Top 5 Cardio Exercises You May Try at Home

If you’re looking to shed some kilos, improve muscle tone and your overall fitness, you need to get into some cardio work. But you don’t have to pay a fortune for a gym membership you’ll probably not use, there are lots of different cardio workouts you can do in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Tee up with some awesome training supplements (check out and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before. Here are five top cardio exercises to try at home.

1. Skipping

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Skipping ain’t just for kids, it’s one of the most cardio-intense workouts you can do. The beauty of skipping is you can easily adjust the intensity of your workout. It’s also great to toning your arms, your calves, thighs, buttocks and will seriously improve your core stability and strength as well. Chuck on some great beats and get skipping, the results will amaze you.

2. Stairs

If you’ve got a set of stairs at your place, consider them your new cardio training partner. Climbing stairs repeatedly is one of the best ways to increase core strength and stability, improve cardio fitness and to seriously build lean muscle mass in your gluts, hamstrings and quadriceps. The benefit of building up these large muscles is they’ll continue to burn fat, even after you finish exercising. Because the amount of muscle we have affects our metabolism and therefore weight distribution, focus on the big guys (such as the thighs), and get better results more quickly.

3. Yoga and pilates


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To increase your lean muscle mass and therefore tone, you don’t need to lift heavy weights in a gym, especially if you’re a woman. Yoga and its modern offshoot pilates are fantastic ways to strengthen, tone and redesign your physique. In addition, you’ll have an amazing core which will ensure your spine is well looked after and avoid back pain through improved posture, balance and strength. There are so many online yoga and pilates and instructors, that you’ll easily be able to find a style and instructor that appeals to you and your training goals.

4. Aerobics

While the word ‘aerobics’ might conjure up images of lycra and Olivia Newton-John’s infamous ‘Let’s Get Physical’ music video, it shouldn’t. Aerobics has come a very long way since its debut in the 1980s and has now evolved to include different workout styles. For example, you can choose to do a high intensity workout such as a boxing or martial arts-based session. Just like yoga and pilates, there are now loads of online workouts available to buy and use at home.


It might be an oldie, but it’s a goodie – cycling. For some serious fat-burning, high intensity cardio – get on your bike! Whether you cycle the streets or on an exercise bike, you’ll quickly build muscle in your thighs and gluts and will work up a serious sweat at the same time.

Increasingly, more and more people are choosing to develop home-based training regimes. Many of the exercises you can do at home, cost little or nothing and you have the added convenience of being able to work out when and where you want to. You don’t have to wait for machines, put up with unbearable music and best of all, you can work out in complete privacy.

Ten Must-know Tips to Relieve your Knee Pain

The human knee is one of the most underappreciated parts of the human body. We need it to walk, run, sit, kneel, jump and to do just about everything else. Yet we hardly know it is there – until we injure it and it is no longer functioning as it should. Many people, especially sports men and women, believe the best thing to do with a knee injury is to carry on. They call it ‘running through’ the pain. This can do more harm than good. Instead, you need to take action to relieve the pain before more damage occurs. Here are 10 tips to help you relieve pain in your knees.

Knee support

More often than not, knee injuries are caused by strain and overuse. If the injury is relatively minor, it can be relieved by wearing a knee support or brace at certain times, such as during exercise. There is a wide variety on the market. Check out sports injury relief specialists Optomo Australia for some options. They also have a great competition out at the moment for any budding fitness gurus, which you can check out at their Optomo Competitions page.

Cold treatments and warm showers

Ice packs in the first 72 hours after a knee injury are highly effective in relieving pain. Once you have taken the pain away, a warm shower will help relieve any associated swelling.

Pain relief ointment and spray

Another option is to coat the knee with an over-the-counter menthol treatment. They come in ointments, sprays and patches. If you are not sure what is right for you, check with the pharmacist.

Physical therapy

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If a supportive bandage isn’t providing enough relief, try physical or occupational therapy from a physiotherapist or sports doctor. The specialist will develop an exercise program to suit your abilities and provide tips on how to avoid similar injuries in the future.

Look at your feet

People who roll their feet inward when they walk will often find themselves with knee problems. This can easily be fixed with supportive shoes provided by sports medicine specialists, chiropractors or orthopaedists.

Lose weight

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The additional burden placed on the knees due to weight problems is a growing issue. If you feel you are a little above what is considered a healthy weight and it is affecting your knees, talk to your doctor about a healthy diet and exercise program.

Knee-friendly exercise

Look for a workout program that avoids stress on the knee such as easy walking and swimming. Do not go running or jumping if your knee is already causing you pain.

