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How to Get in Summer Shape

BY RELEVANT ISSUE 62 / LIFE February 15, 2013

Health and fitness aren’t generally part of RELEVANT’s wheelhouse but, hey, we’re only human. The sudden panic of swimsuit season sets on everyone, and nobody should be left wondering how to kick the body into high gear due to impending high temperatures. To that end, here’s the RELEVANT guide to getting in summer shape.

### Read a book.
It’s tempting to show up at the gym, pick the first machine you see and just start poking stuff. For all you know, you could be pushing buttons on a vending machine. Do yourself a favor and read up on effective workout techniques before making an idiot of yourself.

### Eat a lot.
The single biggest misconception about losing weight is that you can do it by not eating. There are a million reasons to not do this (among them: food is good), but losing weight isn’t about not eating. It’s about eating smart.

### Have some fun.
Look, if running is your thing, fine. But some of us need a little more spark. Find something you like to do, like swimming, self-defense or rock climbing. Thirty minutes of ultimate Frisbee with friends isn’t P90X, but you’ll have more fun, and it’s sure to do you plenty of good.

### Go to sleep.
You know what Rocky Balboa, Hope Solo and the guys in 300 have in common? They get eight hours of sleep every night. It’s true. (We called and asked.) Not getting enough sleep wreaks havoc on your health, so take a lesson from the pros and get some rest.

### Just chill out.
It’s fun to be in amazing shape (probably), but there’s no substitute for just being cool with your body. Summer’s fun with or without a six pack, so don’t obsess about it. Live a little, and enjoy the summer—no matter what shape your body takes.