LOSE INCHES ALL OVER
Exercise can help you with the winning formula of burning more calories than you’re putting in – for example, 30 minutes of running burns about 300 and tennis about 200 – but don’t opt for aerobic exercise alone. Research shows that a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training is most effective for weight loss in women. ‘Including weights or bodyweight exercises is vital because we lose muscle as we age,’ says Caroline Sandry, personal trainer and Pilates teacher (carolinesandry.com). ‘Muscle burns more calories than fat so we need to maintain it for both daily functioning and staying a healthy weight.’ And don’t be a slave to the scales. ‘When you start becoming leaner by gaining muscle, measuring your waist, hips and thighs each week is a far more effective indicator of how your body is changing,’ says Caroline. ‘Those measurements will go down, although your weight might not change dramatically.’
‘Brisk walking peppered with resistance exercises, such as squats, step-ups and lunges, will bring amazing results,’ says Caroline. ‘Stop every few minutes and do a set of 10 leg exercises on each leg. Get yourself a step counter and set yourself a weekly goal. For example, add 4,000 more steps a day to your usual average, then 6,000 the following week. Write down your totals to chart progress.’ ‘Variety is key to weight loss,’ says Jo Gray, sports psychologist and lifestyle consultant (livingretreats.co.uk). ‘If you do the same exercise at the same pace over and over again, your body becomes accustomed to it and your fitness and weight-loss gains will plateau. Plan out your week to include a long walk, a swim, a short, fast walk, a yoga class and some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – effective for weight loss. Check Youtube for beginner’s workouts.’
Relive your childhood and skip. It’s a serious calorie burner (around 600 per hour) and leg-strengthener. After warming up, aim for a total of 10-15 minutes with short rests in between.