Beach bunnies and guys with buff bodies love summer - the chance to strip down to their bathing suits and frolic in the surf or just relax on the beach.
People who aren't in good shape - not so much...
At that's what makes RIGHT NOW so important.
Modern science, for all its accomplishments, still hasn't come up with that magic pill or potion that will give you a great body overnight, so you can't expect to get into perfect beach shape in a week or two.
Instead you need to start now to ensure you've got that perfect physique next time summer rolls around - even if it's summer already.
In that case it's too late for this year but you can still prevent next summer from being a disappointing rerun.
Think about it for a minute - you didn't get into your current shape overnight - it probably took years to end up the way you are right now.
And chances are pretty good you haven't yet built up the willpower to get into and stay in top form, right? So it's important you start now, when you still have time to overcome the occasional slip-up in your diet or exercise regimes...
You've been promising yourself for years that you'd get back into beach shape, and it's time to make good on that promise.
Don't start with any radical changes because you'll find them too hard to stick to and you could even do yourself real physical and emotional harm if you make sudden changes to your eating habits or exercise levels.
Instead, start with small steps - even the longest journey starts with but a single step.
Here's how to get started, whether your goal is to be a svelte beach bunny or a buff-bodied beach bum...
Adjusting Your Diet...
Most people consider 'diet' to be one of the most foul four-letter words, indicative of near-starvation and denied pleasures.
In this instance, however, it refers to your daily nutritional intake in general.
If you're like most people, right now you couldn't say how many calories you eat or what the carbohydrate - protein - fat breakdown is from your daily intake.
So before you start cutting back or cutting anything out of your eating habits, start a food diary.
For the next two weeks eat as you normally would and write down everything you put into your mouth each day.
Pick up a food counts book or use an online calculator to see how many calories you're taking in on average, and what the nutrient breakdown is.
Be totally honest here - no one is going to see it but you.
Once you have that 2-week record and know what your diet is like now, start making changes to your diet, small ones you can live with, to reduce the overall caloric intake and move closer to a breakdown like 40% protein, 35% carbohydrates and 25% fat.
Avoid simple carbs where you can, and keep your fat intake to healthy sources like Omega-3.
There are plenty of places online to research these topics more fully if you're not familiar with the concepts.
Getting More Exercise...
Obviously females looking for a beach bunny bodies don't want big bulky muscles, while males generally don't despair of being bigger and more muscular.
There's good news for both - nature has pre-set your bodies hormonally in such a way that you can both get your desired look using the same workout! But as with diet, start off making slow additions to your daily activity level.
Start walking more and driving less.
Don't sit when you can stand.
Add in some gym time, either in a commercial gym or by starting your own home gym collection of weights.
If you don't have a personal trainer get one, if you can afford it, or at least watch some of the better workout videos on YouTube and learn the correct form for each exercise.
Start with a workout and weights appropriate to your current state, and work to improve from there.
And by the way - yes you DO have time to work out and get in shape...
Every one of the men and women whose bodies you admire (or are jealous of) have the same 168 hours a week you do, so it's all a matter of adjusting your priorities - maybe even (gasp) turning off the television now and then.
And any time you feel your motivation slipping, think back to how you felt on the beach last year, and how you felt when you saw those beach bunnies and buff bodies there - you already know which group you want to be part of next summer!