words by Gabrielle Hyde
Tis the season to hide our legs under thick wooly tights. But when the sun starts shining, the first thing we want to do is unveil our sun deprived gams. Take a look at the following ways to earn pins to be proud of…
The average person takes between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day (www.nhs.uk). An easy and effective way to tone and work the legs is simply, to take even more steps! Instead of spending your lunch hour browsing the Internet, why not go and browse the shops? Simple changes such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator will make all the difference. Walking is an underrated form of exercise and we do it every day, just step it up a gear and walk further and faster.
For a more specific form of exercise to strengthen and define the leg muscles, nothing can beat a squat. Daniel Williams, founder of the blog www.getoutandaboutfitness.com recommends a particular type of squat called a sumo squat. A great one for women, the sumo squat targets the inner thigh and glutes. He explained how to do it: ‘Stand with a really wide stance with your feet pointing outwards. Keep your back straight and bend at the knees, lowering your hips until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Raise back up and repeat 10-15 times. Daniel also recommends two other essential exercises for toned, slender legs – a narrow stance squat and walking lunges.
Water. It has been said time and time again but your body will reward you for drinking 1-2 litres of water a day. In terms of your legs, plenty of water will help the skin to glow and most importantly, keep cellulite at bay. Unfortunately, our legs are most likely to store the dreaded orange peel and we will do anything we can to see the back of it. Of course, it isn’t that easy. If it was we would all be chugging water by the bucket load. Diet and exercise also play a part. Tip: To make water more interesting and detoxifying, try it warm with fresh lemon juice.
It may seem like a tedious job but body brushing your skin for a few minutes every single day will really pay off. Working hard in the gym and looking after your skin go hand in hand when it comes to getting a great body, after all dull and bumpy skin isn’t worth showing off. Body brush your whole self but particularly the upper legs where cellulite can build up. This helps to break down the fatty cells and also works as a buffing mechanism to reveal healthier, silkier skin. It certainly isn’t a quick fix, but over time you will see the condition and tone of your skin improving. Remember, always brush in long, upward strokes.
If your Saturday night party dress requires perfect pins and you haven’t been so dedicated in the gym, then there are a few quick fixes to make your legs look amazing. Top of the quick fix list is the multitasking Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion (£39). Loved by the likes of Cate Blanchett and Gwyneth Paltrow, the product works to give the skin a gorgeous glow and natural plant extracts help to improve the condition and tone of the skin. Another great way to improve the appearance of legs is fake tan. Xen-Tan Perfect Blend (£34.99) is a two-in-one self-tan and instant bronzer. The colour of the tan adapts to your individual skin tone and the bronzer is designed to enhance the contours of the skin and give the legs a radiant finish. And if that doesn’t sound good enough, the product is enriched with a firming complex. Now get slathering!
Image: Swimsuit from a selection at Sweaty Betty