to kick your workout up a notch and try something that's similar, but challenging. And, it can also be a great option for older people and those with range of motion issues.
Maybe you've heard of spinning (aka indoor cycling) a lot of the last few years? The workout is definitely having a loooooong moment in the spotlight, thanks, in part to its loyal celebrity following. But there's a good reason for all the hype: the intense routines torch calories, yet still manage to be a ton of fun, with studios that mimic a dance club, complete with pulsing music and flashing lights.
Wondering how to get fit fast without stepping foot in a gym? Consider signing up for dance classes! A class in ballroom or Latin dance might not be the first thing that pops into your head when you think about exercise, but dancing is a great full-body workout (for proof see: anyone who's ever competed on Dancing With the Stars). You can shimmy your way to a svelter figure with a partner, or show up solo and get paired up with other single dancers. A lot of classes even end with a dance party on your final session, so you have a great excuse to show off that summer dress that finally fits again.
The secret to getting a summer body fast is dedication and follow-through on any program. So if you find it hard to stick with a workout, it might be worthwhile to call in a professional. Not only will a trainer tailor a program to your goals (hello, bikini), but they'll hold you accountable for meeting them (and showing up). Plus, they'll help make sure you're actually doing each exercise correctly in order to get the maximum benefit. Because if you're going to do sit-ups, you may as well do them right.