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Exercises

The Best Anti-Aging Exercises

We’re all looking for the secret to eternal youth, but most of us don’t realise how effective exercise is to take the years off. Read on for some easy fitness tips and exercises that will keep your face and body looking – and feeling – young.

The basics

To keep you feeling good on the inside, lose those extra kilos and do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day to ensure your organs are healthy. Good cardio workouts include stair climbing, walking up hills, bike riding and swimming. When you feel fit and ready, increase the amount of time you exercise and the intensity.

Complete this picture with resistance exercise to ensure you look as good on the outside as you feel. Resistance-based exercise keeps muscles strong and toned, because the last thing any woman wants is sagging body parts.

And most importantly, drink lots of water, at least eight glasses a day.

Facial exercises

Some women swear by facial exercises to prevent wrinkles, crows feet and other signs of ageing, as well as enhance glowing skin. Exercising the facial muscles allows the skin to get the oxygen it needs to keep it healthy and deliver other nutrients to the skin cells. Try laughing, frowning, smiling, raising your eyebrows, moving your jaw up, down and sideways.

It is easy to overlook caring for your neck, even though it is an area prone to wrinkling. While a woman’s face can look young, her real age can be obvious when looking at her neck. Neck exercises, such as chin tucks and stretches, can minimise neck wrinkling and help women look younger.

Legs and butt to die for

Part of looking and feeling young is having great legs and a firm bum! All women can have wonderful legs and bottom using the following exercises:

• Step-ups, using stairs, a park bench or an exercise stepper, tone everywhere and offer a great cardio workout because they work all leg and gluteal (bottom) muscles at the same time

• Lunges work the same muscles. Perform walking or stationary lunges and swap legs to ensure both get a good work out

• Add ankle weights to your legs to tone them faster and perform and use for thigh exercises (lying on your side and raising one leg up)

• Squats push the full weight of your body through your legs and buttocks.

Michelle Obama arms

Triceps (in the upper arm) are often forgotten because women can be preoccupied with toning their tummies and bottoms, so here are some exercises to tone those arms:

• Tricep dips, tricep kick backs, overhead tricep extensions and shoulder presses are effective isolation exercises

• Wide-grip push ups work pectoral muscles (hidden under the breasts) and triceps if you move your hands closer together.

What are your favourite exercises to keep the years off?

The Ultimate Arm Workout

There are many workouts which effectively tone the arms, and are easy enough for beginners to try out as well. If you can’t quite get to the gym on a daily or weekly basis, try these simple arm exercises which are perfect for getting in shape this summer.

RELATED: Workouts For A Better Bust

Arm circles

Stretch your arms outwards, and make sure your palms are facing the floor. Alternate between clockwise and anti-clockwise circles for 30 seconds each.

The Ultimate Arm Workout

Knee push-ups

Start with your arms and legs flat on the floor, then rest your right leg over the left (or whatever is more comfortable for you). Lower your body until shoulders are on the same level as your elbows, and repeat this for 30 seconds.

The Ultimate Arm Workout

Overhead press

Extend your arms upwards, and keep them as straight as you can. Next, use your own resistance to push your arms back down to a 90º angle as hard as you can. If done correctly, you should feel the burn within your triceps.

The Ultimate Arm Workout

Tricep dips

Lie down flat on your back, and slowly bend your arms upwards to support your body weight. Keep knees bent, and push up through your arms and hips. This is also a great exercise for working out the legs and upper quad muscles.

The Ultimate Arm Workout

Bicep curls

Begin with arms at your sides, and curl upwards with a clenched fist. Again, use your own resistance to perform this exercise as hard as you can – it’s so much more effective than using dumbbells. Repeat for 30 seconds or until you feel the burn in your arms.

The Ultimate Arm Workout

What are some of your favourite arm workouts?

Images via Fit Studio, West Rehab, Shape, Fit Sugar, Skinny Mom, iStock

5 Effective Lower-Belly Exercises

Losing that extra belly weight is sometimes the most difficult part of the body to tone, and the most misunderstood! Sticking to crunches and sit-ups won’t sculpt your core, but a variety of other exercises will. Women and men are always looking for new ways to tone the lower-belly, and these easy exercises will have your body looking fit and healthy in no-time.

RELATED: The Best Lower Ab Exercises Ever

Static press

Start with this exercise if you want to gently easy into your daily workout routine. Lie on your back and bend your knees at a 90º angle, then press your palms flat above the lower thigh area. As you exhale, squeeze in your abdominal muscles and push your back flat on the floor.

5 Effective Lower-Belly Exercises

Single-Leg Stretch

Use the same routine as the static press to not only work out your lower abs, but also incorporate your legs into this pilates-inspired workout. Lie flat on your back and press your knees onto your chest firmly. Extend your left leg in a parallel line and slightly curve your upper body towards your right knee.

Switch legs and keep your lower back relatively flat on the floor, this will make your abs feel sore afterwards!

