It’s getting warmer, and summer’s just around the corner so it is time to start planning your health and fitness regime.
Then it is time to hit the shops to pick out a summer wardrobe, book some tickets to one or two of the great summer festivals on this year and pop to the beautician and tanning salon to get yourself looking a million dollars.
Get fit
For many of us, the first step in preparing for summer is to attempt to shed a few winter kilos. While most of us are never gonna look like our dreamboat cover boy (sorry to burst that bubble, folks), the onset of summer is a good inducement to tone up and get more active: it’s that combination of warmer weather, longer days and the crippling fear of exposing a hefty muffin top at the beach.
Use the recent onset of daylight savings as a reason not to slump onto the couch with a family pizza once you get home from work -” make the most of the extra daylight by getting out of the house for a jog, a swim, or a trip to the gym. Before you know it, no one will be able to tell that you developed a crippling winter addiction to Tim Tams.

Party on
Summertime is festival time. Of course, there’s January’s Midsumma festival, which seems to get bigger every year. 2009 marks the festival’s 21st year, so expect lots of fun around the theme -œa queer coming of age.
There is also a variety of dance festivals slated for the summer, including Global Gathering (with headliners Mark Ronson and Kraftwerk), Stereosonic (Paul van Dyk and Booka Shade), and, at the tail end of summer, Good Vibrations (with electro-soul spunkrat Sam Sparro and the Presets headlining). Get in quick though -” these will sell out.
Oh, and don’t forget the Big Day Out, which this year will feature the fabulous Sneaky Sound System.

Swimmers
AussieBum is the perennial gay favourite when it comes to swimwear, and with whisperings that the company is looking to sign Matthew Mitcham as their new spokesperson, expect everyone to be wearing them this summer.
But not all of us have the build or confidence to don a pair of bulge-hugging Speedos, and the proliferation of looser, short-legged trunks in stores this year is great for those who don’t feel comfortable strutting around with their arses hanging out, but also don’t want to shroud themselves in baggy, over-the-knee boardies.
Check out Mambo, who offer a wide variety of colourful trunks in flattering, slim-fit cuts.

Wax on, wax off
Once you’ve bought hot new bathers and are ready to hit the beach, for a lot of guys, attention turns to hair removal. Through the colder winter months, no-one need know you have the sort of welcome mat a family of five could wipe their feet on, but it’s harder to hide such imperfections once the clothing comes off in summer.
If you’re the type who prefers the completely sleek, bald as a badger look, good luck to you -” but understand that you’re setting yourself up for a world of pain, whether you try waxing (the old -œback, sac -˜n’ crack isn’t as much fun as its name suggests) or shaving (which leaves you prone to ingrown hairs, razor burn and sandpapery full-body stubble after a couple of days).
For furry guys after a more natural look, a pair of clippers and a bit of manscaping can go a long way, reducing the extra fuzz on your body but still leaving you with enough of a pelt to keep warm on windy days.
NYE
New Year’s Eve events seem to sell out earlier and earlier each year, with tickets to many parties, such as Falls Festival at Lorne, getting snapped up before their line-ups are even announced.
If you don’t want to settle for a house party, there are still a few big events with tickets available.
If you’re looking for something different, Sensation at the Telstra Dome is sure to be a spectacular way to ring in the New Year. Hugely popular in Europe, this year marks the first time the multi-million dollar event has entered the Australian market. Expect an epic, ostentatious party with a focus on elaborate, acrobatic stage shows.  Keep in mind, though, that you have to dress in head-to-toe white to gain entry on the night -” which might be a hard sell for Melbourne’s cynical, black-loving audiences.
If you’re after a relaxed start to the year, the Hot BBQ festival is one option for New Year’s Day -” debuting last year at Birrarung Marr, it provided a chilled counterpart to the fluoro explosion that is Summadayze.

However, it must be said that this year’s line-up is decidedly lacklustre -” unless you’re a fan of Aussie hip-hop.

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