Get a bikini body in time for summer
Apr 21 2011
Want to look toned and gorgeous on the beach this summer? Who doesn't. Our personal trainer Karen Weir has everything you'll need to look and feel great right here. From diet advice to exercise tips, she'll have you whipped into shape in no time.
Finally, there's a little more daylight in our lives and the weather is starting to warm up, so it's time to start thinking about revealing your body to the world. The summer holidays may seem a long way off but you need to be thinking about getting your body in shape now. Like everything in life, if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing properly. So don't subscribe to some fad diet two weeks before you're planning to bare all. Instead, start now with a structured exercise programme and healthy diet and you'll see real improvements in three months' time.
1. Shifting excess body fat
Lets start with shifting excess body fat. Toned muscles are basically lean muscles, so wherever your wobbly bits are, you need to lose or at least reduce the superficial layer of fat over the top. Unfortunately - and contrary to popular belief - there is no way to spot-reduce fat, i.e. hundreds of abdominal crunches will not give you a six-pack. Your six-pack will emerge if you lose sufficient body fat that the natural shape of your muscles are revealed. So, to reveal those ripped abs, shapely shoulders and firm thighs there is a simple equation we need to get to grips with: to reduce body fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume. That gives us three options: 1. Eat less calories, 2. Burn more calories, 3. Do both. Lets aim for both!
2. Get the body moving
Exercise doesn't need to be onerous, aim for a minimum of 30 minutes five times a week - even if it's just walking. It sounds like a lot but if you plan ahead and schedule your exercise sessions, you'll be surprised how easy it is. A long walk at the weekend, a couple of gym sessions a week and occasionally getting off the bus or train a couple of miles from work to finish your journey on foot and you've cracked it!
3. Tackle the diet
Next in the grand plan: let's consider the diet, or rather the healthy eating plan that you can adopt now and which will stay with you forever. It's simple and you know it already. Eat fresh, unprocessed food, get lots of variety, minimise salt, fat and alcohol and try to eat most of your starchy carbs for breakfast and lunch.
4. Strength and conditioning
We've talked about consuming calories and we've talked about burning calories. However, there's one other strategy which will really help make a difference to you achieving your beautiful bikini body and that's strength and conditioning work. Working with weights, or even your own body weight as resistance, will help you tone and sculpt your muscles. Below are the best moves for hitting those common problem areas (don't worry, you don't need to be a member of a gym to make these work for you):
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