Work Your Body In National Fitness Week

Posted on: 03 February 2009 by Gareth Hargreaves

Help shift those unwanted pounds with the help of personal trainer and world kickboxing champion Natalie Bee.

As National Fitness Week gets underway, Fitness First personal trainer and world lightweight kickboxing champion Natalie Bee has put together her top five exercises to help shift those unwanted pounds and get a tighter body before donning your swimwear this summer.

Running in the first week of February, National Fitness Week is masterminded by Fitness First and during, during the course of the week, clubs are offering five point health checks – testing people’s bloody pressure, resting heart rate, grip strength, peak flow and flexibility – all for free.

As a starting point you can try these exercises – the ideal way to start making a difference to your lifestyle.

“This workout targets every bit of the body which might be on show in your swimwear; it will blitz those bingo wings, lengthen the legs, flatten the tummy and perk up your posterior,” according to Natalie.

“Exercise can have a massive effect on your body if you maintain a programme – just try these out and see the results. You won’t just look better but you’ll feel twice as good and it can help to maintain a healthy lifestyle for all ages.”

1) Posture

Stand tall and look attractive.

Perfect posture will give you an instant boob lift, bum lift and make you look taller and full of confidence.

Stand with your back flat against the wall. Push your head, shoulder blades and the backs of your hands against the wall and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat five times with a short rest in between. Do this every day and see the transformation.

2) Arms

This exercise will tone the triceps, better known as the dreaded bingo wings.

Improve tone and definition by doing ‘Triceps dips.’ Sit on a step deck with your back straight and your hands facing inwards, with palms supporting you on the step. Carefully lift your bottom off the step, (supported by your hands) and shift forwards slightly so your back is clear of the step.

Keep your legs outstretched in front of you (or, for beginners, bend the knees) - this is your starting position. Bend the elbows, lowering yourself so that your bottom almost (but not quite) touches the floor, and then bring yourself back up, straightening the elbows.

Twelve repetitions and three sets, three times per week will see you playing bingo with confidence.

3) Legs

Whether bikini or swimsuit, your legs will be on display.

A great way to tone and strengthen is to skip. Find your old skipping rope and get skipping. Fantastic for banishing those thunder thighs and defining your calf muscles.

Twenty minutes of skipping four days a week will give you a pair of perfect pins - you'll want to show them off.

4) Stomach

Tummies on show in those bikinis mean you want flatter and tighter abs fast.

Lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat, keep your hands by your temples and focus on a spot on the ceiling to prevent neck strain.

Lift your upper body towards the ceiling and hold for two seconds before lowering to your start position. Keep your back straight throughout.

Twenty crunches every night is all it takes to keep the "who ate all the pies?" jokes at bay.

5) Bottom

Want a pert posterior?

Start on all fours with hands in line with shoulders. Keeping the pelvis parallel to the ground and pulling your stomach tight, push the sole of one foot up towards the ceiling keeping the knee bent.

Take care in ensuring that your back is straight and the pelvis isn't tilting. The movement is a pulsing motion up to the ceiling and back down. Squeeze the buttocks tight and feel the burn. Repeat with the other side.

Twenty repetitions, three times a week is all it takes to recreate the famous Kylie bum.

Did You know?

  • The average person walks about 115,000 miles in a lifetime, which is enough to circle the planet four times.
  • It is physiologically impossible to turn fat into muscle - you can lose fat and gain muscle.
  • It has been said that two exercising sessions a week is all it takes to establish a long lasting exercising habit, enhancing wellbeing and the quality of life.
  • There is no such thing as fat ‘spot reduction’, since calories are consumed equally throughout the body.
  • Individuals at the age of 65 not exercising on a regular basis may lose up to 80% of their muscular strength.

Over 50 & Active

The over 50s are healthier and fitter than ever - and according to research from Fitness First - believe they are fitter than younger age groups.

More than 90% of over 50s rate themselves as “very fit and healthy”. This compares with just 70% of those aged 24 to 34 according to the Fitness First Health & Fitness Index.

The index examines a range of aspects that impact on health including diet, alcohol consumption, smoking and stress. Over 50s have achieved the highest health ratings across all categories.

“Older adults fear a loss of independence as they age, such as losing the ability to walk, drive, step up onto a bus and climb a flight of stairs.  Although a decline in physical function is inevitable with age, it has been proven that the decline can be minimised with a more active lifestyle,” says Maureen Hudson, Fitness First’s senior fitness expert.

About National Fitness Week

The first National Fitness Week runs from 2nd February – 8th February 2009 and is designed to promote health and fitness in its widest sense.

Launched by Fitness First and with its own dedicated website, the week has themed days designed to attract as many people as possible to the idea of exercising.

How do you keep yourself fit? Are you taking part in any National Fitness Week events?

Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below or share your thoughts with other 50connect readers in the forums.

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