Stronger, fitter, sexier in 2013: Get inspired by the exercise and diet regimes of these fit and fabulous divas

Deepika Padukone, Beyonce Knowles, Lisa Ray and Madonna

Flipping through the pages of a glossy magazine or navigating through gossip mills over the net, one question that often crosses every woman’s mind is- How these A-listers stay in shape? Slim, sexy and with all the right curves, these fit women never fail to amaze us.

While a few of us might think that it is the result of a fad diet or magic of a body contouring surgery, it’s no mystery to understand that they simply ‘work hard’ to look like this! Their commitment towards fitness is solely responsible for the bodies that we admire and envy on and off screen.

Sure, they have access to best trainers and latest techniques, but it’s their dedication that keeps them fit. “Whether it is 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s, to be in shape is a lifestyle change, and not a one day effort. It’s a myth that celebs have it easy. They do it with a dedicated diet and exercise regime,” explains fitness expert Sonia Bajaj.

According to experts, the battle against the bulge should be fought with a strong will and focussed mind. “No trainer can help you if you are not mentally prepared to help yourself,” states Bajaj. Though, there are many quick fixes that claim to bring you two sizes down in just ten days, the results are sadly not permanent.

Bajaj adds, “Such shortcuts are neither safe nor sustainable. You will be back to square one if you don’t work out and eat sensibly.” Just like your favourite celeb, you need to pick up a workout regimen according to your age and body type to get optimum results. According to fitness expert Sumaya Dalmia, “Muscle confusion will be all the rage in 2013. The New Year is all about challenging your body in different ways. Outdoor exercising like biking, climbing, etc will see a comeback.” So, kick-start this year on a stronger-sexier note as we list the fitness secrets of these fabulous ‘perfect-body’ icons.

Deepika Padukone, 26

Embracing her athletic build, actress Deepika Padukone is blessed with some good genes. But this doesn’t mean that the B-town damsel takes it all for granted. She maintains her trim figure with Pilates and strength training.

“In 20s, your metabolic rate is high, so the workout effects are faster and better. This is also the time when you can push your body to your maximum limit and set things right for the future,” states wellness expert Bindiya Bhandari. To achieve her toned legs and arms try squash (different variations), lunges and dead lifts for legs and push- ups for arms three times a week.

“To get those flat abs do high intensity interval training three times a week followed by 20 to 30 minutes of core training like Pilates,” suggests Bajaj. At this age, moderate changes in the diet can give you great results. Instead of crash diets, commit to mindful eating. “Start your day with egg white as it curbs hunger pangs and increase your water intake,” advises Dr Nikita Vig, nutritionist, Max hospital, Gurgaon.

Beyonce Knowles, 31
With a thriving career and a hectic schedule, singer Beyonce is just like us- well, except her derriere, that is to die for. Credited for bringing ‘voluptuous’ in vogue, she loves dancing which helps her build endurance, stamina and strengthen her leg muscles.

“To get her firm and toned butt indulge in heavy weight training for the lower body at least 2 to 3 times a week. Squats, lunges and dead lifts with either free weights or barbell can work magic. Pilates for legs with resistance tubes is another great form of workout,” advises Bajaj.

Also, Kick boxing is a smart way to shape up thigh muscles. “Go for boot camping. It takes your heart rate up and helps burn fat from the difficult parts of the body,” adds Bhandari. Snack on fruits, nuts and high fibre foods between your meals.

“Add good amount of soya products in your diet, have multi-grain flour and say no to rice,” suggests Dr Vig. You should also reduce salt intake after sunset and keep a regular check on your calcium and iron levels.

Lisa Ray, 40
Known for her porcelain skin and svelte figure, Lisa Ray oozes sensuality and confidence. “For any women, to be in forties and still maintain such a body is not easy,” declares Bajaj. A dedicated yoga practitioner, Lisa credits yoga for her blissful emotional and physical well being. To shape up like Lisa, you can go for a combination of Yoga and Pilates.

Both help enhance flexibility and strengthen the core. According to fitness trainer Jyoti Ann Burrett, “Surya Namaskar is a great overall body workout that helps tone and mobilise foundation muscles in the whole body.” Adding to this, Bajaj says, “Cardio workouts on treadmill, cross trainer and stationary cycles should be a part of your daily regimen.”

“Include dairy products like curd & cottage cheese in diet. Also, make sure you take enough vitamin D from the sunlight,” advises Dr Vig. For a flawless glowing skin like her, commit to the cocktail of beetroot, cucumbers, spinach, garlic, carrots, celery and kale. It helps fights off the early signs of ageing. Swap aerated drinks with Green tea, which is loaded with antioxidants.

Madonna, 54
A terrific performer with a cutting-edge voice complimented by a gravity defying body, Madonna enjoys an iconic status in the entertainment industry. With those killer abs and sculpted thighs, she is a living example of ‘age is just a number’. “Go for 4 to 6 cardio sessions a week for 20 to 40 minutes per set.

Follow it with half an hour of weight training twice a week with 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise. Always stretch afterwards,” explains Bhandari. Adding to it, Burrett says, “To give definition to your abs go for mountain climbers and side plank with hip raise. However, before you opt for any kind of high intensity workouts like Zumba and boot camp take a green signal from your doctor on these- blood sugar, blood pressure and knee strength.

“At 50, you need less energy (about 30%) than somebody who is 20-years-old. Eat 4-5 small portions a day and do not over eat,” says Bhandari. And you must cut down your salt intake to 1/4 tea spoon a day.

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