They say summer bodies are made in winter.
But someone needs to tell that to the baked mac n cheese I just ate last night, because neither it nor I got the memo. As swimsuit season fast approaches, a lot of us start feeling a little less than confident in what all those Christmas cookies and rich, potato-filled stews did to our bods in the winter months.
I feel you. And while I personally am a proponent of eating stuff you love and working out with the first motivation being health over anything, I can’t blame anyone for wanting to beat the belly bulge a little before sun dress weather hits. Luckily, there are 5 moves and one affordable shake you can incorporate into your routine to get back in tip top shape!
Because all food is good food, let’s start with that drink, shall we?
Okay, here’s what you’ll need to round up:
– One small cucumber/half of a larger one
– One lemon
– 10 mint leaves
– One teaspoon of ginger
Here’s why they work well together.
Cucumbers are 90% water, and half the battle in losing weight is staying hydrating and staying full. The water content in cucumbers will help you kill two birds with one stone. Lemon is great because it promotes bowel movements and flushes that system right on out. Ginger has a thermogenic effect, which helps burn calories when the body digests food. Mint has been shown to aid in digestion as well. Pop those babies in a blender, pour, and add ice if you so desire.
Now for the not-at-all-fun part: Working out. These five moves will help you kiss belly fat goodbye.
Cardio: I know, I know. It’s not fun, but calorie burn is your best friend when you’re trying to rock some abs. You can do crunches ’til the cows come home but if you have a layer of fat over your abs (which most of us do) then all that work will be for naught. Something as simple as walking on an incline for 30 minutes to an hour a few times a week is a great way to burn fat.
Rowing: While this is known for its great effect on the back an arms, rowing is also amazing for the core. Start with 20 seconds of rowing followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeat for 8 minutes. Try to beat your previous distance rowed with each new set.
BOSU Ball Planking: Plank work is amazing for the abs, and adding the element of balance will work your core even harder. Place your elbows on the BOSU ball instead of on the ground and do a plank. You’ll feel this in your abs as you try to stay balanced. You can also do this with your elbows on the ground and your feet on the ball.
Burpees: These are so brutal but there’s a reason why every athlete under the sun does them: They work. To do a burpee, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then lower your body until your palms rest on the floor, shoulder-width apart. After that, kick your legs back so you’re in a pushup position. Do a pushup and then quickly jump to a standing position.
Kettle Bell Swing: Grab a kettle bell and start with your body slightly hinged at the hips. Hold the kettle bell at arms length out in front of you and then push it back between your legs, following that motion immediately with a swing up to shoulder height. Repeat for as long as you can.
What’s great is that aside from rowing, unless you have a machine at home, you can totally do all of these workouts from the comfort of home! I don’t know about you, but I see cucumber drinks and kettle bell swings in my future.