During the winter months, we often relax a little about our lumps and bumps; happily covering ourselves up in chunky knits and onesies! Research shows that most of us eat more during winter, taking comfort from steaming plates of food and slabs of cake with our cuppas! We exercise less too, preferring to stay in and keep warm.
When Spring creeps up on us, most women feel a sudden urge to update their wardrobes and ditch their winter layers in favour of cropped trousers and George’s maxi dresses. Suddenly we become more conscious of our love handles, especially knowing that when summer arrives, our bulges will be more evident as we swap blouses and midi dresses for shorts, T-shirts and bikinis. (Admittedly British summers hardly guarantee a heatwave, but at least we can turn off the central heating!) If you’re planning a holiday abroad somewhere hot, getting in shape may well be high on your agenda if you want to flaunt that bikini or cossie!
Be Realistic About Your Body Shape and Follow a Healthier Diet
Many women spend far too much time worrying about slimming down to the perfect figure. Very few of us are naturally meant to be skinny. It’s all about knowing your natural body shape and getting a healthy balance between embracing your curves and toning up – perhaps losing the extra pounds you may have gained over the winter. A healthy diet alongside exercise is an absolute must if you’re serious about shifting some weight – avoid crash diets as they only end up making you miserable. Instead, modify your diet to make healthier choices. For starters, swap ‘white’ carbs like white bread, pasta and rice for wholegrain versions; increase your intake of fruit and veg and drink more water.
Improve Your Fitness
There’s nothing stopping you from hitting the gym hard if you have the inclination. However, if that’s not your cup of tea, try incorporating exercise into your everyday routine to increase your general activity levels. If you normally spend your lunchtimes at work sat at your desk or in the cafeteria, try taking a brisk 30 minute walk instead and burn off around 150 calories. Take the stairs instead of the lift, do some vigorous spring cleaning or take the kids swimming. You may want to invest in a pedometer – you’ll be encouraged when you see how your daily footsteps mount up and how many calories you burn and it’ll motivate you to be even more active! Maybe now’s also the time to dig out that exercise DVD that’s been hiding in the cupboard!
Get Your Friends Involved
Exercise is always more fun if you have a companion. Why not try and rally some friends for a regular power walk. Take turns to pick a location and plan a route – the feel good factor you get from an energizing walk, coupled with a good gossip is infectious! Kids rarely pass up an opportunity to let off steam and exercise is as important for their wellbeing as yours – how about a family bike ride or a game of football in the park?
When you think about it, there are loads of ways to keep fit – the hard part is changing your habits and staying motivated. Just think how great you’ll feel once you lose those unwanted extra pounds – you will look great in anything, from mini to maxi dresses!