Spring Break for Your Body

Spring is just the right season to get your body tuned up and toned up.

By Star Lawrence
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

The birds are singing, the sun is shining, the trees are decked out in green lace. But, as you emerge from those layers of coats and sweaters, you just know someone will say those dreaded words: bathing suit.

No matter how many times people go skiing, most bodies are not summer-ready. Here are some tips for a spring overhaul.

Tip No. 1: A Hand Up

"The muscle groups you want to define," Joan Price, MA, tells WebMD, "are the parts outside the clothes." Price is the author of The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book.

In summer, this takes in a lot of parts.

For many women, the upper arms are a target. In our family, we call those swags of pasty flesh that mysteriously appear on the backs of one's arms "Mermans." This is from song belter Ethel Merman, when she swung her well-festooned arms up and wailed, "There's nooo business like showww business!"

To tighten those areas, Price recommends lateral raises. Stand with your arms relaxed at your sides. Hold light weights in your hands, with your elbows slightly bent. Lift your arms out to the side. Bring your wrists, elbows, and shoulder in line. Then slowly relax, bringing your arms down and back to your original position. Do two sets of 8-10 repetitions each. "The weights should be heavy enough that the last two reps are difficult," she says.