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There is no such things as a fat-sucking fairy that will miraculously transform your body into one that looks gorgeous in a bikini. If you didn’t have a bikini body last summer, you probably won’t have one this summer. Sorry to burst your bubble right off the bat like this. However, there is nothing wrong with taking steps to ensure that this summer is your best ever, physically and mentally. Here are 8 ideas that you can do right now to get you ready for outdoors whether you have a beach body or not.

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

There are scads of people walking around not knowing that they are dehydrated. Although most of them don’t look like zombies, some do. This isn’t rocket science. Face it, none of us drink enough water.

When you think you are hungry,  it could be your body crying out for water. Try this. The next time you feel like you need a snack, instead drink a tall glass of water. Then wait 20 minutes. If you still feel hungry, go for it with something solid. 

Now is the time to get into the habit of drinking more water just because warmer temperatures are on the way. Sweating is your friend when it comes to expelling toxins. I know you’ve heard this over and over, but 6-8 glasses of water per day is what you need to make your body function at optimum performance levels. And, during the summer, you need even more. Think of it as moisturizing from within, and gulp it down.

2. Slough it Off Baby

Get into the habit right now of exfoliating your skin twice a week. This gets rid of dead cells and will make your skin look and feel healthier. Obviously, more of you will be exposed with skimpier clothing this summer, so focus on your elbows, knees and your feet since they tend to dry out faster in warmer weather. Don’t forget to slather on a moisturizer before bedtime each and every night.

3. Stretch it Out

I know, I know…when you think about getting ready for summer, stretching is probably the last thing on your mind. The older we get, our muscles lose elasticity. Without some sort of stretch preparation, just doing simple movements, like walking up stairs or around the block, can make us feel sore and tired. Stretching is also one of the most important things you can do to prevent muscle damage. So, start a stretch regimen right now, and make it a habit. You don’t want your  summer ruined by injury because your body wasn’t prepared for new warm weather activities. Think rubber band and stretch-h-h-h-h!

4. Pony Up

Now is the time to develop a hair plan. (I’m talking about the hair on your head, dear.) This may sound dumb, but you’ll be glad you have a “do” strategy as the summer progresses and you are out for a hike with your grandkids, or exploring new places while on vacation. For these Kodak moments, generally, someone is around to record them on film, so be prepared.

If your hair is long enough, experiment with putting it up in a pony tail or with a clip. I always have a claw hair clip dorkily attached to my shirt or in my dorky fanny pack. I also use bandanas in a lot of creative ways. Get your hair out of your eyes and off your neck, girl.

5. Major Muscles

If you already are into a workout regimen, YAY YOU! Keep it going. But now is the time to focus more on your major muscle groups – primarily legs and butt. I’m talking squats and lunges. With the “biggies” in good shape, you will be able to handle a variety of new summer activities that your body might not be used to.


Again, what? Yep, you guessed it, now is the perfect time to rest up and get in the habit of sleeping at least 7 hours per night. Here’s what the experts tell us. If you don’t sleep enough, your body is going to crave carbs the next day. It’s literally saying, “I need energy!!!” And of course, if you give in to the craving, that will lead to more tiredness, and so on, and so on. Best to get the rest you need and avoid the cycle. If you struggle with sleep, like me, make sure you turn off all devices (TV, tablet, phone, computer) an hour before bedtime. And, if anyone rags on you about taking a nap or sleeping in, tell them you are in training for summer. Duh!

7. Fur Removal

I’ve always been pretty hairy. I don’t shave my legs or under my armpits nearly as much when they are covered up during cold seasons. But that all changes during the summer. About 10 years ago, I had laser hair removal treatments for my underarms. I used to have gorilla pits. Now I still have some hair there, but it’s controllable with a few swipes of a razor.

Before it’s urgent, now is the time to figure out your very best hair removal method, especially if you are planning to visit the zoo this summer.

8. Sunscreen

If you are fair, or even somewhat fair you may freckle when you are in the sun. A few freckles are cute and look healthy. But when you get to be an older Wimpy Girl, you will pay for the years you didn’t protect your skin from the sun. Like me. Now, having had many skin cancers removed and freckles covering my bod like paint splatters, I don’t go outside during the day without sunscreen. And, I walk to the shade now more than ever. Find a good sunscreen and USE IT!

Hazy, Crazy, Lazy Days of Summer

When I was a kid, I loved summertime. No school, watermelons, swimming, vacations. Ahhh. It almost beat out Christmas because my birthday is in the summer. I looked forward to it all year even though we didn’t have central air conditioning until I was older. I didn’t care.  I didn’t want to miss out on anything going on during the summer.

So, why not fall in love with summer all over again as an adult? If you take a little time right now to be prepared, you can. This stuff is not frivolous.  You are worth it.

Get serious, right now, and make it happen. I guarantee that with a few prep steps, you will look great and feel confident about anything the Summer of ’22, dishes out.

To happy summer times and the best of what might be.

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This work by Anel “Pookie” Ryan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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