?Achieving your best body involves a three-way approach: diet, cardio exercise and resistance training. All three elements affect our appearance and health in slightly different ways. The health pros at Fernwood Fitness tell us why you need all three to be in tip-top shape:


If you need to shed a few kilograms, you have to change your diet. Even if you exercise for an hour a day, you won’t see the big results until you cut down your kilojoule consumption.

Try and make vegetables the bulk of all your meals and include a small portion of lean protein, like grilled chicken, tofu, poached eggs, or tuna. Protein will help you feel fuller for longer and reduce your likelihood of seeking out that sugary pick-me-up at 3pm. Replace all high-kilojoule sugary drinks with water and ban processed food from your pantry. Keep an eye on your portion sizes, never eat until you’re full, and stick to fresh food as much as possible – if your great grandmother wouldn’t recognise it, don’t eat it!

Losing weight at a slow and steady pace will reduce your likelihood of regaining the weight. A weight loss of 0.5-1kg a week is a healthy and realistic goal to aim for.

Cardio exercise

Engaging in regular cardio exercise 3-4 times a week will help boost the weight loss results gained through healthier eating. But that’s not the only benefit; cardio exercise gives you more energy, improves the quality of your sleep and has even been proven to reduce stress and depression.

If you want to feel happy, energised and well-rested before the summer holidays, cardio exercise is the way to go. Cardio is anything that gets your heart rate up – running, aerobics, swimming, cycling, dance, and even fast walking. Get moving and your body (and mind) will be fit for summer.

Resistance training

If you’re aiming for the perfect hourglass silhouette or a change in body composition, resistance training is key. Resistance training involves activities that use weights, machines and even body weight to work out your muscles. Many women shy away from resistance exercises, afraid that by lifting weights they’ll end up with a bigger, more muscular physique. This is simply not the case. Women don’t have enough testosterone to build muscle mass like men. Resistance training will simply give you a more toned look – leaner arms and legs and a smaller waist circumference – and will improve your strength too!

Group fitness classes like Body Pump and Pilates are a great place to start. Aim to do resistance training 2-3 times a week, and reap the benefits of a better looking bod, plus stronger arms and legs.

How are you getting into shape for summer?