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beach + walking = slim and sexy bikini body

Want a slim, sexy bikini body? Walk this way!
Use simple beach-strolling strategies to scorch calories and sculpt sleek curves.
By Jessica Levine
From the July 2009 Issue Self Magazine

Factor in footwear.Moseying for less than a mile? Stride shoeless on soft, dry sand. "Your foot will sink ensuring that your feet, ankles and legs all get a great workout," says Walking Strong DVD pro Tracey Staehle. Forging farther? Slip on a pair of sneaks to go the distance—without them, you risk shin splints.
Hit the hard stuff.Zap megacalories in the packed, damp sand near the water. "Each step will give less rebound than you'd get on a sidewalk, so you have to use added energy to keep moving," says Tommy Boone, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.
Assume the position.Good form can make your trek a total-body workout: With shoulders relaxed and abs engaged, swing arms front to back, elbows bent. For maximum tush toning, squeeze those glutes as you push off your rear foot and take longer strides to recruit inner and outer thigh muscles.
Plot your path.Most beaches slope toward the water, which means one leg will always be slightly uphill as you march. This imbalance forces your downward thigh and butt to work overtime to steady you. Challenge both legs equally by staying on the same course as you speed up and down the shore.
Ensure shape-up success.Jot your beach-body goal in a journal. Inking your aim can motivate you to move, research shows. Plus, charting your progress helps you identify what works and what doesn't. "It's a way to be aware of what you're doing, rather than merely going through the motions," says Diane E. Whaley, Ph.D., professor of sport and exercise psychology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Note activities (reps, weights, miles strolled), review weekly and soon you'll be writing, Dear Diary, I've never felt better in a bikini!


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