Are you afraid of your bathing suit? (Summer shape up part 1)

[Ed. note -- ZOINKS! Swimsuit season is just around the bend. We've decided to jump into it now with tips on getting in shape, great suits for the body you have now and other fun posts today. Instead of stressing, enjoy!]

There are roughly 26 days until the official start of swimsuit season-and there's panic in the air as surely as there is pollen. Even if you don't plan on playing beach volleyball in a string bikini, there's still no getting around the fact that hiding extra pounds in the summer is a challenge. Here's the upside: Losing even 5 pounds makes a BIG difference in how you look and feel. (Pick up a 5-pound dumbbell or bag of kitty litter and you'll see what I mean.) And losing it between now and May 31 st is not only doable but actually pretty easy. Here's your plan:

  • Burn stealth calories. I want to clear up a long held notion about exercise: that you need to do hours of punishing cardio to lose weight. That's completely unrealistic. A better way: Do little stuff, all day long.

In fact, studies show that it's the extra activity you do that adds up to more calories burned-and more pounds lost.

Here's my favorite: Stand instead of sit for 1 hour and you'll burn about 200 calories! Do that every day, and cut 200 calories (the amount in two sodas or a bag of chips), and you could lose about 4 pounds in a month-effortlessly. Second favorite: Do 25 to 50 crunches before you even get out of bed to burn about 20 calories in less than 5 minutes.

I'll be blogging exclusively about getting in shape for summer for the next few weeks, but I want to know: What's stressing you out about swimsuit season? And what are you doing about it?

Do More on

Try on virtual bathing suits with our Weight Loss Simulator
Reach your fitness and weight goals with our free My Health Trackers tool
Eat Your Favorite Foods and Lose Weight

[photo credit: Getty Images]


Want more from Liz? Check out Flat Belly Diet to slim your tummy.