MANY people hate making fitness resolutions because by the second week in January, if they have missed a step, they feel like a failure and quit. But what if you were working at your own pace, and were basing the need to improve your health on more than just the feeling that you have to commit to something just because the year just started?
Here are six common complaints from women, and tips sanctioned by personal trainer Lennox Richards on how you can solve them this year.
Problem – Large tummy
Solution: Exercise alone won't help you to achieve a flat stomach; the first thing you need to adjust is your diet. Blasting fat from your midsection will require a radical shift not just in the types of exercises you do, but in the food you ingest. To get a flat stomach you'll have to eat a clean and balanced diet, and then incorporate cardio and core training. This will include exercises like running, skipping, walking, cycling, aerobic workouts and swimming. Do 30 to 60 minutes a few times weekly.
You also want to do sit-ups, planks, obliques and lying leg raises. These target the entire core to strengthen and tone. Then cut out foods that are packed with trans fat — such as fast foods and pastries. Go for a diet that is high in fibre and protein, choose complex carbs, drink plenty of water, stay away from alcohol, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and get the recommended seven to eight hours' sleep as often as you can.
Problem – Cellulite
Solution: The best way to target cellulite is with muscle-building exercises, and proper nutrition. These exercises include cardio, squats, walking, running, strength training and lunges. As it relates to maintaining proper nutrition, make sure that you are eating a low-fat diet. This should consist of lean proteins and veggies. You should also avoid or limit your intake of sugar, starches, alcohol, processed foods and sugary fruit. Also, lower your overall carb consumption while increasing your intake of foods with low glycaemic index.
Problem – Post-baby weight gain
Solution: After getting clearance from your doctor, it will be time to take your body back. Post-baby exercises should include light weight training which help to tone your muscles and strengthen your core.
Cardio, in the form of brisk walking, is also good exercise, and you can even do this with your baby in tow. For best results, go on a brisk 30-minute walk four times each week.
Childbirth can weaken the muscles and ligaments that support the bladder, uterus and bowel when a woman delivers vaginally. Pelvic floor exercises are therefore very important when it comes to strengthening the area.
Problem – Double chin
Solution: While the fat in this area tends to be quite stubborn, targeted exercise focusing on the muscles of the neck and face are almost guaranteed to get the job done.
These include ball exercise — place a small ball under your chin, then press your chin down against the ball and hold 10 seconds, then release and repeat 25 times daily; tongue stretches — looking straight ahead, stick your tongue out as far as you can, then lift your tongue upwards towards your nose. Hold for 10 seconds and release; neck stretches — tilt your head backwards and look at the ceiling, then press your tongue against the roof of your mouth and hold for five to 10 seconds then release. Repeat this throughout the day as many times as you can; and tongue press — for this exercise open your mouth and press your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Tilt your head back and forth to get rid of the excess fat in your jaws.
While getting rid of the double chin may be your main focus, you should also try to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical exercise a few times weekly. Physical exercise will also help with your overall weight loss, including your chin.
Problem – Flat butt
Solution: Doing body weight, dumbbell or barbell squats can help to tighten and tone the butt. Glute bridges are also a simple route to a perfect posterior — you do this by lying on your back with your arms at your sides, your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Lift your hips toward the ceiling and hold it there for one count, then lower to the original position. Then squeeze your glutes and hamstrings while you're raising and lowering.
Problem – Poor posture
Solution: Yoga is one of those meditational exercises that encourage sitting up. And poor posture can sometimes be made worse by stress, something that yoga is recommended to help with. Therefore, you stand to benefit twice.
Also, do exercises focusing on muscles around your spine. Exercises targeting the back extensors, neck flexors, pelvic muscles and side muscles are crucial. Many older people complain about back pain because these muscles tend to get weaker as we age, so it is important to work hard to fix these.