Your Best Shape Ever

April 22, 2016 10:05 am Last Updated: April 26, 2016 9:21 am

This week’s workout is no miracle fix to weight loss or fast track to health and fitness. Instead it will be one workout in the right direction to achieving your well-being goals.

The fitness industry is full of quick fixes and miracle cures. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but there really is no such thing.

The great news, though, is small changes will lead to big changes. You don’t need to turn your life upside down to become fit and healthy. By prioritizing moving your body several times a week and making minor but effective changes to your diet, you will be feeling and looking better in due course.

Consistency is the key. Implement the changes, continue them for six weeks, and you will start to feel the difference in energy levels and strength. Then you will start to notice a difference in clothing size and muscle tone.

This workout will take roughly 20 minutes.

A few good tips for improving your diet is to make sure you’re drinking at least 68 ounces (about eight and a half 8-ounce cups) of water per day. Being dehydrated is a massive factor contributing to lack of energy.

Instead of eliminating junk food entirely, simply halve the amount you are currently having. Going cold turkey more than often won’t last, whereas cutting back is sustainable.

Eating lots of fresh vegetables, salads, and fruit will make sure you’re giving your body all the nutrients it needs to function well. It will also give your body the signal that you are full, so you won’t feel like eating junk food as much.

WOW_20160422_your best shape ever.jpg
(Photos by Willis Lim, Brisbane, Australia/Infographic by Marie He/Epoch Times)

Moving your body is simpler that you think. This workout will take roughly 20 minutes. You don’t need equipment or a lot of space. No excuses—just one step closer to a healthier, happier you. That’s the step to take today to your best shape ever.

Knee Repeater

Extend
(Photo: Willis Lim, Brisbane, Australia)

 

This movement is good for increasing your heart rate and body warmth. It helps your cardio fitness and is a great workout for the legs and abdominal area.

1. Step one foot back about a yard behind the other foot, and extend both arms out in front of your shoulders and head.

2. Tuck the back leg in toward your hips as you bring your hands back toward your body.

3. Stay low on the supporting leg for a deep workout into your bottom and thighs.

4. Repeat 16 times on each side.

Squat

Squat
(Photo: Willis Lim, Brisbane, Australia)

 

This movement is one of the best for strengthening and toning your entire lower body. It is also good for mobility in your joints.

1. Start with your feet hip-width apart with feet slightly turned out. Lower your hips toward the floor as if you’re taking a seat on an imaginary chair.

2. Press into your feet to return to your starting position. As you stand straight, press your hips slightly forward to activate your bottom.

3. Keep your feet and knees parallel while squatting, and keep your knees behind your toes. The lower you take your hips, the harder you work. If you feel any strain in your joints keep the movement small.

4. Repeat the set 15 to 20 times.

Pushups

push+up
(Photo: Willis Lim, Brisbane, Australia)

 

This exercise will work your upper body. The main focus is your chest, but your shoulders, arms, and back will also benefit.

1. Place your hands in the same line as your shoulders but wider by about 4 inches on each side. Level 1: Work from your knees. Level 2: Work from your feet.

2. Inhale as you bend your elbows, lowering your chest toward the floor and keeping your body straight. Exhale as you push back to the starting position.

3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Plank

Plank
(Photo: Willis Lim, Brisbane, Australia)

 

Planks are great for strengthening your entire abdominal area and will also improve shoulder and pelvic stability.

1. Place your forearms shoulder-width apart and lift your body up. Level 1: Work from your knees. Level 2: Work from your feet.

2. Keep the weight of your body evenly balance between your feet and hands.

3. Hold your stomach muscles in to create support in your stomach area.

4. Your back needs to be straight. Ask someone to check this, as it can cause strain in your lower back if the back isn’t in a straight line.

5. Hold for 30 seconds–1 minute

Back Extension

Back+Ext
(Photo: Willis Lim, Brisbane, Australia)

 

This movement will strengthen and stretch your upper, middle, and lower back.

1. Lie face down with your hands beside your head.

2. Inhale as you lift your upper body and feet just off the floor.

3. Squeeze in between your shoulder blades as if you are juicing an orange between your shoulders.

4. Exhale as you lower.

5. Repeat 12 times.

Stretch

Stretch
(Photo: Willis Lim, Brisbane, Australia)

 

When you finish working out, it’s important to stretch your body, so the muscles don’t feel tight or sore from the workout. It is a great way to release tension from your body. You could do any stretches that feel good after this session. Try this one to lengthen your legs and back.

1. Hold a downward-facing dog position.

2. Place your right foot on your left ankle. Then repeat on the opposite side.

3. Hold for 20 seconds on each side.

Emma-Kate Stampton is a certified Pilates instructor and a certified personal trainer. With 10 years of industry experience, she is passionate about sharing the gift of health and well-being. Emma-Kate is based in Brisbane, Australia.