When you tread upon the gorgeous sands of Ipanema, in your itty bitty thong of course, your butt is there for all the world to see. You get so used to seeing these body parts, in fact, that it is no big deal. They come in all sizes from small and round to big and brawny. The butt is the most coveted part of the body in Brazil and they name surgeries after lifting it. It is that important!
But I am no longer under those sunny skies. I am in cold, wet London. I don’t have to ever reveal my backside since no one wears bikinis. The Brits go on vacation to various islands like Mallorca for that but they are not known for parading in public with little on. In England, it is not a culture of the body beautiful. I didn’t need much motivation in Rio. You exercise for fitness and healthy, but mostly for appearance. You can do it on the beach right there in broad daylight. The confines of the gym are eschewed. I loved working out by swimming in the sea or a pool, lifting weights, doing crunches, and the infamous plank. (That one is tough). I loved Brazil right down to my rippled core.
Now I have a dilemma. Do I want to stay fit or do I lose the look and succumb to laziness. Not one to automatically veer to the latter, I will make an effort in this foggy town. I will keep to a regular exercise routine that does not dwell on just one body part. It will be a kind of circuit program to tone the entire physique. That way I won’t care about the thong exclusively.
I plan walking in the rain, and there is a lot of it, to supplement the indoor stuff I do with weights, that big inflated ball, and a yoga mat. I also stretch with a set of the best resistance bands that I found here. I don’t have room for a treadmill and I wish I did because it is one of the fastest ways to burn calories and gain strength. I am doing this for energy and for the endorphins that wash over you as you flex and bend. Being in a good mood is hard when there is no sun!
Just so you know, my routine is as follows three times a week:
- 100 sit-ups with legs flat or knees bent (arms behind head)
- 30 push-ups with straight legs
- One minute plank or more each session
- 30 squats alternating days with lunges
- Stretching inner thigh after routine
- Stretching hamstrings after routine
- 20 knee bends
- Arm lifts and curls with weights (8 pounds)
- Head rolls and shoulder rotation to reduce stress
- Leg lifts to the side to tone upper thighs with pointed or flexed foot
- Leg lifts to the back to tone the butt (lots and lots of these)
It might seem like a lot but it takes less than an hour and with the walking days it is enough to keep me hale and hearty, without added weight, not even one stone.