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Winter: the season of cosy nights in, movie marathons, hearty soups, pressing snooze and for many of us, excuses! Ladies, the secret to a ‘summer body’ is starting in winter. In fact, the secret to a healthy body is exercising throughout all of the seasons – winter, spring, summer and autumn.
Now, I know exercising in winter can feel challenging. It’s cold and dark and wearing a onesie seems much more appealing than wearing activewear. But trust me, moving your body in the colder months is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
With less sunlight, exercising outside – even a brisk 20-minute walk while the sun is out – will help your body get a good dose of vitamin D. The ‘sunshine’ vitamin is important for strong, healthy bones and the absorption of calcium, so it’s crucial we ‘brave’ the outdoors.
Also, if you find yourself feeling flat in the colder months, you’re not alone. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real thing – it affects our mood and motivation, and our sleeping and eating patterns too. Exercising however, is a wonderful antidote. This is because when we work out, our body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with receptors in the brain that reduce pain, improve mood and increases serotonin levels.
So, are you ready to boost your mood and get in the best shape of your life? My revolutionary workout series, HYPER (pronounced hi-per-tra-fee), uses weights and a resistance band to build lean muscle and superior strength – you’re going to love the results when you bust out the swimsuit in summer.
These HYPER exercises can be performed inside; or if there’s a sunny patch in the garden, do them outside and treat yourself to some delicious vitamin D. For a winner winter workout, do 45 seconds of each exercise, then rest 15 seconds before undertaking the next one, and complete three rounds in total.
Bicycle band crunches
- Place your resistance band around your toes.
- Flex your toes to the sky and lift your legs off the ground in the traditional bicycle position.
- Draw one knee into the chest to elongate the band and create tension.
- Rotate your opposite armpit towards that knee, scooping the abdominals in, pulling the rib cage down and keeping your back flat on the floor. There should be no space between your back and the floor.
- Repeat with the other leg and continue
- Go nice and slow – this is all about feeling the connection through the rotation.
Banded squats with outward toe taps
- Place your resistance band around the top of your knees (the bottom of your quads).
- Perform a regular squat, keeping your back straight and butt out, then tap your toe out to the side to externally rotate the hip.
- Now bring your foot back to the starting position to work your glutes.
Sky divers to single leg raises
- Lie face down on the floor with your hands by the sides of your head and your knees slightly bent.
- Squeeze your glutes, raise your chest and quads off the floor and hold. Remember to tense your arms.
- Now for the single leg raise, point the toe, squeeze the glute, hold, and lower back to the start position.
- Stand tall, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Begin by holding your dumbbells and lift one arm forward and one arm to the side (to form an L shape) until your arms are parallel with the floor.
- Keep the wrist and arm straight, draw the dumbbells up through the shoulders, and ensure the shoulders are pulled away from the ears.
- Your core should be on and engaged.
- Lower dumbbells to the starting position and repeat.
- Place your resistance band around the middle of your calves.
- Push your legs outwards to engage the resistance of the band.
- Now, connect up through the pelvic floor and tighten the muscles between your hip bone.
- Draw your spine down to the floor and pull the top of your rib cage in and down towards the hips, then scoop the abdominals as you lift your shoulders off the floor and crunch.
- You don’t have to come up far – one inch is effective.
Hip raise cross core stretch
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Push your hips into the air using your glutes and keep your back straight and in alignment with your hips.
- Now reach the dumbbell across your body to the opposite shoulder as far as you can go – work through the entire core.
- Keep the glutes activated, hip bones to ceiling, and keep your heels away from your butt so you don’t activate the hamstrings.