(CBS) Rather than a crash diet at the beginning of summer, spring is the right time to begin a fitness program that will have you slimmer and healthier by the time you're ready to hit the beach.
Each year, the Self magazine challenge leads the way through a three-month plan that's easy enough for anyone to follow. Co-anchor Rene Syler walked through the steps on The Early Show Monday with Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief of Self magazine.
The program is geared for women at all fitness levels and aims to help participants lose up to 10 pounds in a month. It's a 12-week program, involving exercise and healthy eating and is featured in the March, April and May issues of Self magazine and at www.self.com, where you can find a free online exercise log, menu options, calorie trackers, motivational tools, buddy connections, instructional videos and a workout blog.
The plan's fitness and nutrition goals:
Three 30-minute cardio sessions per week Choose any cardio activity, such as biking, running, swimming, dancing, soccer, tennis, etc.
Three 20-minute strength sessions per week Danziger says the strength training plan features innovative muscle sculpting moves that you perform in pairs without stopping so you elevate your heart rate and burn more calories than in a typical strength workout. That gives you maximum benefits in minimal time. Self provides video online so you can work out at home with a set of hand weights.
A healthy and flexible eating plan This allows you three balanced meals daily, plus a snack and dessert.
For extra motivation, anyone who registers for the Self Challenge by March 31 can download a free 30-day pass to Bally Total Fitness clubs. Participants are also eligible to win daily prizes, including a trip to the Clarins Skin Spa in St. Bart's.
To watch demonstrations from the Self challenge on The Early Show click here.