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*---Summer Shape Up Challenge---*

Posted by on Apr. 21, 2012 at 8:33 AM
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Want to get in shape for summer? Sign up for our challenge!

Does summer always sneak up on you before you've had time to prepare? Me too. Well, not this year!

Sign up for our 7-Day Summer Shape Up Challenge and be beach-ready before you know it!

We've got a week's worth of fun activities designed to help you get your body in gear for the summer, whether you plan to sport a bikini all season long or just want to feel healthier and more active while the weather is so nice.

Sign up by replying below and you could win a $100 gift certificate to ActiveWearUSA.com!

jumping rope

Official Rules

The "Summer Shape Up" Sweepstakes starts on April 19, 2012 at 11:44am (ET) and ends on April 29, 2012 at 11:59pm (ET) (the "Sweepstakes Period").

Enter by replying to this post and replying to 3 out of 5 posts of the Summer Shape Up activities during the Sweepstakes Period. Multiple entries are permitted and encouraged, as it increases your chances of winning.

One (1) winner will be selected in a random drawing of all eligible entries to receive a $100 e-gift certificate to activewearusa.com. The random drawing shall occur on or about April 30, 2012.

*No Purchase Necessary. Open to US residents 16 years and older. Void where prohibited. Click here for the rest of the Official Rules.

by on Apr. 21, 2012 at 8:33 AM
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Replies (1-7):
JCTVCBN
by Group Owner on Apr. 23, 2012 at 1:29 PM

 

7-Day Summer Shape Up, Day 1: Set Realistic Goals

Although this is a quick, 7 Day Shape Up, it’s more a kick-start to a healthier you than a lose-fat-fast boot camp -- you’ll be able to use these tips all year!

First things first:
It’s easy for women, and especially moms, to get down on themselves and discouraged when we see pictures of models and actresses with perfectly toned abs and amazing arms, but the reality is, those people spend major moolah to look that great, and sadly, some of them go to extreme measures to get there.

Working out, eating right, and taking care of ourselves should be about overall wellness and everyday happiness, not a “thin” or “sexy” end-result. Set realistic goals and make these promises to yourself:

  • I will not beat myself up for getting off track; tomorrow is a new day.
  • I will not compare myself to any other women; the goal is to be the best ME.
  • I will focus on better health for myself and my family, NOT the # on the scale.

Commit those to memory or post them where you'll see 'em often!

What are YOUR realistic goals when it comes to weight loss, working out, and living well? Tell us in the replies below; then check out Rachel Murray’s exclusive tips for CafeMoms on the keys to weight-loss success -- they’re realistic and terrific!

jumping rope To sign up for the 7-Day Summer Shape Up, click here.

JCTVCBN
by Group Owner on Apr. 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM

 

7-Day Summer Shape Up, Day 2: Choose an Activity You Love

Could you walk forever but hate to jog? Do you love to dance? Prefer the outdoors over the gym?

Your mission for today is: Choose a form of exercise that you love!

Not sure what to choose, consider something you've always wanted to try: yoga, running, tennis -- the options are endless!

You'll be much more likely to stick with a workout you enjoy than one you're forcing yourself to get through. Once you've chosen an activity (or activities), get out there and do it! Or mark a start date in the near future on your calendar! Then make a plan to do said activity (or activities) at least 3 times a week. Write it down on the calendar, starting now and for the coming summer months, and plan to cross a day out each time you exercise. Trust us, writing it down -- and crossing it out! -- can be very motivating!

What workouts do you love? Tell us in the replies!


treadmillIf you missed yesterday's activity, you can find it here. To sign up for the 7-Day Summer Shape Up, click here.

JCTVCBN
by Group Owner on Apr. 25, 2012 at 10:48 AM

 

7-Day Summer Shape Up, Day 3: Eat Well

It's easy to eat healthy in spring and summer with all the fresh fruit and vegetables in season and farmers' markets full of beautiful produce!

Today's task is to start planning your summer menu now. This way you'll be in the fresh-foods mindset before all your favorite fruits and veg are available at the market. What summer fruits and vegetables are you looking forward to most? Do you have any new recipes to try with them? Here are a few ideas to help get you excited for spring/summer produce:

  • Make one of these spring salads (and share your own salad ideas)!
  • Plan to eat watermelon, a dieter's favorite summer food!
  • Start meal planning: Write out a basic meal plan for the week on Sunday morning (or whenever is most convenient for you) and then write out a shopping list for all the things you'll need to make those meals. This will help you stop giving in to cravings during the week. Need ideas? Find healthy recipes here! See a sample menu here and check out how Monica Reinagel, aka Nutrition Diva, gave this mom's menu a healthy makeover!
  • Keep a food journal so you can see exactly what and how much you're eating and where you can add in healthy stuff (get awesome tips on sneaking in more fruits and veggies here!) and cut back on the not-so-healthy stuff! You can start your food journal here.
  • Start your day with a super smoothie! Get some great recipes here.
  • Read why fruits and veggies are not just good for your waistline here.

