3 Tips To Get Summer Ready!

Article written by Chrissy Newall – BCG Owner, Personal Trainer and Les Mills Instructor

Summer is just around the corner. Some of us may be feeling a little self-conscious and perhaps not in the best shape we want to be, so naturally we start to think about how we can tweak our diet and become a little more active.

Feeling good should not come at a cost where we are sweating it out every day and eating an unrealistic calorie deficit, but to focus on creating new habits that support a positive mindset and the change we are after.

Here are my 3 tips for getting Summer Ready.


One of my favourite sayings is ‘We think we need to loose weight to get healthy, however we need to get healthy to loose weight’.

Not getting enough sleep and rest effects the body’s hormones and ability to loose weight. Whether that be caused through hormonal changes as we age or stress from work or life in general, we need to give our sleep patterns the attention they need.

For many years I taught Body Balance (Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates) and through this practice I learnt better breathing techniques and also relaxation. I’ve used these relaxation techniques when I find myself tossing and turning in bed and unable to switch off racing thoughts or worries.

Having a sleep routine in the evening can help. It indicates to your body that it is time to slow down. Television, phones and other devices can be over stimulating so try and reduce usage in the evening. My bedtime routine consists of a herbal tea (Sleep Tea with peppermint), brush teeth, read my book for a bit and then lights out after our boys go to bed (admittingly at about 8.15pm!). It is also helpful to keep your routine at the same time each evening so the body learns when it is time to sleep.

Something else to try is relaxation breathing. Do this in a quiet space with soft or dim lighting. Try and concentrate on taking your breath deep in to your belly. Placing a hand on your belly so you can feel the gentle rise and fall of your tummy will help you to connect. The main point is that you are creating a bedtime ritual that signals to your body that its sleep time.

Persist and be consistent as it won’t happen overnight.

Diet and Hydration

I often think of Dr Libby’s book ‘Count Nutrients, Not Calories’. What this means is that when you look at the meal or food you are about to eat ask yourself whether it is nutrient dense.

Let’s use my dinner from last night as an example:

Fan fried fish with green salad, roast kumara and carrots and asparagus. Keeping this nice and simple you have fish (protein) and vitamin A, C, B6, K, Iron Magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and more in the lettuce, kumara, carrots and asparagus. More than 9 nutrients.

If you think of a meal from a packet this will contain preservatives, additives and added sodium that provides way too many ’empty’ calories and very little nutrients. So my rule of thumb is to think of what you are fuelling your body with and keep it fresh and grown either from the earth or animal as much as possible.

Other things to consider would be to reduce caffeine, sugar and alcohol. These foods tend to play havoc on the balance within your gut and can also cause inflammation in the body such as your joints. A healthy body is about creating that symmetry and balance in the body so that your body’s natural processes such as absorbing vitamins and minerals are at their best and can fight off illness and be energised.

Keeping yourself hydrated is vital for processing vitamins and minerals. Often hunger is mistaken for dehydration if we haven’t been drinking enough. Keep a bottle of cool water nearby when you are at work, home or travelling, and sip from it often.

Exercise (My recent exercise addition – Weight Training)

Strength training lifts your metabolism, burns body fat and improves your body functionality, that helps you do every day movements better, stronger and more confidently.

I have found love in weight training in recent years. Coming from a group fitness background this was a huge change for me. I spent 18 months really talking myself in to sticking to a minimum of twice per week. This would often change to only once a week and after 40 minutes I was struggling to carry on and normally stopping at this point. Then I had a break through. I brought a book that was recommended in an Australian Fitness Network newsletter and in it was a comprehensive weight training program. It set out training principles and methods I already knew but never sat down to map out for myself. It consisted of ‘Break in Routine’, Strength Gain, Metabolic and Hypertrophy (muscle gain) blocks. Each block is four weeks long and training is three times per week. I discovered that having a set out plan is what kept me motivated and excited to train, not wanting to miss a session as it would put me back a week.

So if high intensity cardio or classes is something that puts you off then consider getting a set program and start weight training.

FYI – Chrissy’s weekly training goal

I set myself a goal of doing something active most days. My week looks like this:

Sunday – weights

Monday – walk or run or day off (lol, Monday’s can be busy)

Tuesday – weights

Wednesday – Body Balance

Thursday – weights

Friday – RPM

Saturday walk or jog 30-45min

When creating a ‘routine’ be flexible!! Life happens and sometimes your week changes. We need to accept change in routine and not let it be our downfall or excuse to stop trying. Please get in contact if you want help or just a little support to chat about your goals.