Australia's favourite fitness freak Michelle Bridges shares her top five tips for slimming down and getting fit for good.
1. Lay down a realistic game plan that fits with your lifestyle and schedule, and execute it with military precision. Mark your exercise sessions in your diary, just like you would a business meeting, because time isn't going to fall into your lap.
2. Commit to six days a week of training — four high-cardio sessions and two strength sessions with high repetitions to keep your heart rate up and to strengthen ligaments, tendons and muscles.
3. Find a running track or plan a course near your home and use two of the four cardio sessions to complete a powerwalk, jog or run. Depending on your fitness level, try a one minute walk, followed by a one minute jog and repeat to complete the course, aiming to build to a run. Increase the distance of the course every week by roughly 10 percent, or try and finish the course in a shorter amount of time.
4. On the days you do strength, incorporate multiple muscle groups into your exercises. Instead of just doing a lunge, try it with a bicep curl or shoulder press. You don't have to use proper weights. Use a backpack filled with shoes to complete a squat with a shoulder press, lifting the bag above your head. You're working your upper and lower body simultaneously — this is where you get really fast results.
5. Try an exercise DVD if it's more convenient for you to work-out at home. You need full-on cardio and strength training, and ones that don't need any equipment are ideal. You don't need a lot of room to get a great workout.
Read more of this story in the January issue of The Australian Women's Weekly.