Information & Advice
Summer might still feel like a lifetime away, but it's worth putting in the legwork now, starting with these three steps, if you want to reap the rewards come the sunshine months.
Step one: Identify problem areas
Not sure where to start? Pilates expert Lynne Robinson, who's worked with stars such as Sophie Dahl and Holly Willoughby suggests an honest body appraisal to kick things off.
"Wearing your bikini, stand by a mirror and use another mirror to see yourself 360 degrees," she says. "Be honest with yourself and identify your 'problem areas' but remember, people don't just look at your abs, bottom or thighs, they see all of you!" Lynne recommends Pilates as a good way of exercising the entire body, as well as working on toning up those not-so-hot areas.
Step two: Prevent boredom
Lacking motivation? "Mix it up with a combination of at-home workouts and exercise classes to keep things interesting," suggests Lynne. Calling in reinforcements (aka friends) or finding a running buddy may help, believes celebrity personal trainer Mark Anthony, who's worked with the likes of Billie Piper and Caroline Flack. "Running is a great way of kick-starting any fitness programme," he says. "Join a running club or call a friend to join you on a run."
Step three: Overhaul your diet - sensibly
To get the best results for that beach body, you need to combine a good exercise regime with a healthy diet. "If you want to lose a little weight in time for the big beach reveal, now is the time to start," says Simple nutritionist Fiona Hunter. The good news? No drastic measures are required. "You can lose weight with a sensible and balanced diet," confirms Fiona, who says the effects of yo-yo dieting go beyond your wellbeing and can even affect your complexion. "Yo-yo dieting is bad for your skin because you end up becoming deficient in key nutrients, which can loosen the skin's elasticity and make it sag," she says.
Summer prep tip
Exercise and healthy-eating plan sorted? Start thinking about hair removal methods now. If you want to use an IPL machine, for example, you'll need to start treatments well in advance to see great results in time for summer. If you're not sure which hair removal method is right for you, read our feature to find out more.
Step one: Re-evaluate
To really make the most of your last two weeks of body prep, Lynne suggests getting back in your bikini to identify any areas that might need a little extra help. "Add an extra ten minutes of 'problem area' exercise to your regime," she advises.
Step two: Get a step closer to firmer abs
According to Mark, most people will identify their abdomen as the main area for improvement, as the majority of people tend to store fat around their mid-section. If you find your tummy is your biggest bikini bugbear, fear not - Mark has a great solution when it comes to fighting ab flab. "A good all-round ab exercise is the plank," he says. "Hold for a minute, then repeat three to five times."
Step three: Think inside as well as out
Getting your tummy into tip top shape doesn't end with exercise. "Start taking a probiotic supplement to help boost levels of friendly bacteria in your digestive system, which can help reduce bloating," advises Fiona.
Summer prep tip
You may be on track to getting your body in summer shape but don't forget your skin needs attention too, after months of being hidden away. Check out our exfoliation masterclass for top tips on getting your skin up to scratch.
Step one: Create the illusion of height and length
Lynne reckons now's the perfect time to start learning how to strut your stuff in that all-important bikini by employing a few simple Pilates rules. "Walk, stand and sit tall," she says. "Notice the difference to your figure when you do this - improving your posture and not slouching will instantly make you look slimmer."
Step two: Eat your way to glowing summer skin
Once you've got your strut sussed, it's time to give your complexion a last-minute boost. "Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, especially tomatoes, pink grapefruit, melon, mango, apricots, carrots, spinach and brazil nuts," advises Fiona, who believes these foods can boost your intake of the antioxidant selenium, which can help protect your skin against UV damage. But her advice comes with a warning: "Although these foods help, remember they are not a substitute for a good sunscreen, which should always be a priority while in the sun."
Summer prep tip
If you haven't already, now's the time to start thinking about applying your fake tan, picking the perfect pair of sunnies and covering any last-minute hair removal needs to complete the new you this summer.
All that's left to do now is show off your hard work and have some fun in the sun!
Copyright © The Boots Company PLC. All rights reserved. Boots.com is a trading name of Boots UK Limited. Registered office: Nottingham NG2 3AA. Registered in England: company no. 928555. Registered VAT no. 116300129. Registered pharmacy no. 1092488