The bright flowers peeking out all over and the warmer temperatures prove that we are getting closer to summer, and bikini season. If you’ve been inactive over the winter months because you knew you could hide beneath a bulky sweater, it’s time to get ready for bikini season – or whatever beach attire you’re comfortable wearing.

There are a few important things to remember about focusing on any fitness toning routine. First, consult your health care provider about starting an exercise program, especially if you’ve had health issues in the past. Working with a fitness trainer can make the focused toning program easier, because he or she will show you the exact exercises and movements that will target specific areas.

A focused exercise program should include some cardio exercises, which will help you burn extra calories that you may have packed on over the winter. But to develop specific body spots to get ready for the beach, plan on doing fitness toning workouts.

Toning areas you may want to concentrate on include the upper arms, abs, thighs and butt. Specific exercises may have different names, depending on your fitness program, but working with handheld weights and motions similar to a push-up will work the upper arm muscles quickly.

Squats and lunges will work the thigh and butt area, but remember to ask your fitness trainer for specific exercise movements in order to isolate the exact muscles you are targeting for the toning program.

Increase the amount of physical activity throughout the day. You will improve your cardio health and feel better with the mini-workouts that don’t have to feel like a full, sweaty session. Park your car further out in the parking lot, and walk quicker to your destination; or use the stairs instead of the elevator. Simple changes can make a difference in boosting any exercise plan, and can help target toning goals faster.

Keep track of your toning goals and progress, motivate yourself with new swimwear, and remember to keep hydrated and eat healthy. Any progress is good progress, and fitness toning can be successful when you rely on a trainer to help teach and motivate you with proper exercise programs.