MOVE WELL – Easy tips to help you stay active this Summer

THE KETTLEBELL – YOUR WAY TO A TONED, STRONG BODY?

Getting the recommended amount of exercise can be difficult, so we often want activities that will provide maximum results but take up a minimal amount of time.
Not only this, but busy lifestyles mean we need something that can aid toning and strength at the same time as burning plenty of calories.

With this in mind, taking kettlebell classes could be perfect. A kettlebell – or girya to give it its original Russian name – is a round metal weight a little similar to a cannonball but with a handle – if you watch fitness programmes like Britain’s Biggest Loser, you may have seen them.
Kettlebells are used to perform exercises that build strength and endurance in the lower back, legs, arms and shoulders and work because – here’s the science part – they have an extended centre of mass.

This means that when you swing them, the weight is carried further than the hand and so makes your body work harder than traditional hand weights, according to the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation.

Kirstin Watson recently gave kettlebell classes a try after learning that 45 minutes of them could burn as many calories as running for 45 minutes on a treadmill. The writer said she learned a number of moves including the Dead Lift with an 8lb weight and eventually The Swing with a 12lb kettlebell and found it to be surprisingly effective.

“Would I do it again? Absolutely. I loved it. It was the hardest ‘easy workout’ I’ve ever done. The techniques are easy to master and even ‘The Swing’ isn’t as bad as it looks on TV, ” she enthused.

According to Medical News Today, recent research by the National Strength and Conditioning Association found that resistance training could significantly improve blood flow when combined with an aerobic exercise programme, so perhaps now could be the perfect time to give kettlebells a try!
Have a look around in your area, as many gyms now offer beginners’ classes.

If you need weights, you can get hold of them at stores such as Argos and Amazon, whilst the latter also offers DVDs in case you require further instruction.
They may look a little like you’re about to take part in a strongman contest, but kettlebells could turn out to be your newest secret weapon!