If you’re trying to hold onto your youth, choosing the right exercise regime can be as tricky as trying to look good in Lycra. No matter how much everyone tells you that working out is one of the best things you can do for your body, you can’t escape the niggling fear that jumping around might send everything south. And while it’s true that some activities can have a negative effect on skin elasticity, research in the Free Radical Biology and Medicine journal shows that only very high intensity activity – working out at 40-60 percent of your max heart rate for over 90 minutes – can cause cell damage. On the flipside, the same study reports that moderate activity can in fact restore skin. Hurrah!
TONE AND TIGHTEN BINGO WINGS
Combat arm jiggle with a trio of tricep moves.
20 REPS; 4 SETS
Lie face-up on a bench with arms extended overhead and a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping the upper arms still and palms facing one another, bend your elbows to lower the weights to either side of your head. Push back up and repeat.
CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESS
Lie face-up on a bench. Hold a light barbell with hands inside shoulderwidth apart, palms facing away. Hold the bar above your chest, tuck your elbows in and lower the bar until it nearly touches your body. Push back up.
Assume a modified push-up position with knees on the floor. Place your hands on the floor about two inches apart in a diamond shape. Engage your core and gradually lower until your chest nearly touches the ground. Don’t let your elbows flare out to the sides. Push up and repeat.
Tone your arms and burn oodles of calories at a Body Combat class (available at Virgin Active and other gyms)
GET A NATURAL BOOB LIFT
Hit your pectoral muscles from multiple angles for a perky chest.
Place your hands on a raised platform and extend your legs behind you. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the platform, keeping your torso straight. Push back up to the start and repeat.
Crouch facing away from a platform and place your hands shoulder-width apart. Put one foot at a time on the platform until legs are extended. Engage your abs and push your body off the floor. Lower back to the floor and repeat.
Lie on a bench. Hold a dumbbell horizontally in each hand and bend your elbows at 90 degrees. Your forearms are vertical to the floor with knuckles pointing up. Push the weights into the air until arms are straight. Lower slowly and repeat.
Lie face-up on a bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand overhead. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights until they’re in line with your chest. Push back up and repeat.
Give your chest some support by doing the Back Attack workout (available for download at shockabsorber.co.uk )
BEAT THE MIDDLEAGED SPREAD
High-intensity moves will burn belly fat. Try these joint-friendly options.
30-Sec REPS; 15-Sec REST
SQUAT & LIFT
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and squat down. As you rise out of the squat, extend your right leg out to the side. Lower your right leg, squat back down and then rise up to extend your left leg out to the side. Alternate at speed.
CLOSE-GRIP TRIPLE PUNCH
Hold a pair of light dumbbells at shoulder height with elbows bent. Punch your right hand across to the left. Repeat with the left hand. Next, punch each hand over head (right then left).
Finally, bend forward slightly to punch the right hand downward to the left, and then repeat with the left hand. That’s one rep.
Stand with feet together and arms by the sides. Take a step to the right, push your hips back and lower your body by bending the right knee and straightening the left leg. Simultaneously, swing the left hand to right foot and right arm overhead. Step back to centre and repeat on the left. Continue alternating.
Give your stomach a helping hand by massaging Nip+Fab Tummy Fix Daily Toner (£19.29; boots.com) on it.
YOGA FACE LIFT
Fight fine lines and wrinkles with Danielle Collins’ Face Yoga method.
Put your middle fingers together and place them between your eyebrows. Apply pressure to the outer corners of your eyes with your index fingers. Look up and squint to move the lower eyelids upwards. Relax and repeat six times.
Hide your teeth with your lips and make an ‘O’ shape with the mouth. Smile as wide as you can, keeping the teeth hidden. Repeat six times. Next, hold the smile shape and place one index finger on the chin. Move your jaw up and down as you tilt your head back. Relax and repeat two times.
Place your finger tips on the top of your neck and lightly stroke the skin down as you tilt your head back. Repeat two times. Next, jut your lower lip out as far as possible, place your fingers on your collarbone and point your chin upwards, pulling the corners of your mouth down. Hold for four deep breaths.
TRY IT AT HOME!
Buy the 10 Minute Natural Facelift DVD for £14.99 at faceyogaexpert.com }