Of course we all want to stay by the fire in this weather - and there’s nothing wrong with that. But when that’s all we do, well, our bodies pay the price. Joints that don’t move regularly get stiff, skin that isn’t oxygenated with circulation becomes dehydrated, and bodies that sit in ‘tech posture’ all day (slumped forward over a computer) have nothing to counteract that posture (i.e. exercise) so remain in that shape even when away from the computer.
This month’s program is athletically-inspired so expect to see some moves familiar to the gym (think squats, chest presses, rows). It’s a full-body program designed to make your muscles work a little harder, but with the reward of some beautiful stretching at the end. So prepare to get those muscles firing on all cylinders. And naturally, there’s plenty of core work!
Fab Lower Abs
Following last month’s focus on upper abdominals, this month it’s time for the lower abs to shine.
Muffin top, pooch belly, food baby - doesn’t matter what you call it, the lower tum is one of the hardest areas to target with traditional fitness exercises. This is because they tend to be flexion-type movements such as sit-ups or crunches. Their effectiveness is limited however, as the deep lower-belly muscle fibres run horizontally and are activated by a ‘drawing-in-and-up’ of the abdominals, as opposed to a forward-flexion of the torso.
The dark evenings are here, the cold weather has arrived, and there’s a natural tendency to hunker down, put the heating on, and watch TV. However, this is the one time when exercise is more vital than ever.
The lack of sunlight and consequent fall in our bodies’ Vitamin D levels can lead to low mood and a general feeling of sluggishness. Yet, just 20 minutes of exercise a day can raise endorphins (our feel-good hormones) enough to combat those winter blues. And, if that exercise is done in the morning, it can set you up for a positive day ahead - well worth the investment!
They’re back! Yes, jump boards have returned, with just enough time to get in better shape before Christmas (there, I said it, the C word).