Shaping up your body

THE bikini season is almost with us. Soon, people will travel in droves to the coast to soak in the sun and breathe in the air filled with water molecules and to show off their well-toned figures.

THE bikini season is almost with us. Soon, people will travel in droves to the coast to soak in the sun and breathe in the air filled with water molecules and to show off their well-toned figures.

Summer is lovely, but the process of shaping that stomach is always terrifying. For those of you who think it is too late to shape your body, do not despair.

Lucia Falcon, a personal trainer at Virgin Active, says there are last-minute intervention exercises to help you.

When trying to lose belly fat, she says, the first and important thing to remember is to include whole body exercises and to rotate your workouts in order to provide a challenge for your body.

"If you fail to do this, your body may become acclimated and does not receive as much benefit as when you vary your workouts. So, for example, if you always jog 30 minutes every day, that will be less effective than if you do different types of workouts every few days."

Here are the exercise tips for losing tummy fat:

l Do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. Brisk walking or jogging are great low-cost exercises to do, but anything that you enjoy and that gets your heart rate up is fine.

l Do whole body workouts two to three times a week such as yoga or Pilates, or a weightlifting programme.

l Instead of crunches, try army exercises like push-ups that strengthen and tone your stomach as part of a whole body workout.

l Hold your stomach muscles in during the day whenever you can think of it. This will strengthen your abdominal girdle and create a flatter stomach.

l Stretching. Take breaks throughout the day to do back bending stretches that will stretch out your stomach muscles.

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