Outdoor swimming

Cold swimming can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol

Description: Outdoor swimming

There is nothing like that first dip in a glistening hotel pool. Refreshing and revitalising,  swimming can be pretty body transforming, too- even doggy- paddle can burn over 200 cals an hour. But if you soon drift into ‘laday swimming’ in the quest to keep your hair dry, the only muscles you will  work out are the ones in your neck as you strain to keep your head above the water. Tweak your technique and you will have had a total- body workout all before the sunlounger scavenge begins (and be able to move faster than that kid on the lilo, too).

Just breathe

Find you have enough puff to run 10k  no problem, but struggle after just three laps in the water? It sounds like you are panting instead of breathing. ‘It is instinctive to hold your breath underwater, then gulp for air when you come up. But that is not brathing, it is hyperventilating!’ says instructor Steven Shaw (artofswimming.com). ‘Blow out of your nose when underwater, then breathe in slowly when your face reaches above the surface.’

Move your hips

Lifting your head during the front crawl is like putting on your body’s brakes, slowing you down, tiring you our and straining your back in one fell swoop. ‘To come up for a breath, rotate your hips and shoulders to one side instead of just turning your head. Your face will follow, meaning you can breathe without any danger of straining your spine,’ says Steven.

Swithch it up

‘Swimming one stroke for your entire session is like using one piece of equipment at the gym- you would not do it because it is boring and inefficient,’ says Steven. Breaststroke tones your legs and abs, while front crawl works your upper body, so mix them up for a total- body workout.


Rollerblading burns a whopping 700 calories an hour

Description: Rollerblading

LA, Miami, Bondi …beachside boardwalks are full of impossibly cool, tanned girls whizzing around on a set of wheels like they were born wearing them. Fancy finding out if those skills you picked up at the roller disco are still Starlight Express- worthy? The good news is you do not need the grace of a dancer or the balance of a tightrope walker to pull it off graze- free.

Stay stable

Unless you have got the equilibrium of a seasoned skier or a veteran yogi, you may find staying upright the biggest chaleenge. Do not fall into the newbie trap of letting your head travel faster than your body. ‘Your shoulders, knees and toes should all be in a vertical line. If any part of you is out of line, you are asking for a fall,’ says instructor Mike van Erp from London Skaters (londonskaters.com)

Push it

You will naturally want to push through your toes or let your feet slice backwards and forwards, but try to push sideways through your heels, instead,’ advises Mike. ‘Your strides should go out to the side towards the 3 and 9 o’clock positions. To get into a rhythm, think of your body like a metronome, tick- tocking from left to right.’

Location, location, location

Take a long, hard look at the pavement before you even think of lacing up. Finding a flat, smooth place to skate is really important- even the best skaters can be taken out by a rogue pavement slab. Look out for sticks, stones, kerbs and even slight slopes so you can svoid them at all costs,’ warns Mike.

Water- skiing

Water- skiing forces you to engage your core muscles. Ab Fab!

Description: Water- skiing

Few things get your blood rishing like cruising behind a speedboat in the Med, hair blowing in the wind. Admittedly, this adrenaline- pumping, total- body workout takes a bit of practice, but is so much fun that once you have got the hang of it, your friends will have to physically drag you out of the water. Follow these first- timer tips to avoid a face- plant:

Slowly does it

‘Do not try to stand up too quickly. As the boat starts to pull away, you will be tampted to shoot up, but fight this urge,’ advises John Battleday, instructor and owner of IBSki (ibski.com). ‘Let your shoulders roll for ward and lift your bum, keeping your arms straight and your knees bent. Once you find your balance in this crouched position, straighten your legs inch by inch until you are finally upright.’

Do not do all the work

The boat is a lot stronger than you, so let it do the heavy lifting. ‘A lot of first- timers try to pull themselves up, but this just launches them forwards into a belly flop. Not cool. Keep your arms locked and straight and let the boat pull you up,’ says John. And do not bend your arms or tug on the rope!

Keep your eyes on the prize

Once you are up, stay there bu focusing on the driver of the boat. ‘I always say, if you look down, you fall down. Keep your head up and your eyes ahead,’ advises John.

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