Krissy wears top, Ernest Leoty. Bra, Topshop. Pants, Horizon Athletic
Last week we introduced you to Krissy Cela, the fitness powerhouse who’s changing the way we exercise. Now try her revolutionary workout yourself. Trust us: it’s easy, speedy and anyone can do it!
You can easily get an optimum and effective workout in 30 minutes. In fact, there are several research papers that suggest half an hour is all you need to get your muscles working, blood pumping and energy surging. You can do this routine in the comfort of your home. You don’t need anything, aside from a chair. Whether you’re a beginner, an expert or somewhere in the middle, anybody can do it. All the exercises can be modified to suit your level and will target a different area of your body. They don’t require you to use a great deal of strength and it’s not going to drain you. But it will make you stronger.
How it works
Always ensure your wrist, elbow and shoulder are in alignment – keep everything straight. As you push up slowly, engage your core (your abdominals) to ensure you don’t arch your back. I can’t emphasise enough that you must be sure your core is engaged when you exercise.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and rotated slightly outwards: lots of people let their knees cave in when doing this exercise, which can cause damage to the lower back. Hold your chest upright, engage your core, look forward and lower down as if you’re sitting down on a chair. (If you find this difficult, hold on to a chair.)
Stand straight and take a step backwards with your right foot. Bend your left knee until it’s at 90 degrees while lowering your right knee until it is also bent at a right angle. Then push back up and return to the starting position. If you need to, hold on to a chair. Make sure your knees are in alignment with your toes.
This works your glutes (the muscles in your bottom, which you’re on all day) and is a great way to wake them up! Lie down on your back and engage your core, keeping your chin tucked in. You want to imagine you’re scooping your bottom off the floor with an ice-cream scooper. Breathe at the top and then lower down slowly. Only go as far as you can – everyone has their own range of motion.
Lie on your back, with your hands near your bottom, scoop your tailbone off the floor and pull your knees up towards you.
Hold on to a chair and slowly raise one leg and then push it back against the other leg, never quite meeting it. Imagine you are working against gravity and really have to push against it so you keep a constant tension. Ensure you keep standing firm and upright.
Put your hands on the floor under your shoulders, bend your knees and raise them. Slowly push back so your bottom is over your feet, ensuring you’re still hovering over the mat. Push forward, engaging your core. Or you can keep your knees on the floor.
In a plank position, ensuring your hands are in a direct line under your shoulders, bring your right knee up to your right hand, then back. Repeat with your left knee. Breathe out as you crunch forward because that’s when you’re contracting your core. Accuracy is just as important as speed.
Lie on your back, tucking your hands under your bottom to give you greater stability, and keep your chin tucked in to avoid unnecessary pressure on your back. Engage your core and raise your legs slowly, then lower them again. Go to your own level. The aim is to keep your legs off the floor.
Kneel down, hands under shoulders and knees and feet on the floor. Keep your core as straight and engaged as possible as you lift your right hand and tap your left shoulder. Then reverse. The hand on the floor should be pushing away: imagine it is glued to the floor.
Stand with your back against the chair and bend your knees (when you’re more advanced, you can straighten your legs). Ensure you keep your elbows in – don’t let them flare out! – chest out and core engaged. Push down and hover, then push back up. This really works the long muscles in your thighs. It’s a great one to do while watching TV.
Lie down on your back and raise your knees – one at a time, if that’s easier. Engage your core, breathe out and raise your head until you find that sweet spot. Keep your hands behind your head if you find yourself straining your neck.
Make getting fit even Easier
1 Get out your diary or your phone at the beginning of the week and schedule your workouts like appointments – this makes you much more likely to stick to the plan. Think of it as a health appointment – similar to a visit to the doctor.
2 Walk as much as you can. If there’s a choice between the escalator and stairs, take the stairs. Walk to the shops: 20 minutes there and back could mean accumulating around 5,000 steps.
3 Look at your available time frame. So you only have 15 minutes? Fine. Do a 15-minute workout. Don’t get hung up about how you ‘should’ do more or go to that hour-long class.
4 Make yourself accountable. Text your mum or your friend and tell them you’re going to work out – then ask them to text or call you an hour later saying, ‘Have you done it?’ It’s harder to skip it if you know someone’s going to check on you.
5 Be part of a community. I call mine my ‘familia’ because they always have my back, whatever happens. You need people to cheer you on.
6 Pop on FaceTime and exercise with you daughter/best friend/mum. Throw exercises at each other: ‘ten squats’, ‘ten crunches’…
7 Find your ‘trigger’: the thing that makes your brain think ‘time to exercise’. For me, it’s playing one of my favourite songs and having a dance that kickstarts my workout. Don’t like dancing? Try skipping. Just keep showing up and the rest will follow.
Sports bra and leggings, uk.oneractive.com Stylist: Stephanie Sofokleous. Make-up Olivia Rose (itsoliviarose.com). Hair: Sven Bayerbach at Carol Hayes management using Kiehl’s.
Exercise and the menopause
If you’re going through the menopause, as much as you might want to work out, you might not feel like you have the energy for it. Here are some ways in which you can still stay fit and healthy. They will improve your mood and energy, which will in turn help you manage the symptoms of menopause.
Anytime Quick Fixes
Waiting for the kettle to boil? Watching TV? Try these
Pulse squats: These are great for when you’re making a cup of tea or cooking at the stove. Dip down into a squat then, instead of coming back up, pulse there. Do 20 repetitions while the tea is brewing and 20 before you drink it – I promise you will feel it.
The plank: This is great for upper arms. Place your hands flat on the floor and lift up as if you are about to do a push-up. Hold the position. Make it easier by starting on your knees, rather than your feet. Ensure your arms are in alignment. Always remember: wrist, elbow, shoulder.
Diamond press-ups: These are brilliant for your triceps. Get into a push-up position, keeping your knees on the floor. Then lean your torso forward and position your hands in the shape of a diamond so your index fingers and thumbs are touching. Now lower your torso but keep your arms tucked in to your sides. Then push back up using your triceps and exhale.
Healthy habits that shape your life
The good news is it’s never too late to reap the benefits from exercise
Women go through so many changes in their lives, physically and hormonally, from puberty to pregnancy to the menopause. Our physical state fluctuates and can change our bone density, energy and hormone levels. Working out will help you regulate so much more than your appearance. Forming healthy habits for life gives you discipline and makes you more resilient to change.
Exercising in your 40s
This can add years to your life. Regular exercise will support posture if you’re working at a desk, hunching over children or just slouching without knowing. Perimenopause can start in your 40s and keeping bones dense and strong will help to protect against osteoporosis.
Exercising in your 50s
Once you reach your sixth decade you start losing muscle mass and regular exercise helps maintain it. You may need longer to recover in between workouts, but in addition to helping your body stay strong, exercise in your 50s will also help to maintain brain health.
Exercising in your 60s and beyond
In addition to preventing problems ranging from heart disease to diabetes, studies have found that working out regularly in your senior years improves your immune system. Regular exercise – including strength and resistance work – from your 60s onwards also improves strength and flexibility, which is vital due to the increased risk of falls once you reach older age.
Hormonal changes and balances throughout your life can affect your training regime, diet and emotional wellbeing, but exercise – whether it’s a daily walk or a 45-minute strength session – can really help you manage and overcome these hurdles. You can totally do this.
Do This For You by Krissy Cela is published by Octopus Publishing Group, price £16.99. To order a copy for £14.95 until 31 January, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £15.