I love summer. BBQs, sun, holiday… It’s my time of the year. For some people though, it can be a bit of a concern. When I was excitedly planning this summer’s holiday with my girlfriend, despite her best efforts to hide it I could tell she was a bit nervous. It could have been the thought of spending a week with me (enough to make anyone think twice). But no, it was actually the dreaded ‘bikini’ causing her concern.
This article is going to be based around the few things that my girlfriend has done in last 5 weeks to get herself into ‘bikini’ shape. (Quick disclaimer in case she reads this, you didn’t need to lose any weight Amy…).
Essentially there were 3 things that Amy did, none of which was in any way inconvenient, unmanageable or intrusive for her existing lifestyle.
Step 1, Amy started eating breakfast. Whereas before, breakfast consisted of nothing more than a large mug of coffee with what can only be described as 2 heaped tablespoons (ok teaspoons, but might as well have been tablespoons) of sugar. Apparently coffee wakes you up in the morning. Now I agree to an extent, but to avoid the inevitable mid morning crash, it should be accompanied by something more substantial (i.e. toast or cereal). Anyway, gone was the coffee, and in came 2 slices of peanut butter on toast and an orange juice.
Step 2, Amy started to walk the dogs regularly. This is a mission in itself. To say they are excitable dogs would be an understatement. If anyone knows if ‘you’ve been framed’ is still on TV please let me know because I have hours of video footage of dog craziness to send in. Sure it used to be £200 or something. Would contribute to Amy’s new holiday clothes that she had to buy! But I digress… Amy started walking the dogs everyday for 30-45 minutes (rain or shine, mostly rain). According to livestrong.com, doing this for just 30 minutes can burn between 60-70 calories. So for Amy’s 45 minutes, she’s burning around 100 calories extra every day. Now after a week of doing this both the dogs and Amy was getting fitter, especially the dogs. To begin with they were tired out by the end of their walk and lazed around the house for a couple of hours after, making their usual energetic antics much more tolerable. However, after a few consecutive days, they were becoming less and less affected, which means I either have to get the camera out, or shut them in the back garden. To combat this, and help Amy burn a few additional calories, I suggested doing a few jogs with them each time. This increased to runs/ sprints as days progressed. Before she knew it, Amy’s doing a modified interval training workout.
Step 3, I lost possession of the wii (other games consoles are available). It can be difficult to not only find a fitness class that you enjoy, but also one that fits in with your time commitments. Enter ‘Zumba fitness’. I’m reliably told that if you put in your details it will calculate an estimate for calories burned each time you play (or rather dance). Roughly I believe Amy was burning around 500 calories a go. Initially this was 3 or 4 times a week, but with Euro 2012 on the TV, this increased to almost every day (or more accurately she left the room everyday). A fan of football Amy is not. The advantage to dancing along to the wii is simple; you can do it at a time to suit you, in the comfort of your own home, and its fun apparently.
As you can see, a few sacrifices were made to achieve her goals, but they were in no way dramatic. And before you mention anything about not having dogs, you don’t have to have them to go on a walk! If you don’t have a dog, avoid taking a lead, you look ridiculous.
On a serious note though, 30 minutes a day should be achievable for most people to get a bit of fresh air before or after work. I’m confident that we all waste more than that mooching around the house or just lazing on the sofa watching nothing on TV. Remember exercise gives you energy, so the old excuse of ‘I’m too tired after a days work’ doesn’t fly either I’m afraid.
Of course, this isn’t going to be suitable for everyone, but if you want to make a difference and inject a bit of body confidence into your life, feel free to use Amy as your example. Have a look at your lifestyle and make a few changes for the better. See you at the beach…