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Does this sound like you? “Help, I leave for Florida in three days and I need to lose 20 pounds.”

No problem, just chop off your leg. You weren’t really using it anyway.

Spring Break 2012! Yes, I know it’s the beginning of February but our industry is one that is very time sensitive. So when I get a whiff of Spring (62 degrees last week … really?), I see it as a golden opportunity to kick my folks into another gear before they head south to defrost and de-funk with a little sun, sand and R & R.

But typically this means wearing fewer clothes. Insert scream here.

Don’t get caught off guard. Here are some tips to get started now so you can keep that leg of yours when Spring Break rolls around.

1. “Toning” part one: Strength Training. Part of having a “toned” body means developing firm, shaped muscles, and nothing does this like strength training. If you are currently working out, to maximize your results, make sure your resistance is demanding. If you want to get started at home, try performing body-weight exercises like push-ups with your hands on the kitchen counter top for your arms, and squats in a doorway (hold onto the wood trim for balance) for your legs. Move in a slow, controlled manner to stay safe while maximizing the demand on the muscle.

2. “Toning” part two: Nutrition. Even if you have worked hard to develop strong, nice-looking muscle, you won’t look “toned” if that muscle is covered with fat. Consider your quality and quantity of food to shed some fat and reveal your hard work. A few simple adjustments over time can really make a difference.

• Limit processed food and load up on veggies and food in its “original” form. 

• Make sure to eat breakfast to get your metabolism going at the start of your day.

• Bring your lunch with you to control the contents and volume of your midday food.

• Reduce the volume of your dinner instead of scrapping the house menu and upsetting your clan.

 3. Just add water. If you are not hydrating enough, your body will store water, and stored water is heavy and takes lots of space. How much to drink? Since professional recommendations vary as much as each human body does, just start by getting in 36 ounces and try to build up from there. Also, scrutinize the nonwater beverages you drink and reduce your levels of caffeine, alcohol, salt and sugar, which are all chemicals that rob your body of water.

4. Beach Buddies. Having a buddy to get in shape with is an awesome way to stay on target. Nothing else replaces accountability or provides someone to suffer and celebrate with. Make sure to be picky, though, and choose someone who will be honest with you and won’t let you off the hook.

No tip will help if you don’t apply it. I know you are busy. I know you don’t have the time, or the energy, or the support, or the money… blah, blah, blah. People always get done what is important to them, so don’t wait until it’s too late and then complain about why you couldn’t make it happen. Changing your body takes time, but you could lose 15 to 20 pounds of fat before Sunday, April 1 (no foolin’), if you started right now.

Or you could Spring Break in Cleveland.

Mark Moreland is the owner of Body Outfitters Personal Training Studio in Zionsville and has 13 years of experience as a personal trainer. Mark welcomes your comments and ideas for future topics. He can be reached at

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