Working out at the gym can be so boring. My feature for more! magazine told readers how to get fit while having fun… from the bar to the bedroom, via the dance floor and the shops!
WRITER CREDIT: Michelle Garnett
CREDITS: James Daly NASM PES – www.jdpersonaltraining.co.uk – London & Surrey’s leading team of personal trainers.
Sarah Maxwell, International fitness expert, www.sarahmaxwell.com
[STARTS: Party yourself slim]
[head] Party Yourself Slim
[sell] How to get fit while having fun, from the bar to the bedroom!
We all know appearance isn’t everything, right? So we were shocked to read in a recent study that a woman’s weight has a bigger effect on her happiness than her love life does.
There’s nothing more miserable than ditching boozy nights out in favour of a grueling work out at the gym, or snubbing chocolates and mince pies for carrot sticks and salad. And with the weather cold enough to turn our toes blue, we’d much rather spend our weekends snuggled on the sofa watching X Factor than dragging ourselves out on a 10k run.
It got us thinking… there must be a way to slim into our favourite party dress without having to suffer. So, read on for our top tips on fighting the flab the fun way!
[xhead] Be drink aware
Alcohol is high in sugar which means it can be big in calories, but you don’t have to become tee-total. Go for low-cal drinks with diet mixers, and top up your glass with heaps of ice to make your drink last longer. Sarah Maxwell, international fitness expert, advices long drinks (like a tall gin and tonic) rather than cocktails. “Mojitos are full of sugar and some of the creamy cocktails are so calorific you might as well wipe them straight on your thighs!”
Size definitely matters! Choosing a 250ml glass of wine over a 175ml glass will add 50 calories. And beware of full-fat mixers. A straight clear spirit, like gin or vodka, is only 50 calories – it’s what you add to it that does the damage.
Try these swaps:
• Swap vodka and coke (120 calories) for a vodka and diet coke with lots of ice (50 calories) = save 70 calories.
• Swap a medium glass of white wine (130 calories) for a glass of champagne (90 calories) = save 40 calories.
Swap a margarita cocktail (400 calories) for a white wine spritzer, using soda (130 calories) = save 270 calories.
• Swap a Baileys (130 calories) for a Jack Daniels and diet coke (60 calories) = save 70 calories.
• Swap a pint of lager (225 calories) for a pint of lager shandy, using diet lemonade (115 calories) = save 110 calories.
[xhead] Burn off the booze
The dance floor is the perfect spot for a hi-energy workout. You only have to do the math to see why. Say you knock back five voddy and diet cokes in one night – that’s a whopping 250 calories you’ve guzzled. But spend 40 minutes shaking your booty and you’ll burn them off again.
Stepping out in your heels guarantees even better results for your bod. Sarah says, “Wearing heels makes you think about your posture so you’re more likely to pull in your abs. They’re also great for toning up your calves, thighs and bottom. Your muscles have to work really hard because your body’s in a difficult position and everything tightens up. And if you’re dancing then, wow, it’s even more difficult so you’ll have to work your body harder.”
Does that mean heels beat flats when it comes to fat-busting? “Yes, you’ll burn off more calories wearing your heels, because you have to make more effort to control your body,” says Sarah. We like!
And when you and your mates have to walk half way home before you flag down a taxi, look on the bright side. You’ll burn off around 40 calories per 10 minutes, depending on how fast you go.
[xhead] Sleep yourself slim
Want some more good news? It’s official: there’s little point in dragging yourself out of bed at the crack of dawn to hit the gym. Recent research claims that dieters who get a good night’s sleep lose twice as much fat as those who scrimp on their shut-eye.
Sarah explains, “It’s a primitive thing. Sleep deprivation causes your body naturally to hold onto fat. And when you’re tired you tend to eat more rubbish, like carbs.”
But you don’t have to be tucked up in bed with your cocoa by 9pm every night. Enjoy your late nights and squeeze in some zeds later. “Siestas are great. Try and find a gap in the day for a 10 minute catch up,” adds Sarah.
[xhead] Enjoy a spot of sexercise
Having sex gets all your muscles moving and burns anything upwards from 300 calories an hour! So, after a big night out and a fat-burning lie in, get your man to help you stay slim with a steamy session.
Manoeuvre him into the right position and a half hour work out between the sheets will be equivalent to a (much less fun) gym session. Personal trainer James Daly says, “In the classic ‘cowgirl’ position (with you on top) you can burn 400 calories in 30 minutes. It firms the bum, tones the back of the legs and exercises your core abdominal muscles. It’s equivalent to dancing for one hour, jogging for 30 minutes or doing a 45 minute Boxercise class.” Result!
Sarah suggests getting on all fours with your man behind you. “It reflects the cat position in yoga and works your abs and pelvic floor muscles (the ones you use when you stop peeing mid-flow). It also tones your upper arms as you support yourself on your hands.”
But ultimately, she says, it depends on how much effort you put in. “Lying there like a dead fish won’t do much, but liven things up and you’ll burn off more calories!”
[xhead] Festive fat-fighting fun
Exercising is far more bearable when you’re busy enjoying yourself. These three activities are the perfect proof, but you’ll need to put in at least 10 minutes of each to really make a difference.
• Ice skating
Whizzing around the ice on skates might result in a bruised backside but it’s an amazing all-rounder work out. And you don’t have to be any good at it, says James. “The worse you are at skating the more you’ll be tensing your muscles and working them harder. It’s a really good exercise for your stomach and legs, and it’ll improve your flexibility too.”
Calories burnt in one hour: 400.
Work it to the max: by maintaining a good posture as you skate – it’ll help tone up your abs a treat.
• Xmas shopping
James Daly says, “All that rushing around the shops warms up your body and makes your heart beat faster so you burn calories at a higher rate. Take the stairs rather than the lift to give your legs and bum a great workout and shift even more calories.”
Calories burnt in one hour: 240.
Work it to the max: by buying more goodies! Carrying lots of bags will tone up your upper body, especially your triceps.
• Romantic winter walks
A great one for toning up your legs and bum. The key here is to walk somewhere hilly as it can use up twice as many calories. James explains, “If you walk up and down hills you’ll be working harder and so burning more calories.”
Calories burnt in one hour: 150-400 (depending on size of hills!)
Work it to the max: by going at a brisk pace and swinging your arms – it’ll blitz up to 5% more calories!
[ENDS: Party yourself slim]