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Gorgeous Body D.I.Y

“I really need to sign up for my gym induction at The Edge!” I have been uttering these words, every week since Freshers’ Week! Have I followed through? Ashamedly, no I haven’t. I just can’t bring myself to get up and out of bed to go to the gym, although I do feel that my excuses are definitely worthy enough, whether anyone else agrees or not.

For starters, I live at the bottom of an extremely steep hill that takes out all my energy when I have to climb it everyday for lectures – I like to convince myself that this trek alone is all the exercise I need. Secondly, walking to the Edge for the ‘off-peak’ hours in the cold, rainy, windy and dark winter nights (or mornings) just doesn’t really sound like my cup of tea. In fact I would rather be indoors with a cup of tea! And lastly, if you are as self-conscious as me then you will understand that working out (or in my case sweating and being out of breath) in front of a whole load of gym-goers, who are bench pressing and running that treadmill as if there is a chocolate fudge cake waiting at the end, just makes me want to curl up and hide in my room even more.

So, despite complaining about my body and my unfit state 24/7, I still haven’t signed up to the gym. Now I do try my best to eat healthily, so I know I’m not headed down the ‘killing-yourself-because-of-your-laziness’ kind of road. The only thing missing is that recommended few minutes a day that the doctors and health experts prescribe you in order to get that heart pumping and those muscles contracting. Now if like me your mindset is telling you that a walk through town window-shopping counts as working those muscles, or getting excited over the dessert menu at dinner technically does get your heart racing, then I’m afraid we are both wrong.

Are you already thinking (or stressing) about your summer bikini body? Have you tried motivating yourself to get to the gym but failed miserably each time? What about wishing that there was just an easier way to work out, with no need to go anywhere, no need for fancy equipment and no need for strangers watching you as you jump off the cross-trainer after only being on for two minutes because it is just TOO hard? Then take a look at some of my simple ‘do-it-yourself’ exercises that are fuss-free and don’t need any equipment. All that is required is yourself and a positive attitude. Most of these exercises are recommended to be done in the morning and evening (don’t worry you don’t have to do them all!) and you can spend as much time as you wish on your very own personal work out – something which definitely appealed to me when I decided to give these a go.

Remember doing star jumps in the school playground? Well they are actually my first exercise to introduce to you. Not only are they easy and fun to do, but star jumps are very good for your shoulder and leg muscles. A few of these will get your heart pumping in no time. Not to mention that they burn calories too, a reason why they are often included in aerobics exercises and warm ups. I found that doing these with my flatmates not only helped us work up a sweat but it also brought out the competitive nature in us after attempting the 60 second challenge.

A calmer exercise that is great for your bum and thighs is squats. This requires you to lower yourself into a sitting position where your thighs are parallel to the ground and your knees are almost at a right angle. Hold this position for 20 seconds or so and then return back to your original position. If you do happen to have any weights lying around the house then you could incorporate them into this exercise. Alternatively, if the squats seem too difficult you can try simply sitting and standing from a regular chair. A bonus to doing these at home, no one has to witness you attempting this position just to get a perky bottom.

Another simple workout move is to repeat lunges. These are really good because they target more than one area of your body. The muscles in your abs, bum, hips and thighs are all included in this exercise. Slowly bend your knees until both legs are nearly at right angles and alternate which leg you put forward to get the most benefits.

Now I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of everyone out there when I say that toning the stomach is one of the main areas we all look to fix. By lying on your back and raising your hips (so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees) make sure to tense your tummy while still keeping your breathing normal. Lower yourself back down to the floor and repeat this exercise to tone that tummy!

For those of you that still aren’t convinced by my straightforward workout moves or are still seeking motivation, then why not try some non-exercise exercises? If you have a skipping rope lying around, working out with that for 5 minutes alone will increase your heart rate, tone your muscles AND help with weight loss! Then of course there is jogging on the spot, which pretty much requires nothing more from you (so no excuses for not trying that one at least). And finally, a little bit of dancing never hurt anyone. So whether you decide to give these a go, or you remain defensive that a night out in town is good enough, just remember to stay healthy and fit!



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