Fit and happy in 2012!

Fit and happy in 2012!

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The key to achieving any kind of resolution, New Year or otherwise, is to make sure that your objectives are realistic and compatible with your lifestyle and schedule. Here’s a bit of good advice to help you back onto the road of resolution success and on your way to a fit, happy 2012.

Muscling up in 2012

Vibrating machines such as the Power Plate promise body buffing that’s not to be sniffed up, with the muscular contractions brought about by these vibrations affecting lasting modification to your figure. Great for the slightly lazy amongst us, such machines don’t however replace an actual session of sport, especially as far as your heart is concerned – as you heart needs its exercise too. So yes, get on a vibrating machine to work that cellulite and get toned up, but don’t turn your back on other sports.

As efficient as they are, these machines should be used as a warm up or add-on to your regular physical activity. 3 sessions of 30 minutes a week over 6 weeks and your curves should be seeing the first results.

Stretching out in 2012

To start your day in fine form, there’s nothing better than a session of stretching. Take your time to do 2 minutes of full-body stretching before getting out of bed in the morning and then continue on before starting your daily routine. Stretching helps you wake up and gently expand your muscles that have been sleeping all night and will be off to a good start.

Stretching is an easy way of ridding your body of stress, and you don’t need any equipment or club memberships to do it. After a total 10 minute session of stretching, tensions are dissolved and your energy is pumping properly throughout your whole body. And there you are, regenerated and ready to start your day. Don’t hesitate to take small “stretch breaks” during the day too. Get some great stretching exercises for your back, see My anti back pain workout

Facing up to 2012

Facial gym is a great way to help keep your face looking young naturally. Five minutes of facial gym per day will help you fight against the effects of ageing, without going under the knife. This unique method aims to reinforce facial muscles, where wrinkles would normally like to dig in.

A simple exercise, easy to do on a daily basis to prevent drooping eyelids:

  • In front of your mirror, look at yourself opening your eyes as widely as you can, as if you wanted your eyelashes to touch your eyebrows. Open the eyes so much that you can see all the white around the iris;
  • Hold this position for as long as possible, then repeat the movement for a couple of minutes.

If done well and regularly, this exercise stimulates your upper eyelids and will delay the droop. For more facial gymnastics, see Get a good look: gym exercises for the eyes

Pampering me in 2012

Do-In is a self-massage technique, which stimulates breathing, circulation of energy and digestion through the massage of acupuncture pressure points. You can use Do-In as often as you like, and it’s an easy way to rebalance your inner energy. Doin helps you to gradually become aware of your body, and you’ll feel relaxed, overcome by waves of wellbeing and harmony.

Here’s one of the simple massages to relieve tension accumulated in the neck: Using one hand and then the other, grab the skin at the back of your neck (as you would to pick up a kitten), and pull it up towards the base of the skull. Repeat this movement, alternating hands, a few times. This movement will undo the knots you have at the base of your neck. See more, Do-In: self-massage that’s really in!

Sufficient sleep in 2012

If you don’t get sufficient sleep, you cannot hope to stay healthy. Good sleep is a first step to being in form and toned, so you need to pamper those nights to guarantee great days. A good night’s sleep is necessary to erase both physical and mental tiredness, but in terms of the number of hours, there’s no hard and fast rule. You could be a late sleeper or early riser, you may need 10 hours or only 5 hours of sleep. What you do need is to listen to your body and recognize and respect the rhythms of you own biological clock.

To do this, take note of your sleeping schedule over a few days. Are you noticing a pattern to when you feel tired, go to sleep and wake up? This is your natural biological rhythm, which you should try to respect as much as you can. And to make sure you get a good sleep, avoid the usual suspects: tobacco, coffee, alcohol, rich food… and make sure that you have bedding that suits your body and comfort needs.

Weighing in over 2012

A diet was probably part of your New Year resolutions, like every year. But there’s no reason why watching your weight should mean only eating dry bread and sipping water! Neither is watching your weight bowing down to the ridiculous diets found in your monthly girlie magazine!

Watching your weight is above all finding and accepting your ideal body weight and shape, and then sticking to it. This ideal weight is determined by your BMI and corresponds to an average weight for your height, age and sex. It is a combination of health criteria and esthetic judgement, so there’s no need to starve yourself to squeeze into the body size and image of someone else.

You’ve been told more than once about the dangers of super strict diets on which you’ll lose a lot of weight quickly, only to pile it all back on, and more… And it any case, when you’ve reached your ideal weight, it will become much more difficult to lose those extra pounds without starving yourself, so know when to stop when you are ahead.

The best dietary advice relies on good old-fashioned common sense: improve your nutrition over the long-term by cutting out sugary, fatty and stodgy processed foods, and increasing your intake of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. Calculate your BMI

Jessica Xavier

More information:
Do-In: self-massage that’s really in!
Get a good look: gym exercises for the eyes
Back stretching exercises