It's that time of year when your bikini beckons and you dig out those skimpy summer numbers. But fear not. A few tweaks to your routine will soon get you in shape.
1. Go cardio
You've got a couple of months to play with, so make the most of them, says Fiona Neale, a personal trainer at Fernwood in Melville, WA. "Up the ante on your cardio workouts. If you've been doing once or twice a week, try doing 20 or 30 minutes of cardio every day." The weather's warming up too, so get outdoors and run, swim, cycle and walk.
2. Shape up
Summer outfits can reveal a multitude of sins, so Fiona recommends working every major muscle group on a moderate weight to tone up. "For your legs try squats, lat pulldowns work your shoulders, and work on the chest press and push-ups for your chest. Finish off with the rowing machine and do 15 reps of everything for three sets."
3. Rate it
There are different target heart rates for burning fat and getting fit. Burning fat is the one you want to concentrate on for toning. "Aim for 65-75 per cent of your normal heart rate," she says. "To find out what your normal heart rate is take 220 and minus your age from it. Then aim for 65-75 per cent of the figure left." If you don't have access to gym machines that monitor your heart rate, aim to exercise to the point where you can hold a staggered conversation. "You don't need to be huffing and puffing, but you shouldn't be able to talk smoothly," says Fiona.
4. Eat right
"Summer is the perfect time to swap heavy meals for the huge array of seasonal fruit and vegetable on offer at this time of year," says Fiona. Skip the roast and enjoy lean meat or fish on the BBQ barbecue with vegetables instead, and try crisp, colourful salads with chicken or ham for lunch.
5. Buddy up
If you're lacking motivation, exercise with a friend. "People who work out together tend to see results quicker," says Fiona. "It's partly due to the friendly competition. If your friend is a bit quicker than you, you'll work harder to keep up." And if you're enjoying a chinwag at the same time you'll have more fun.
6. Look back
"If you're a bit bigger than you were last summer, it can be a good idea to hang one of last year's outfits up and set yourself the goal of being able to fit back into it," says Fiona. If you were that weight 12 months ago, you can be that weight again.
7. Plan it
Don't assume you'll automatically find time to exercise draw up a routine and stick to it. "Plan for strength training and toning exercises three times a week, say Monday, Wednesday and Friday," says Fiona. "And add 20 minutes of cardio on the end to a workout. Then every other day of the week do a stint of cardio."
Your say: Have you put on weight over the winter? How do you plan to slim down again?
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