Are You Bikini Ready?
Whilst we all long for the warmth of summer and the blissful relaxation of two weeks on a beach, the flip side is the dreaded bikini! There is no other word which strikes such fear into the hearts of ladies everywhere! This year it’s time to take action early – none of that nonsensical crash dieting for us – we’re going to be sensible, and do a little every day to help us feel more confident in our two-piece. Or one-piece, as swimming costumes are very much back in vogue, which is good news for fans of breathing, as we all heave a sigh of relief and let our bellies hang back out.
But who has time to add a couple of hours’ cardio and a couple of sessions on the weights into their weekly routine? I certainly don’t! The good news is that there are things you can do that will slot easily into your life so you won’t even notice the difference until you come to shed your clothes and take the plunge into your bikini.
If you think that walking isn’t good exercise, then you’re not trying hard enough! Picking up the pace (try some music with a good beat if you can’t make yourself go faster) is a good first step, as this will get your heart working – great for raising the metabolism and burning off calories. Once you’ve got that happening on a regular basis (at least 20 minutes a day – a good lunchtime activity, take the long way home, hop off the bus early or park your car at a friend’s house) it’s time to step it up.
Fancy walking tip #1: posture. Shoulders back, long strides and a good arm swing will all help you firm up all the right places.
Fancy walking tip #2: start to squeeze your butt. This will really lift and tone it, and nobody will be any the wiser when they see you walking by. As your leg reaches its furthest back, feel the squeeze in your bum on that side and increase as much as you can.
Fancy walking tip #3: tummy crunches. So here’s the drill – imagine you’re squeezing into a pair of jeans and you’re sucking your tummy in to zip them up. That’s the squeeze you want. Don’t crunch to 100% of your ability as it’s too tiring, go for 30%-50% and try to keep it up for ten steps, then off for ten steps. The goal eventually is to always do this when you walk.
It’s so easy to reach for the crisps or the biscuits when you feel the need to snack – even more so at work where there always seem to be tempting treats looking to derail those watching what they eat (I’m looking at you, posh cakes from yesterday’s birthday). The best defence in this case is to plan your attack in advance – keep healthy things to snack on close at hand, but don’t keep anything too boring otherwise you’ll be tempted to cheat!
I’m loving whole fat Greek yoghurt with strawberries, rice, tuna and bean salad with mint, houmous and apple slices, and homemade popcorn with a range of flavourings from paprika to cocoa powder to ginger and cumin! Make sure these are easy to make (or make in advance and take to work in snack-friendly sizes) because we all know how easy it is to reach into the cupboard, pop open a packet of crisps and start munching!
Making Things Difficult
So, if you just do these two things, then you’re really starting to make a difference. Now I’m not saying you will see results overnight, but every little helps. But if you want to make an extra commitment there are a couple of extra simple things you can do that will help even more.
Work harder tip #1: ditch the chocolate. Yes, I’m serious. Ditch it entirely. Believe me when I say there will be some mad cravings, but power through and you’ll start to not only crave chocolate less but other sweet things less too.
Work harder tip #2: carry your food shopping home. It’s so easy to jump in the car and go to the supermarket or grocery shop 10 minutes away. Start to carry things and you get a good workout, plus you start to look at some of your more decadent items in a whole new light as they add weight to your bags and your body!
by glenn harper
If you find that you’ve got 5 minutes spare here and there then use the time wisely! There are loads of exercise aids on the internet and I’ve got my own ways to use up a few minutes as well.
Serious fitness #1: burpees before showering. Take a couple of minutes to do 10 burpees (a small space and no equipment required), wait 20-30 seconds and do 10 more.
Serious fitness #2: stairs – always. No excuses, go at the fastest pace you can manage. You can also mix it up by taking two stairs at a time which is great to really work your butt.
Serious fitness #3: sit-ups when you get home. Just five minutes every day when you get in is all it takes to make a noticeable difference. Or try a lunchtime stomach toning class, they are popping up at gyms everywhere. Usually 10 minutes long, they will give you great ideas as well!
And if all else fails? Wear your bikini with a huge smile and enjoy your holiday – you earned it! Where will you go on holiday to? If you’re looking for inspiration try our destination pages!