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Pat Henry's Bikini Workout

With summer upon us, it's time for female sun worshippers to dust off that bikini. With our new six-week programme you can have the perfect body to put it on. Just follow our programme, starting today, for the perfect way to prepare for fun in the sun.

Letting natural light on the body is essential for overall health but avoid sunburn. Short sessions are good for you but always avoid lying in the sun between 12 and 3pm, when the sun's rays are most dangerous.

Putting on that bikini can be a dramatic experience, you may have gained or lost weight and need to tone up. We stay covered-up most of the year and then panic when the holidays are upon us. Some people manage to lose a stone in a week or so, but this is not healthy -- all they shed is liquid, muscle and only one pound of fat. When you lose weight too quickly you lose muscle tone and your body ends up looking softer. To lose weight and maintain muscle you need to consume at least 75g per day of protein: chicken, turkey or lean beef. Spread your calorie intake over five meals and include protein at each meal, combining it with wholemeal carbs or sweet potato, coloured vegetables, salads and any low GI-index foods.

Keep away from bread, pasta, rice and anything low fat as it will probably be high in sugar of some sort; read labels and look out for fructose, saccharine, aspartame, dextrose, cane syrup, corn oil and palm oil. These sugar substances are found in most low-fat products and they will cause an insulin rush which will increase fat and reduce health.

To get into shape quickly, don't spend hours in the gym -- it's a waste of time. Combining our bikini workout with cardio sessions (fast walking, cycling, swimming or any other aerobic exercise) three to four times a week, along with a good eating plan, will tone you up quicker than anything else.

In my opinion, exercising with heavy weights gives girls a chunky look that negates their natural curves. I see many women using heavy kettlebells in their training for movements that are great for athletes, but not for sculpting a feminine shape.

Women should also avoid spinning and cross trainers with high resistance levels which will widen your hips and bulk up your legs. High resistance will bulk up muscle and improve power but not burn fat -- the body will build up rather than slim down.

For a really beautiful bikini body you'll need to keep exercising regularly -- you could stick with our programme all year round!

Achieving a fabulous, firm body is a wonderful feeling; clothes will fit better, your posture will improve and you will gain in confidence and general well-being.

For now, follow our summer bikini plan using light dumbbells and moving rapidly. Aim for three sets of 20 reps of each exercise, but start gently and enjoy your workout.

If you have any medical or back problems you should seek the advice of your doctor before you start.


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