From North to South, and East to all states bordering California, people have a fascination with California babes, girls, bodies, mentality, lifestyle and scenery. They drool over the thought of basking in the coastal sun, digging their feet into the luxurious sand and frolicking down the shoreline admiring the beautiful bodies that pepper the horizon-- with their own physique somewhat resembling that of David Hasselhoff's. As they slip back into reality from their own personal episode of Baywatch, they recall the tire permanently attached to their waist-- oh, and that they aren't in Cali.
So what is it that causes, as The Mamas & the Papas put it best, “California Dreamin”? The thing that any true Californian could attest to, is that not only is the physically fit aspect of the typical beach goer of great importance, but so is the relevance of being mentally fit. When it boils down to the necessities of maintaining a fit California sleek bod, there are truly only a few easily adoptable habits that need to obeyed.
Habit #1: Outside play time; No, playing Candy Crush Saga does not count.
Get ready for a knowledge bomb; the word “play” is derived from the Old English word “plegian,” which means to exercise. One thing that Cali babes and bros do best is play. Since play essentially means ‘to exercise’, it's no question that the body will benefit, as well as the mind. Studies show that adult play boosts cognitive function, improves stress management and positively alters your mood. This explains why many California locals run around with hot bods (thanks to their great playtime exercising) and a stress free, happy go lucky mentality. Challenge yourself to put together a game of dodgeball in the backyard or volleyball on the beach and reap the mental, emotional and (best of all) physical benefits of adult playtime.
Habit #2: Strength Training; Sorry to break it to you, honey, but cardio is overrated.
While cardio plays a small role in maintaining a slim, lean California sought after figure, the main ingredient in the recipe for a beach bod is weight and resistance training. Whether it be bodyweight training, a resistance band or the barbell, training your body with resistance should make up the majority of your workout plan. Basically, the short and sweet of the “sciencey” stuff is this-- while cardio does engage the whole body and enlarges the heart, it does not require enough load to make any muscular transformation. A workout routine with a cardio emphasis runs the risk of resulting in “skinny fat.” Whereas, full body strength training movements require the lifting and lowering of a heavy load, which in turn causes slight tears in the muscles, which then repairs and results in muscle growth. According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the largest benefits of weight training is a lean body-- along with an impressive list of other benefits to follow. Weight training equals a healthy, lean body. A healthy, lean body is the definition of “California sexy.”
Habit #3:Sleep Habits; Get cozy between the covers!
Several studies, including that of Dr. Shahrad Taheri of Heartlands Biomedical Research Center and Dr. Emmanuel Mignot of the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center, have shown that skimping on snoozing can actually cause weight gain and loss of lean muscle mass. Snuggling up between the sheets guilt free (what you do between them is up to you) will keep you physically and mentally feeling your best so you have the energy to play and perform effective weight bearing workouts. Starting to see the connection here? Counting those sheep also helps to regulate your appetite and positively impacts food choices. Which explains why so many healthy food stores thrive on the West Coast.
Habit #4: Vitamin D
Those who bask in the glory of living on the “Golden Coast” get to feel the warm rays of sunshine, filled with Vitamin D, wash over their skin almost year round. The benefits of getting real, sufficient Vitamin D range from mood enhancement to clearer thinking to stronger bones. In fact, Vitamin D is one of the best “d”efenses (no pun intended there,) against cancer. “Activated Vitamin D is one of the most potent inhibitors of cancer cell growth.” explains Michael R. Holick, PhD, MD, leader of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University School of Medicine. Mighty interesting, don't you think? If you are not living in a state that gets soaked in sunny rays year round, it's alright to get your vitamin in the form of a supplement. Vitamin D keeps your energy at a maximum and is really the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae that makes up the perfect combo for California habits to incorporate into your daily routine. Try it for yourself and watch how it helps you to achieve that David Hasselhoff beach bod you've always dreamed of.