Bikini Body

By Victoria McEwan
It is that time of the year again, when we are all counting down to leaving Kuwait for the summer months and those bikinis that have been hiding in the back of the closet need to come out!
 
For me, as a Fitness Leader, this is the busiest time of the year, when panic takes over and clients start a vigorous exercise regime or go on crazy fad diets that promise great results, if only it was all that quick and easy.
 
Depending on your own personal goals and body shape, getting ready for the bikini season will take hard work and dedication, but it does not have to be torture.  My aim, with what follows, is to reinforce some basic rules, that when implemented correctly, will lead to great results which will make a difference to your body shape.
 
Primarily you must ask yourself the following questions:
Do I want to loose weight?
Do I want to gain muscle?
Am I happy with my weight and want to increase tone?
 
Once you have determined what your goals are, it is imperative that you weigh yourself and take your body measurements, so that you have a starting point and so that the goals that you set yourself are realistic.
 
The first step to achieving these goals is to reduce your calorie intake, as exercise alone will not get you the desired results.   How to do this?
 
1. Reduce carbohydrates and processed foods.  Best results are obtained when you eliminate or reduce: bread, rice, pasta, sugar, potatoes.
2. Eat lean proteins such as turkey, chicken and fish and if you are vegetarian eat tofu, tempeh or eggs.
3. Drink lots of water especially with the current increase in temperature in Kuwait, do not drink any fizzy drinks or fruit juices.
4. Don’t forget vegetables have carbohydrates, so try and stick to as many green vegetables as you can. 
5. Limit fruit to morning, so that your body can process the natural sugar throughout the day.
 
The second step is to exercise regularly.  It is really important to do cardio, any exercise that increases your heart rate to 60-80% of your maximum heart rate, 3-5 times per week for a minimum of half an hour, in conjunction with the cardio.  It is also very important to incorporate weight bearing exercises to your weekly routine.  This may mean hitting the gym and pumping some iron or at home lifting your own body weight and doing exercises such as pushups, dips, squats, lunges, etc. 
 
I know it is scary for some women to lift weights as they have the notion that they will get bigger, but as you reduce your weight, it is really important the you do weight bearing exercises so that you are not left with excess skin.
 
Finally, I really believe it is very important to keep a journal, as this really does help you see exactly how much or how little you are putting into achieving your goals.
 
It is never too late, even though summer is here, so take the leap and start living a healthier lifestyle, which in turn will produce the perfect bikini body.
 
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