5 Effective Lower-Belly Exercises

Russian twist

An easy exercise which works out the lower abdominal muscles by performing a static twisting motion. Swing your body from side to side, and feel free to use a medicine ball for a more interactive arm and leg workout.

5 Effective Lower-Belly Exercises

U-Boat

This relatively easy exercise is simple enough for even beginners to achieve, but it works the lower abdominal muscles in a big way. Sit down with your knees slightly bent, but keep your feet flat on the ground.

Lift your legs at a 90º angle, then slowly bring your legs towards the left and right side – it should be making the letter U!

5 Effective Lower-Belly Exercises

Leg raises

There’s a reason why leg raises are some of the best ways to kick your abs into shape! Start by lying down on your back, and pressing your feet together as close as possible. Slightly elevate your legs, and lower them – you should feel a burn in both your upper thighs, and lower abdominal muscles.

5 Effective Lower-Belly Exercises

Modified V-sits

More effective than your usual sit-up exercises, the modified V-sits are a full body workout which anyone can achieve at home. Start off by lying down on your back, with legs pressed together and arms by your side.

As your upper body lifts forward, bend your knees at a 90º angle, and extend your arms forward until they reach your feet.

5 Effective Lower-Belly Exercises

Images via Shape, Exercise, Pop Sugar, Womens Health Magazine, Womens Fitness

Butt-Toning Exercises

Looking to tone your buttocks just in time for bikini season? With just a few months until the weather warms up, now is the perfect time to incorporate a few effective exercises into your daily routine. Simply clear your schedule, get into some workout gear and get started on these effective workouts at the comfort of your own pace.

Bodyweight squat

Stand with your legs apart and place your hands behind your head. This stance should give your body ultimate support before any workout. Then squat down into a sitting position. You should feel the burn in your thighs if you’re doing it right.

Butt Toning Exercises

High box jump

If you can’t find something sturdy to use for this exercise, try using stairs instead. With legs together, jump up and back down to strengthen your legs and buttocks. Keep arms raised and make a fist to give your upper body some support.

Butt Toning Exercises

Lunges

Lunges are extremely effective ways to tone up your body at home. Stand up with legs shoulder-width apart, then drop the left knee (this should ensure that both legs are in a 90º angle). Alternate each leg after your rep.

Butt Toning Exercises

Hip raise

Lie down on your back with your legs slightly bended (and make sure your feet can be placed flat on the ground). Extend your arms out on each side, then lift your buttocks up without moving your feet off the ground.

Butt Toning Exercises

Mountain climbers

This exercise is extremely useful since it also works out the core muscles and arms. Get into the push-up position (arms flat on the ground pushing up the rest of the body). Then extend each leg forward as if you’re running.

Butt Toning Exercises

Hip extension

Very similar to the hip raise, this exercise focuses on working out the legs and buttocks. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Extend one leg out as far as you can, before doing the same to the other.

Butt Toning Exercises

Tips

  • Don’t forget to stretch out your entire body before attempting any of these exercises. Some simple ways include jumping jacks and running on the spot, which also are a great way to warm-up if you’re feeling cold.
  • Wear appropriate shoes whilst working out. Not only will they help in your workout, but will be comfortable on your feet while attempting the exercises which focus on stability.

Image via No Need For Gear Fitness Training, Swell Fitness, Suburb and Diagnostics, Post Gazette, Irish Examiner, Youtube, Experience Phsyio

5 Exercises To Improve Posture

Whether you’re slumped over on the couch or in your office chair, daily habits such as these can lead to a lifetime of bad posture. Simple exercises that don’t require a gym membership or equipment are the best solution to straighten up your spine. Reserve a time during the day (or night), and repeat these exercises, which will have your body feeling brand new.

1. Squats

You didn’t think that squats were beneficial for toned buttocks did you? The secret to a good squat is to extend the arms out as far as possible, and keep a straight back. Your body should be in a straight line, from your back to your heels as you bend down to squat.

2. Blogilates

Whether you’re short on time, money or a combination of both, blogilates is a great way to get fit right in your own home. Certified fitness instructor Cassey Ho runs Blogilates, a fitness and POP pilates class directly to you. Follow a step-by-step demonstration on YouTube for a variety of viewers on how to tone up and sculpt your body. The exercises are excellent for improving posture and toning the entire body. Work at your own pace at your preferred time of day, and watch your body change dramatically over time.

3. Plank

Yes, the painful plank. This revolutionary exercise will help to straighten your back, while also working at the core and neck. Lie down on your stomach with your forearms flat on the floor, then push up and balance looking forward. Make sure you have enough space to perform this exercise, and be sure to ease into it if you’re just starting out.

4. Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is specifically designed to target any chronic bad habits that contribute to bad posture. The main objective of this technique is focusing on the position of the head, as this dictates how the rest of the body will follow. Relax the spine, straighten the core and stick out your chest to enjoy better posture.