Share your spring/summer healthy food plan here!

shopping If you missed yesterday's activity, you can find it here. To sign up for the 7-Day Summer Shape Up, click here.

JCTVCBN
by Group Owner on Apr. 26, 2012 at 9:40 AM

 

7-Day Summer Shape-up, Day 4: Sweat, Sculpt, and Tone

Cardio workouts will burn calories and help you lose weight, but in order to melt fat, sculpt your muscles, and truly transform your body, you have to incorporate strength training.

Fun toning exercises you can do without equipment include: lunges, tricep dips on a chair or bench, and pilates roll-ups.

Do you have a "trouble spot" or two? Don't we all! The bad news: Trouble spots are troublesome because of genetics, which means they're hardest to target when you're trying to lose weight. The good news: all-around toning, exercise, and eating well will give you all-over results, including in your "trouble spots."

Here are some helpful tips and motivating posts on toning:

What are your trouble spots? Do you have an exercise game plan for improving your body all around, including those areas? Tell us in the replies below!

dumbbellIf you missed yesterday's activity, you can find it here. To sign up for the 7-Day Summer Shape Up click here.

JCTVCBN
by Group Owner on Apr. 27, 2012 at 12:32 PM

 

7-Day Summer Shape-up, Day 5: Amp Up Your Workouts

According to a study referenced in April's Women's Health Magazine, "people who did brief fast-paced workouts for a total of 90 minutes a week got just as fit as those who did lower-intensity training for 4 and1/2 hours." That's great news -- especially for busy moms!

Your activity for today is to fire up your workout!

Here are some helpful tips on getting the most bang for your workout buck:

And don't forget to change it up to avoid a weight-loss plateau. Trainer Rachel Cosgrove suggests switching up your routine every 28 days. She says, "It takes 4 to 6 weeks for your body to adapt to a workout. Once it becomes efficient at it, you use less energy and burn fewer calories and fat."

Have you tried any of these tips? Got any great suggestions for amping it up? Share them in the replies!

jumping ropeIf you missed yesterday's activity, you can find it here. To sign up for the 7-Day Summer Shape Up click here.

JCTVCBN
by Group Owner on Apr. 28, 2012 at 10:47 AM

 

7-Day Summer Shape-up, Day 6: Don't Stress

Stress is your worst enemy when it comes to losing weight. Being frazzled all the time causes your body to continuously release the same hormones and chemicals it would if you were in danger. This can lead to overeating (belly bulges are directly related to stress) and more serious health problems including depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.

Your goal for today -- and every day -- is to keep stress at bay!

Here are just a few ideas (please excuse the cliches -- hey, they're well-known for a reason!):

  • Take deep breaths when you're feeling overwhelmed.
  • Take time for you. Even if you only have 10 minutes before bed, take that time to relax and even meditate.
  • Enjoy stress-reducing foods such as avocados, walnuts, wild salmon, and blueberries.
  • Have sex!
  • Cut back on caffeine.
  • Dance! Turn up the music and move it with the kiddos! (Bonus: Dancing burns calories!)
  • Get enough rest (ok, we know this one is hard, but try).
  • Laugh -- often!
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. It's almost never worth it.
  • Stop trying to do it all!
  • Get organized and try these anti-stress decorating tips.
  • And of course, exercise!

How do you keep your cool? Reply with your best stress-busters!

readingIf you missed yesterday's activity, you can find it here. To sign up for the 7-Day Summer Shape Up click here.

JCTVCBN
by Group Owner on Apr. 29, 2012 at 2:14 PM

 

7-Day Summer Shape-up, Day 7: Stay Motivated

Staying motivated is half the battle of losing weight -- at least for me. I have a tough time working out without music, so I'm forever updating my playlist. (Not gonna lie, "Sexy and I Know It" is a staple!) Thinking of Olympic athletes who train super hard motivates me to get up in the morning to work out. I even use mantras like "no pain, no gain," or think about the buzz I'll have -- all day! -- after a great workout.

Here are a few ideas that might come in handy when you're feeling less than motivated:

How about you? What's always on YOUR playlist? What motivates you to work out or eat right, even when it's the last thing you feel like doing? Please share!

sexyIf you missed yesterday's activity, you can find it here. To sign up for the 7-Day Summer Shape Up click here.

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