Summer is here and everyone is scrambling to get their bodies swimsuit ready. It is at times like this that we all wish we were professional athletes with their sculpted legs and super flat abs. Believe it or not, you don’t have to be an athlete to make their secrets work for you. Try these tips and tricks to help you on your way.

Take Care of Yourself

Of course working out and eating healthy is a major factor in taking care of yourself, but so is managing your immune system. If your immune system is getting the care it needs you will find yourself sick and unable to exercise. Taking vitamins is a great way to boost your immune system and so is eating foods that are rich in probiotics. One of the most popular immune boosting foods enjoyed by athletes around the world is Greek yogurt. Not only is Greek yogurt high in probiotics but it also has twice the amount of protein compared to other yogurts.

Know How to Cheat

Even the strictest athletes allow themselves some wiggle room to enjoy life. By thinking you are going to spend every day working out and only eating the healthiest foods you will find yourself falling off the proverbial wagon in no time. Giving yourself a cheat day is a great way to keep the balance you need to ultimately achieve success. Many successful athletes follow the 80/20 rule or the Pareto principle. The 80/20 rule states that as long as you eat healthy 80% of the time you can indulge 20% of the time and not undo your hard fought gains.

Let Your Body Recover

Allowing your body time and the nutrition it needs to recover post workout will go a long way to ensure your overall success. Within the first 15 to 30 minutes of working out your body needs nutrition. Some great post workout options are things like smoothies, turkey wraps, or yogurt with fruit. All of these post-workout snacks are high in protein which is necessary to help your body repair and build muscle. Another great recovery option is low-fat chocolate milk. Many athletes swear by chocolate milk because of its carbohydrate and protein content.

Follow the Numbers

Keeping track of how many calories you burn versus consume is crucial to meeting your weight loss goals. So many of us fall into the trap of thinking we can eat more because we are working out more. That’s not exactly true. To see results you need to consistently burn more calories than you consume. A good rule of thumb is if you are working out less than an hour a day you probably don’t need to increase your caloric intake.