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The January health kick

Showing you how to get fit and healthy with our top exercise tips

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get fit, you’ll need some hard work and dedication. (Yes, that means no more cakes for a few weeks.) Whatever your body shape we could all benefit from a January health kick after over indulging on festive treats.

Increase your fitness

It’s recommended that you do at least half an hour of moderate cardio activity five times per week to keep fit. Good activities include jogging, cycling, swimming, team sports or aerobics- basically anything that gets you out of breath. And if you’ve got any excess weight to lose, cardio sports are the best way to burn fat. It’s great to combine them with exercises like yoga and Pilates to ensure your body stays toned.

Get sexy legs

Professional athlete and fitness expert Michelle Brannan has some exercise tips that will have the Victoria’s Secret models envying your pins in no time. (Well, a girl can dream.)

Jump Squats

Ideal for toning your legs and bum, these plyometric based exercises are basically squats jumping on the spot.

How to: Start in a low squat position with your knees over your ankles, ensuring the abdominals are contracted. Jump up and down with your weight on your heels, working the glute muscle around the back of legs and bum. To see the effects you’ll need to do three or four sets of 15-20 jumps on a regular basis.

Step ups

Easy to do outside the gym, step ups can be done using a stair case, a garden step or even a chair. Working the entire leg, it’s a great exercise for those with limited time on their hands.

How to: Stand in front of a secure platform and place one foot onto to the step. When you move forward, drive weight through the heel, placing your foot up onto the platform. Keep the stationery foot on the floor, step back and put your feet together. Repeat 15 times on the same leg before moving onto the next.

Beat cellulite

To combat the dreaded orange peel, combine your exercise programme with resistance training and cardiovascular activities. According to Brannan, many women shy away from resistance or weight training through fear of bulking up. In reality it’s actually very difficult for a women to develop large muscles naturally. Instead weight training increases lean tissue enabling the body to burn more calories at rest. This can help to reduce fat stores in the body and in turn cellulite. Result!

Author: Lizzie Cernik