Fitness Tips from the Top!

19 August 2011

As one lucky Grazia beauty team member jets off to Ibiza this weekend, we thought we’d share with you some last minute exercise pointers from our trainer Matt Field. Not only has he been honing and toning us into a (we hope) Heidi Klein-esque beach bunny, he’s also imparted a few wise and very worth-while tips on getting trim and taut before you board that plane. So here goes:

What are your top 5 toning tips to get your body in shape in time for a holiday?

1. Remember to vary the muscles you work in each session, this way you won’t bulk up in any one area.
2. Location location location: don’t just alternate muscles, change your training environment to keep things fresh. If the thought of a hot, sweaty gym doesn’t appeal to you, try hitting the park and using the equipment that nature provides - and topping up on that pre-holiday tan.
3. No excuses. If you don’t have an hour in your day to squeeze in exercise, try splitting your workout in half. Perform a short workout first thing in the morning, and another quick blast before you go to bed. I suggest performing the exercises you hate the most in the morning so you are less likely to talk yourself out of your second session.
4. Build muscle to burn fat: The more muscle you carry, the more fat you burn. Alternate muscle building movements with circuit training and Pilates to increase muscle tone and definition
5. As your holiday approaches increase the intensity and reduce the duration of your workouts. Higher repetitions, lighter resistance and shorter rests to strip fat and tone up.

What do you recommend doing diet-wise in the run up to your holiday?
1. Avoid keeping junk food or addictive snacks around the house.  If you can’t see it, you won’t eat it. Instead, keep healthy, low-calorie snacks available to satisfy your cravings.
2. Carbs are not the enemy, but sugar is. Consume only low G.I. (Glycemic Index) carbs to keep you feeling full, your blood sugar stable, and let your body focus on burning fat.
3. Set a Carb curfew - set yourself a curfew of no Carbs (even low G.I.) after 8pm.  As the weeks progress and your holiday approaches, this curfew gets earlier and earlier until, during the last week before your holiday, you cut carbs completely.
4. Add lemon juice. Adding lemon juice to a meal can reduce its G.I. by up to 40%. Your food is absorbed more slowly leaving you feeling fuller for longer.
5. Watch out for hidden calories.  That chocolate sprinkle on your latte, the extra sauce on your salad, the birthday cake at work - it all adds up. - and goes straight to your belly, your thighs and your bum.  If in doubt, cut it out.

Lastly, what is your absolute last minute quick-fix trick for beach-goers?

Get a good spray tan to accentuate your best features and to hide your problem areas.  Ask the salon to add extra shading to create the illusion of a slimmer arms, legs, or for extra definition to your abdominals.  Celebrities have been doing it for years, now it’s your chance to fake it!

Matt also teaches at Vita Pilates, SW3, 020 7584 2822, www.vita-pilates.com, www.personaltrainer.org.uk

- Angelica Hermon


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