Suit Up with these Wellness Tips
Get swimsuit-ready with wellness tips from local fitness pros. Then, slip on some of the hottest styles this season.
“Don’t let this winter’s wet weather fool you; our summer sun is already prepping for its arrival and so should we,” says Andrea Wilson, head coach at OrangeTheory in Newport Beach. “It’s time to start preparing our bodies.”
Nutrition is key to slimming down, Andrea says. “You can’t train on a bad diet.” She recommends tracking food intake in a journal (be it paper or digital), eliminating sugar and “easy-to-grab” carbs like pretzels, crackers and chips (she snacks on jicama, bell pepper, and cucumber when she needs something to crunch on), and staying hydrated. The latter, Andrew says, is “the most obvious, yet the most overlooked.” Sometimes when you feel hungry, it’s really thirst in disguise. “If it’s been fewer than three hours since your last meal, try drinking a glass of water then wait 15 minutes. Chances are your body will turn off its hunger signal.” Andrea also says more than two alcoholic drinks a week will inhibit progress, so it’s best to abstain. Once you’ve got the diet down, the rest is icing on the cake.
“When trying to tone up, I add an extra workout to my week,” Andrea says. When she’s not burning serious calories with high intensity interval training at the gym, she enjoys climbing hills in Corona del Mar. “There’s a half-mile stretch of hills that extend from the top of Ocean Boulevard (and Poppy Street) down toward the beach,” she says. “I take one at a time and run each one twice.” At the bottom, she throws in 10 pushups and 10 squats, and then runs back up. “It’s a fun way to get outside and get sweaty,” she says. To keep exercise fun — and not feeling like exercise — do something new, Andrea adds. “If you’ve been curious about paddleboarding, kayaking, self defense, kickboxing, whatever — do it. …Doing something new challenges your body, but it also engages your mind. When your mind is forced to fire in new ways it will cause your body to respond in new ways. It might be just what you need to break through a plateau.”
Here, other fitness experts in Newport Beach share how they, too, like to get in swimsuit-ready shape.
Coach Travis, Fitwall Newport Beach
When he’s not on the Fitwall (a full-body workout that builds strength and flexibility while providing a cardio), Coach Travis loves working out on the beach. “I do runs, sprints, or simple bodyweight exercises in the sun,” he says. He also enjoys parks with playground equipment: “I can do pushups, squats, pullups, and play around like a child again!” Whether you burn your calories indoors or out, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
- Be consistent. Otherwise, you won’t make much progress. Many people think getting ready for the summer is a quick fix, but it’s really hard to make quick progress without terribly unsustainable dieting and exercising.
- In order to make the greatest changes to the body, work on bigger movements and exercises, as they require the most muscle activation to perform and will yield the greatest changes. Big movements are squats, lunges, pushups, pullups, crawling and anything that forces the body to adapt and get leaner.
- Train your entire body each time you work out. Unless you happen to be a very well developed bodybuilder, there is just no need to train specific body parts on different days during the week. Instead, train your entire body four to five days a week with a variety of workouts that focus on strength, cardio, and flexibility. (Body part splits, or isolated workouts, became popular in the 1970s-’80s, but exercise science has clearly shown since then that working your entire body is much more time effective than, say, dedicating a day to just your legs.
- Toning requires two things: burning fat and building muscle. People (especially ladies) tend to focus [solely] on burning fat, and that is why they fail to see the results. When you focus on building muscle through strength training or higher intensity cardio, you will also burn fat. However, when you focus on cardio, not only will you not build muscle, you may also lose muscle. That leaves you ‘skinny fat,’ which carries a bunch of health issues.
Jenai Nelson, Pirate Coast Paddle Co
“Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up to start your metabolism,” says Jenai, a yogini who teaches yoga on the water. “Them, drink at least half your weight in ounces per day.” Nelson’s favorite way to get in shape for summer is outside on her paddleboard. “It’s a full-body and mind workout, incorporating balance, mindful movements, and controlled breath,” she says. “When performed properly, stand-up paddling strengthens the large core muscle groups, which is perfect for getting swimsuit-ready. Doing yoga on a SUP board also uses many smaller, stabilizing muscles that often don’t get used.” Her favorite yoga postures on a stand-up paddleboard are sun salutations. “Transitioning from one posture to another on a board requires concentration and mindful movement,” Jenai says. “The added element of being outside on the water also enhances the experience.”
Monica Pommier, Pure Barre
Off the bar — a low-impact technique that builds strength, stretches, and lengthens through a series of intense isometrics, while simultaneously calming the mind — Monica enjoys getting in shape by stand-up paddleboarding around Newport Harbor or hiking in Crystal Cove State Park. “I love that I get to work out while enjoying the weather,” she says. “That’s why we live here!”
Alicia Vincent, F45 Training
At Corona del Mar’s recently opened F45, a brand that originated in Australia, trainer Alicia Vincent teaches one-of-a-kind, high intensity workout classes. “No workout is ever the same,” she says. “We have 27 exhilarating workout programs, which rotate timing, stations, and over 3,000 functional exercises.” On any given day, you’ll find its members pushing sleds, slamming medicine balls, and swinging kettle bells. When it comes to a workout routine, Alicia says it’s important to make it fun, and to follow these other guidelines.
- Exercise to sweat.
- Commit to a schedule and a healthy meal plan (add magnesium).
- Get 8 hours of quality sleep.
- Drink 2-3 liters of water every day.
- Drink a cup of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.
- Make yourself a priority.
Josh Swickard, SoulCycle Newport Beach
Indoor cycling is not just a workout for the body, but for the mind, says Josh, who spends 45 minutes a day with his feet on the pedals. “That’s all the time I need to get a great physical workout and also disconnect and push myself mentally,” she says. When he’s not on the bike in the studio, he adds, “I love a nice run on the beach!”
Just as important as your workout is rest, adds Andrea. “If you over-train, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. Exercise and dieting are stressors on your body, so do too much, and your body won’t like it anymore than it likes the kind of stress you accumulate from work or home.” She prescribes meditation, prayer, sitting quietly with a cup of green tea — whatever helps you wind down — daily.