Get slim from head to toe with a speedy shape-up you can squeeze into even the busiest day. We give you the exercises, plus tips on how to make the most of your time.
Snack (about 200 calories) one hour pre-exercise. Healthy choices: 1 1/2 oz lowfat cheese with 1 oz whole-grain crackers; a small banana and 20 mini-pretzels; 8 oz lowfat plain yogurt with 1 cup berries.
5 minutes: Warm up on your way
Power-walk to the gym to prepare muscles and joints for the sweat session to come. Driving? Park your car deep in the lot and hustle to the entrance.
3 minutes: Cruise through the locker room
Opt for a quick-change sports top with a built-in bra and bottoms in a wicking fabric. Pull hair in a high pony or loose bun to retain volume. Avoid style-flattening, tight headbands.
16 minutes: Sizzle calories with cardio
To blast fat fast, do this Sprint 8 plan, developed by trainer Phil Campbell, author of Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness (Pristine Publishers), up to four days a week. Pick any cardio equipment and do intervals for 16 minutes: 30 seconds at the highest intensity you can sustain; 90 seconds at a catch-your-breath recovery pace. Repeat eight times. “Intervals burn more calories in less time, improve stamina and may spark fat-mobilizing hormones,” Campbell explains.
5 minutes: Tone up all over with SELF’s five-move plan
Exercise physiologist and research scientist Fabio Comana, at the American Council on Exercise in San Diego, designed this one-machine workout to minimize gym time and maximize sculpting. “The standing moves recruit multiple muscles at once and engage the core for added ab firming,” he says. Using a cable machine (most gyms have at least one), do each of the five moves for 30 seconds, resting 30 seconds between exercises. Aim to eke out 8 to 12 reps. Choose a resistance that makes it tough to power through the final 10 seconds of each move with good form. Add resistance when you’re able to do 15 or more reps in 30 seconds, no sweat.
2 minutes: Tighten your tummy
Get on the stability ball to banish your belly! A recent study from the University of Auckland, Tamaki Campus, in New Zealand, found that there is a 20 percent increase in the effectiveness of crunches done on a ball rather than the floor. Do two sets of 10 to 12 reps.
7 minutes: Refresh—fast!
Immediately hop into a lukewarm shower to speed your body’s cooldown, says Ranella Hirsch, M.D., a dermatologist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Still hot afterward? Place a cold, wet hand towel on your neck while you finish primping. More postworkout prettifying tips:
1. Skip powder, concealer and foundation, which could leave flushed skin looking masklike. Instead, apply blush only to apple of cheeks for a natural glow, says Tricia Sawyer, a celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles.
2. Dry sweaty strands with hair powder. To apply, lift outermost sections and sprinkle on roots, where oils concentrate. Then, brush or fluff locks so it sinks in, says Sherri Ziesche, owner of Salon in San Francisco. Try Satin Sugar Refreshing Hair & Body Powder ($18; CakeBeauty.com).
5 minutes: Eat on the run
Lunch within 30 minutes of your get-lean routine, when your body uses calories most efficiently. Some on-the-go options (about 500 calories each):
1. Healthy fast food: Wendy’s small chili; 1/2 plain baked potato; side salad with 1/2 packet of Italian vinaigrette
2. Diet-friendly deli: 4 oz lean turkey on whole-grain bread with lettuce, tomato, mustard; one piece of fruit
3. Easy at your desk: a microwave meal like Lean Cuisine’s Spa Cuisine Classics (or one with less than 700 milligrams sodium, 5 grams saturated fat); piece of fruit