Beach Body Ready!

by Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on August 17, 2015 in Libraries

Most of us are not fit to be seen on the beach.  We will never be bikini/mankini ready.  If this does not apply to you, you are a) very young b) very lucky or c) delusional.  For the rest, the library is here to offer help.  We may not be able to transform you into […]

Most of us are not fit to be seen on the beach. We will never be bikini/mankini ready. If this does not apply to you, you are a) very young b) very lucky or c) delusional. For the rest, the library is here to offer help. We may not be able to transform you into a Venus or Adonis, but with some hard work and built-in support swimwear, you too can be half-way presentable.

It may be too late for this year.

The two lifestyle changes that have to be made are to diet and exercise. In recent years there has been a move away from the skinny to the toned body ideal and a re-examination of what constitutes a healthy diet. The food pyramid – which suggested that the greater part of our energy should be derived from carbohydrates, is seen as outmoded and sugar, not fat, is identified as the nutritional enemy. Muscle definition achieved through targeted workouts is the aesthetic vision for both men and women.

Not everyone wants to go to a gym. It involves bottled water and wiping down handles and they are full of show offs, but everything you need to know, and how to do it, can be found in our up-to-date library stock. We have a collection which includes books on Pilates, yoga (Bikram, Astanga – the lot), kettlebell workouts, paleo workouts and anatomy workouts specifically designed for women. There are books on combined fitness and nutritional programmes and one on how to parachute into a moving car, but I think this may have been miss-shelved. If you really want the gym experience, without actually going to one there is a book called ‘The pop up gym – how to keep fit wherever you are’ by Jon Denoris. He says he can get you in shape in six weeks and he has trained some important people. The exercises are designed to be carried out ‘almost anywhere’, but I would suggest that the ones that require a medicine ball, dumbbells or a stability ball should be considered carefully with regard to location.

There is little point in having marvellous muscle definition if it is covered in a generous layer of flesh so one has to combine the workouts with a little sensible eating. Personally I tend towards the Mary Berry approach to food but, as mentioned previously, this has fallen out of favour with the very nutritionally aware. One of the biggest problems with the way we eat today and which has led to a rise in obesity, is eating without realising that we are doing it. This includes eating watching television, the phone, laptop or when doing anything else apart from concentrating on the food. ‘Mindful eating, mindful life: savour every moment and every bite’ by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung addresses this problem and offers tools to help the reader transform their lives. Our collection also includes diet and nutrition guides which espouse every type of eating regime from the five to two method, which allows you to eat more or less what you want for five days and fast for two, to low sugar diets, paleo diets and books which address particular food allergies and specific problems. There is even a book with the title ‘Crazy Sexy diet’ which may well be the craziest thing about it. The health implications of eating too much sugar and how to cut it out of your diet is the subjects of several titles and many of our cookbooks offer delicious recipes with low sugar ingredients. Sarah Wilson’s book ‘I quit sugar’ has 108 sugar free recipes which includes sweet tasting dishes. Apparently there is stuff called stevia which is a natural sweetener and can be used as an alternative to sugar. Most researchers deem it safe. (In case of any legal action resulting from this blog I reiterate – ‘most’).

If none of this appeals to you try watching television with one of those stretchy exercise bands on your lap. If you give it a few good tugs during the ads your upper arms will look wonderful by next year on the beach and you can always throw a kaftan over the rest!

By Lesley Kavanagh, Donabate Library