5. Stretch the shoulders

Ever wondered why your shoulders are so tense? Common activities such as driving, walking and carrying an extremely heavy handbag can put incredible strain on the shoulders. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle and sway from side to side. Then extend them out as far as you can to conclude the exercise.

Image via Canadian Business

By Felicia Sapountzis

Tips For A Flat Tummy

You don’t need to run to a personal trainer in order to get that flat tummy everyone is lusting after. Eating well, exercising regularly and keeping fatty foods to a minimum are the secret to a healthy body. There are, however some exercises that are specially focused on helping to build that flat tummy, that you can do yourself at home.

Plank

The dreaded plank is actually an entire body workout, which focuses on toning arms, legs and most importantly the core muscles. Start off slow if you’re just getting into it, and try to increase the minutes as you train. Remember to stretch before you start!

Crunches

What are the differences between crunches and sit-ups? Instead of lifting your entire body off the floor, the technique requires you to only lift the upper-back. This continuous motion isolates the abdominal muscles without causing back strain.

Squat twist

This one might sound a little strange for toning abdominal muscles, but it really isn’t that difficult to master. Start by standing with your feet apart, and extend you arms straight ahead. Then squat down as usual, but twist your upper body to the left. This workout should be alternated for the right and left side to nail the technique.

Boxing

This high impact cardiovascular workout can help to trim down the inches, and keep your entire body looking toned. Start off by introducing it into your workout routine once a week, and train with a friend to keep super motivated. Boxing engages the entire core as you throw punches and continuously twist your body throughout the session.

Lifting weights

Just like boxing, lifting weights have become a great way to tone the entire body. Give cardio exercises a skip, and focus on implementing weights into your current workout routine. If the thought of weights alone is enough to scare you, CrossFit classes are filled with numerous exercises that feel like fun and work the entire body, rather than repeating the same routine one hundred times. 

Image via AFG Fitness

By Felicia Sapountzis

Fitness Tips: 3 Exercises to Tone and Shape Your Butt

Who wouldn’t want a nice, firm, round booty? Doing the right exercises can lift and sculpt even the saddest glutes into a behind you can be proud of, but the problem is that many women don’t know where to begin. Here are three of the best exercises for toning your butt.

Squats

Squatsthe ultimate booty-building exercise. If you’re serious about tightening up sagging bits, eliminating cellulite, and developing delicious curves, don’t leave squats out of your training routine. Even if this is the only butt exercise you do, you’ll still likely get better results than what you’d get doing a handful of other butt exercises.

There are many variants of the squat. Weighted and non-weighted, standing or jumping, feet angled in or out, wide stance or narrow stance–they all target different parts of the butt and legs. Before you get into complex forms, you need to know how to perform the fundamental standing squat.

To do a basic squat, stand straight up with your legs spread out at about shoulder width. Next, raise both arms straight out in front of you, or interlace your fingers with the arms held at chest level. Then, slowly lower your body by bending the knees until your butt is about parallel with the ground, and pause for two to three seconds.

You’ll know that you’ve done it correctly when your legs create a right angle. The form will look like sitting on an imaginary chair. Beginners can practice this form by squatting in front of a mirror.

After a two or three count, raise your body back up to the starting standing position. At the top of the movement, make sure to squeeze your glutes so that you can feel them working. You’ve just completed one repetition of the basic squat.

Aim for at least three sets of ten repetitions to complete the exercise. Once you’ve mastered this movement, you can begin to modify it for even better results. Women who want more definition should increase their reps and sets, while those who wish to plump up their butt and increase size should try squatting with a barbell on their back.

There are so many variations to the squat, and they all do something a little bit different for you because they activate different parts of the muscles. Experiment to see which variants work best for you.

Stability Ball Leg Curls

This creative exercise might require a higher level of physical fitness and coordination, but the results you get from properly executing it are pretty impressive. Before you begin, you’ll need to buy a stability ball if you don’t have one already. A yoga mat also helps to keep your back and head from hurting during the movement.

Begin the exercise by lying flat on your back with your legs resting on top of the stability ball. Your butt should be in contact with the floor. Then, straighten your body out to form a bridge by tensing up the muscles in your legs and core.

This is where things get a little tricky. From the bridge hold, you curl your legs into your body by squeezing the glutes until your feet are resting on top of the ball, and your knees should form a right angle or less. The ball will roll in closer to you during this motion.

Hold the last phase of the movement for five seconds before lowering yourself back to the bridge hold. Then, relax your core, and let your butt drop down to the floor again. Shoot for three sets of ten reps to finish this exercise.

Dumbbell Lunges

Dumbbell lunges work each butt cheek separately, but they’re still one of the most effective back-end fitness exercises out there. Start by standing straight up with a dumbbell in each hand. Next, take a big step forward with one leg until the knee nearly comes into contact with the floor, and hold for three seconds.

To get back to the starting position, squeeze the glutes, and use explosive force to push yourself back up with the same leg. Alternate legs, and repeat. Once again, try to do three sets of ten until you’re comfortable with doing more.