Exercise away those Christmas pounds

All Woman

WITH all the dinner parties that the holiday season brought, it would have been near impossible for you to avoid packing on a few extra pounds. But your decision to mindlessly graze through almost everything on the dinner table does not have to haunt you. Personal trainer and fitness expert at Hard End Fitness Factory on Ardenne Road, Gisel Harrow, said that bouncing back with that new year figure is quite possible and you won't even have to resort to a crash diet.

“The holidays are over and it's back to regular schedules and routines for almost everyone. Your overindulgence may have resulted in some added pounds, but there is no point taking yourself on a guilt trip. Instead, focus on making small, realistic changes that will help to get you back on track,” Harrow advised.

Below, Harrow shares what she considers to be a simple but ideal weight-loss plan.

Monitor your calorie intake

The first step is to look at your calorie intake. What we consume significantly affects weight gain and so it is important that when we are on a quest to shed pounds we monitor what we put into our bodies. This means that some things, including the sweet tooth you developed over the holidays, must go because pastries are packed with calories. You also want to aim for a balanced diet, so if you had a healthy pre-holiday diet, then you want to go back to that. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and lean meats instead of fatty, oily fast food, sugars and sodas is another way to kick-start your fat shedding process.

Exercise and more exercise

If you weren't a fan of exercise then it is the blessing that you have been waiting for on your weight loss journey. One of the best exercises that will work for you is the High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Harrow said that this exercise regimen involves the use of intensive anaerobic exercises which are alternately done with less recovery periods.

She explains that a benefit of this regimen is that glucose metabolism in the body speeds up, as well as there is an improvement in overall athletic capacity. This will result in an overall improvement of the body's metabolic rate, which will result in weight loss.

A basic HIIT plan that you can use for best result is 30 seconds to one minute of jumping jacks, 30 seconds to one minute of burpees, 30 seconds to one minute of free squats, 30 seconds doing push-ups, another 30 seconds doing crunches, and 30 seconds of leg raises. For best results, you should aim to do this for three to six rounds to complete the exercise session.

Try other simple exercises

Some other exercises that almost anyone can do and that are gentle on the body include jogging, brisk walking, swimming, cycling or dancing. Doing these three to four times each week will improve cardiovascular fitness and help burn calories.

Drink plenty water

With all the unhealthy foods you gobbled down over the holidays, one thing is for sure and that is that your body is filled with free radicals and toxins. One way of getting rid of these is by drinking plenty of water, which will help to flush them out.




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