Need to lose weight? Do it this month!
The easiest time of year to shed the extra kilos is when the temperatures soar.
The heat is really what helps you, says Brinda Sapat!
Photographs: Jasmine Kaloudis/Creative Commons
When the body feels hot, it naturally stays away from heavy foods; instead reaching out for ones that are fresh, light and cooling. This reduces your intake of empty calories, thus decreasing the fat storage.
Geographically too, warm, coastal places encourage people to eat lighter, fresher and lots of raw food. This is why the Mediterranean Diet is so popular.
The mind may still be tuned towards foods that you know you like, but go with what your body wants, like fresh fruits, juices and smoothies, raw veggies, lightly dressed salads, grilled fish, whole grains, lentils, yoghurts and of course plenty of water!
If only all that sweat made up for exercise! Sweating is not an indication of fat burn but merely the body's way of cooling itself. So workout we must!
Here's an express summer workout you can do in the confines of your cool air conditioned home or gym!
Aim to follow this at least 5 days a week to see a significant change.
Slip into your exercise gear, pop in your favourite upbeat music and get moving!
You will also need:
One medium to heavy dumbbell or a one litre bottle of water (filled to the top of course!)
A bouncy ball, ideally the size of a football
Warm up by jogging, doing some jumping jacks, dancing... anything to get the muscles nice and warm and your heart beat up.
Repeat all exercises twice.
Lunge with a knee lift
Take a wide stride forward with your right leg in front. Bend both knees (make sure the front knee stays in line with the ankle) and lunge keeping your body up tall. Then come up to standing and as you do lift the left knee up, then take it back down into the lunge. Do 12-16 such repetitions and then change legs.
Get onto all 4s; then extend your legs straight behind on the floor. Take arms wide out to the side. Now lower your body down towards the floor by bending both elbows. Keep the body in a straight line and don't allow the hip to sag down. Push yourself back up by squeezing the chest muscles.
Do 12- 16 reps.
Squat jumps with swinging arms
Stand with your feet a little more than hip distance apart. Go into a squat by bending your knees and lowering your thighs till they are parallel to the floor. Drop your arms by your side and then jump up taking your arms up overhead and then sink back into a squat.
Do 12- 16 reps.
Lat Pull Over with reverse curl
Lie face up on a mat. Hold onto your dumbbell or water bottle with your hands extended up in line with the chest. Bend your knees and get your feet off the floor. Take your hands way back over your head. Now raise the arms to come in line with the chest while you simultaneously raise your hips bringing your knees in towards the body by squeezing your tummy muscles.
Do 16 repetitions.
Squat down, get your hands on the floor; then thrust both legs out behind into a push up position. Jump both feet back in towards the body and get up into standing position.
Do 12-16 repetitions.
Lie face down with your hands under your chin and elbows out to the side. Raise your upper body till your chest comes off the floor as you squeeze your back. Lower it down and then raise both legs up squeezing the lower back and lower them down. This is one repetition.
Do 12-16 repetitions.
Gallop side to side and punch
Pick up the pace with this one! Pump up the music...!!
Skip sideways shuffling along the floor to one side to the count of 1,2,3,4 and throw a punch with your opposite hand on the count of 4. Then gallop the other way. Do this non-stop for one minute.
Bicep curl with overhead press and heel raises
Stand with dumbbells/water bottles in both hands. Place your hands on the outside of your thighs, with the palms facing forwards.
Come up on your toes a little as you bend your elbows bringing your hands towards the shoulders, then turn the palms to face front and raise your arms up overhead, go higher up on your toes.
Bring your arms back to the shoulders, bringing your heels half way down, then turn the palm towards the shoulders and then bring your hands back down and lower your heels to touch the floor.
Lunge side to side and bounce ball
Move at a fairly fast pace here!
Grab the ball with both hands in front of you. Lunge by extending your right leg out to the side as you bend your left knee, then change legs and as you do, bounce the ball on the floor with a little power.
Do this for 1 minute.
Russian Twist with ball
Sit on the floor with the ball in your hands. Place your legs in front of you with your knees bent. Recline back till your lower back is well supported on the floor. Now twist side to side bringing your elbows towards the floor. Twist to the right, then left: that's one rep. Do a total of 12-16 reps.
Finish off with some relaxing stretches and deep breathing.
Make sure you watch that food and remember to check in on the next article for a light summer-y menu with delicious recipes!