With Christmas and New Year’s just round the corner, we know there are lots of parties and celebrations to look forward to. Of course, food and drink are synonymous with these festivities – stuffed turkey, mince pies and rich gravies, sinfully tempting trifles, puddings and cakes… yum-yum! It’s also the time to dress up and you want to look your best.
So, want to lose weight before Christmas so you can fit into your favourite dress or pair of jeans?
We’ve picked a few simple exercises that will certainly help you dump a few pounds and tone your bum, tum, arms, and thighs. The best part about these exercises is that you can do them within the comfort of your home, with no extra or fancy machines.
This is great for your bum and thighs.
Stand near your sofa, facing forwards with your feet together. Let the backs of your legs touch the sofa. Take a step to the right and squat just so your bottom touches the seat. Rise and bring your foot back to the starting position. Repeat 8 times on the right and 8 times on the left side.
2. Crunch it
Great for tightening your abs.
Gather a few books and lie on the floor with your legs straight up in the air and toes pointed. Hold the books in your hands and raise them above your head. Lift your head and shoulders up towards your feet. Repeat 16 times.
3. Tone it.
This works very well for your triceps.
Stand facing the wall, with your feet 12” apart. Rest your palms on the wall at chest level and shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight, tuck your elbows in and lean towards the wall. Push with your palms and raise your heels as you get closer to the wall. Push back. Repeat 16 times.
To work your muscles harder, stand a little further away from the wall and bring your palms closer to each other on the wall.
4. Lunge it
A good one for your thighs.
Do this in your kitchen. Place an old kitchen towel on the floor. Place your right foot on the towel. Bend your left knee and slide your right foot away from your body to a comfortable distance. Bring it back till your knees touch. Repeat for 8 counts on your right and 8 on your left.
5. Just zing it
Blast those bingo wings (the flab on your arms).
Stand with your back to your kitchen counter. Place your hands behind you at shoulder width, palms down. Bend at the elbows and slowly lower yourself till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold on to the edge of the counter and raise your body till your arms are straight again. Repeat 16 times.
6. Press it
Press-ups work your arms, shoulders and chest.
Do this exercise on the floor. Get into the plank position. Begin your hands below your shoulders and palms flat on the floor, fingers pointing forward. Keep your arms straight. Rest on your toes with legs straight and knees off the floor. Now lower yourself by bending at the elbow till your chest almost touches the floor. Push back up. Repeat 8 times and increase slowly to 16 repeats.
7. Dip it
Works your triceps and forearms.
Sit on a sturdy chair with your hands gripping the edges beside you. Slowly move your feet forward till they are bent at 90 degrees and about 18” apart. With your weight on your hands move your bum off the chair and lower your body by bending your elbows. Push yourself up till you are seated on the chair again. Repeat 8 times and increase slowly to 16 repeats.
8. For all of it
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your back to a table or the kitchen counter. Hold a can of baked beans with both hands. Keep your back straight and tighten your butt. Twist at your waist to your right till you can look over your shoulder. Come back to the starting position and repeat to the left. This is one count. Repeat 8 times and increase slowly to 16 repeats.
These take only 10-15 minutes. Do these at least five times a week and watch the results. A word of caution – take care to stretch and warm up before you begin and again to cool down at the end. And of course you know, keeping a close watch on your diet will keep the pounds away, so you can indulge without guilt during Christmas and New Year’s.
Cheers! Here’s to a slimmer, fitter you!
P.S. These simple exercises work well even after Christmas and New Year’s. Just saying….