Summer’s sizzling beach and lake escapes are nearly here, which means baring it all in a bathing suit. So we consulted models, fitness experts, and wellness pros to find out what they know about getting fit for summer. The best part? You can follow all these tips and tricks on the go, no matter if you’re already traveling or just busy working up to your next vacation. You’ll be looking—and more importantly feeling—great in that itsy-bitsy bikini in no time.
Sharon Ogawa, the Director of Spa at the Spa Grande in the Grand Wailea encourages hydrotherapy to tighten and tone the body. Ogawa would know, she leads the wellness team at the largest spa in Hawaii, and hits Maui’s white ribbon beaches year-round. Explaining the benefits of this wellness routine, she notes "when you alternate between hot baths and cold plunges, you are exercising your skin, which opens and closes the pores and releases toxins, as well as helps to maintain suppleness and tone to the largest organ in your body."
Insider Tip: Can’t make it to the spa pre-beach? Ogawa suggests this DIY method: "try turning the water in your shower from hot to cold several times to achieve a hydrotherapy-at-home effect."
When we learned that exfoliating can make us look better in a bathing suit, we were intrigued…no, make that overjoyed. No sweat session at the gym in this step. In our spa stopovers around the world, we’ve been told many times that exfoliating using a loofa, dry brush, or intense scrub in the shower preps skin for a sleek silhouette. First, it gets rid of dead skin cells, creating a smoother surface. Second, when you buff away excess build-up on the body and massage toward your heart (from the feet up, and the arms in), this method is known to stimulate circulation and break up blockages in cellulite-prone areas.
Recommended Fodor’s Video
In addition to exercise, uber-sculpted fitness trainer and creator of the celeb-status Get RIPPED!™ workouts, Jari Love, imparts this sage advice, "When people ask me about diet, I always recommend the same principles I follow: stick to three, 300-calorie meals and two, 250-calorie snacks per day." Breaking this down into bite-sized bits, her three rules for a fit physique are: load up on low glycemic index fruits and veggies like raspberries or spinach, stick to lean protein like non-fatty meats, egg whites, fish, and whey protein powder, and strive for no carbs after 5 pm.
Insider Tip: If you want to take your beach-bod plan to the next level, Love suggests "putting your bathing suit in an area where you’ll see it all the time." Talk about a constant visual reminder!
Sneaking in Vegetables and Exercise
For fitness model and active lifestyle consultant Marissa Borelli, getting bikini-ready is a year-round gig. Starting with eating, she challenges herself and others to eat 60% vegetables throughout the day—that’s veggies at every meal! Her motto is to sneak in greens at every opportunity, like throwing kale or cucumber into a smoothie. When it comes to sugar and artificial sweeteners, she avoids them in inventive ways like adding cinnamon or cardamom to her morning cup of coffee for a blast of natural flavor. As for exercise, she’s equally sneaky-savvy, adding mini workouts to life’s mundane moments. For example, she’ll do 20 lunges while watching TV or an abdominal tightening session while washing dishes. We’re planning on doing her ab tightening strategy in long airport security lines.
Taking a whole-self approach to bikini readiness, Catherine Roscoe Barr, fitness professional with a degree in Neuroscience, recommends combining stress management, exercise, and nutrition for a winning trifecta of wellness. "Reducing stress by being mindful, regular short bursts of moderate-to-intense physical activity, and eating fresh, unprocessed foods will have you looking and feeling fabulously fierce" she muses. And you can do those things anytime, anywhere.
Photo credits: Hot spa bathtub via Shutterstock/TOMO; Body scrub via Shutterstock/matka_Wariatka; Fish and veggies via Shutterstock/ElenaGaak; Fruit and vegetables via Shutterstock/Bauer Alexander; Couple riding bikes via Shutterstock/Warren Goldswain