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I know, right now you are probably more focused on finishing your bag of candy hearts than worrying about bathing suit season. After all, it’s still months away, right?

All the more reason to think about it now! If you start paying attention now, you won’t be panicking and trying fast fad diets come mid-May. These tips are designed to slowly get you ready to swap sweaters for swim suits slowly but surely.

  1. Drink more water and add eliminate some sugar: I’m not saying “go on a diet.” I’m saying, start watching your daily sugar intake. Write it down every time you pop a mini candy bar in your mouth or nibble one of your kid’s cookies. At the end of the week, see what all those little bites added up to.
  2. Add a 10-minute strength-training routine to your morning: Identify your problem area (particularly as it relates to bathing suit season) and start going after it. Hate your thighs? Do 10 minutes of squats and lunges while watching morning TV. Need to eliminate upper arm flab? Pull out your mini weights or stretch band and work on those for 10 minutes. These 10 minutes are all about toning up!
  3. Gradually add cardio to your day: Start by doing simple things—an extra trip or two up the stairs, parking further away at the grocery store, etc. After a couple weeks, challenge yourself to more: a walk around the block or to the park a few times a week or taking the dog out for an extra 10 minutes. Work up to power walks or jogs on the weekends, but don’t drop any of the things you’ve already added. Do this step gradually and it won’t seem like “working out.”
  4. Buy a pedometer: This simple system to tracking your daily steps is a fun way to keep yourself in check. Set weekly goals, bumping them up every week.
  5. Treat yourself: As winter melts into spring and you are looking better and better, start prepping your skin and hair for summer. Exfoliate, get a good bikini wax and add some highlights to you hair. It’ll be the finishing touch to all your hard work over the winter!

These are just a few simple tips to get you started. Eating more fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains in sensible portions along with a good exercise plan will ultimately get you to your final goal.

**This advice should never take the place of your doctor’s.