[By Tania hui]
Your favorite celebrity or model can be thin due to good genetics or photoshop skills but more often than not, being fit and toned is all about hard work, discipline and dedication. With the extra cheat days you had allowed yourself over the festive season, it’s now time to bring back the mindset, gain focus and just do it! So here’s our list of 5 workout tips you should incorporate into your exercise regime so that you can build muscles and lose fat simultaneously for a brand new you in 2014. Remember the golden words of exercise gurus both past and present— No pain, no gain!
Tip #1: Pump some iron
To have a toned and svelte figure, you will have to lift some weights. By pumping some iron, you will tone muscles and lose fat because every pound of muscle on your body burns 10 to 15 calories per pound per day! Resistant weight training should go hand in hand with your aerobic exercises to burn calories and lighten up your bathroom scale.
“You should not be worrying about getting large muscles as this is largely determined by hormones, namely testosterone,” explains Dr. Toby Hui, medical consultant with The Sloane Clinic, an exercise fanatic himself, with a keen interest in weight management for his patients. “For women, it is exceptionally rare to gain large, bulky muscles with the kind of weights you can handle comfortably. Choose appropriate weights such that you are not flailing them up and down without feeling like your muscles are working. You should not be trembling at the end of the day but there should be at least some soreness felt the next day!”
Challenge yourself and you should be able to witness your body transformation from flab to fab in no time.
Tip #2: Tighten your muscles
Following the same theory behind kegel exercises, it has been proven to be helpful to tighten your biceps, triceps, quads and glutes for 10 seconds each before you lift those weights or start your workout for the day. Besides being a good warm-up habit to prevent sports injuries, you can fire your muscles in this short duration to build them and jumpstart the fat-burning machinery. However, don’t go crazy and tense up all your facial muscles. You can certainly do without a ‘facial workout’ that lead to crinkles and wrinkles!
Tip #3: Making use of your body weight
Performing compound exercises is another great way to burn fat as they utilizes various muscle groups at the same time. By making use of your own body weight, you will be able to whip your body into a lean, mean blubber burning machine! Compound exercises include simple moves that you can perform in the comfort and privacy of your home such as pushups, pull-ups, squats and lunges. These moves give you a full body workout that will guarantee to increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories while at rest. To help break the monotony and create inspiration, I always blast some dance tracks from my favorite pop divas; and pretend that I’m actually Kylie or Beyoncé preparing myself for my next world tour!
Tip #4: Switching around
Eliminate exercise boredom and challenge your body by switching up your workout. This can mean doing an entirely different activity such as learning to play a new game of tennis or rounding up some mates for a friendly match of beach/bit*h volleyball. However, if you prefer to stick to running, put in some variations such as sprints, uphill-downhill tracks or even a longer distant at a slower pace. By changing your routine, it will keep your body from second guessing and this will definitely lead to better metabolism of your adipose store.
Tip #5: Wear fashion
It baffles me how some girls can sashay into the gym with clothes straight out of the pages of VOGUE and carrying the latest IT bag, only to change into the rattiest gym gear ever. Remember, if you want to be Queen B, you ain’t no dress yourself like Susan Boyle, honey. That 10 year old college tee and fleece sweatpants might be truly comfortable, but they should never to be seen in public in broad daylight…ever. Invest in some truly good sportswear that combine both style and practicality. If you look good, you will feel good and this will surely motivate you to greater heights in your workout routine. Since it is sales time on Boxing Day, Adidas by Stella McCartney, anybody?