Get Enough Rest and Relaxation

It might be in the mind, but doctors say patients who are relaxed after an operation require less pain relief and heal faster than those who are agitated and stressed. Take time during the day to rest and recover.

Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep

Similarly, a lack of sleep can increase aches and pain in all parts of the body, including the knees. Get a good night’s sleep and you will be feeling better in no time.

Prescribed pain relief

If the pain gets too much, you may be forced to see a doctor and seek some prescription medicine in the form of tablets or even injections. This should be a last resort after trying other possible remedies.

These are just a few ideas to both prevent and relieve knee pain. Start with the simplest option and move up the list until you find something that works. If pain persists, it might be time to see a doctor.

Trendy Summer Footwear

The sunny days are here and it is time to chuck out those bulky clothes and shoes for some cool summer ensembles. Sandals and flipflops are wardrobe staples for those who regularly go to the beach during the summer season. Such footwear is ideal for hot summer days because they are cool and comfortable to wear. However, a woman’s footwear needs go way beyond casual outings in the beach so one must also factor in style and design in their criteria for buying footwear. Here are some of the hottest trends that can help you find a good set of summer footwear.

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Breathable and comfortable footwear are must haves for the summer. Strappy Sandals, Sling Backs, Athletic shoes and Open toe shoes make great candidates for your summer footwear purchases. Gladiator sandals have been in the trends for quite some time now but updated designs offer fresh looks that keep them in style. The 90s trend in spring 2014 fashion brought statement shirts and cropped tops back in style. In terms of footwear, the Slingback Shoes makes a return with designs from Michael Korrs, Bottega Veneta, and Dsquared2. As for those who opt for athletic shoes, the Birkenstock offers some of the stylish options for active feet. Other Summer Footwear options that you can look for include Mules, Platforms, and Pointed Shoes. Creations from Philip Lim and Victoria Beckham brought the mules back into the style radar this season while platforms and pointed shoes still have their spots in the runways.

Aside from the type of footwear, shoe shoppers should also consider the colors, prints, and materials of the footwear. Bold colors and monochrome as well as leather finish shoes are some of the trendy options this season. There are plenty of ways to go with the leather finish shoes. One can choose from the classic matte finish, daring reptile look, fun and funky combination of two-tone leather or woven leather, or the futuristic appeal of metallic tones. Shoes that have ankle straps, t-bars and other metallic hardware can also add character or a touch of edginess in your summer outfits.

Stylish shoes that flatter your outfit is a major consideration in choosing summer footwear. Just remember that fit and comfort is equally important in making you look good while strutting out your hot outfits.

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Fight Fat with these Five Foods

When you think about losing weight, it’s natural that your first thoughts might be about doing more exercise and going on the dreaded ‘diet.’

Being active is always great for keeping fit and maintaining a healthy weight, but there’s a very big difference between going on a diet and having a healthy one.

Dieting is temporary, and so are its results.

To lose weight and keep it off in the long run, you need to make your meals work for you and one of the easiest ways to do that is to make smarter food choices and eat plenty of those which naturally burn fat.

Yes – you read that right, some foods actually burn fat!

To maximise the results of any weight loss program you embark on, include these five foods in your daily diet and get those stubborn kilos, gone for good:

Chia Seeds

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These tiny seeds are packed with fibre, protein and omega-3 and are thought to stabilise blood sugars and reduce cholesterol. They help to boost your metabolism and get your glucagon hormone, the one responsible for burning fat, kick-started.

Chia seeds are versatile enough to use in all sorts of recipes, from salads to puddings, so go nuts (or should we say seeds!) and add them to your favourite dishes.


Anyone who tries to convince you that this green fruit (yes, fruit, not vegetable) is fattening, is either a fool or has shares in a burger chain. Ignore them.

The monosaturated fat in avocadoes is the good kind. It actually helps to plump up cell membranes and block fat-storing hormones while its other nutritional contents help your body to absorb the goodness from other foods and make you feel fuller for longer.

Slice them up in salads or wraps, or mash them up with lime and coriander for a fresh and tasty guacamole.

Chilli Peppers

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Hot peppers contain capsaicin, a natural compound that heats your body up and as your body responds to cool you down, it literally melts calories.

Try adding fresh, powdered, dried chillies or hot sauce to your cooked meals and salads.

Whole Grains

Foods which are rich in fibrelike brown rice, oatmeal and even popcorn (as long as it’s not coated in caramel!) give your digestive system a real workout.

They help to keep your gut healthy and while it’s working hard, it’s burning calories too. Bonus!

Green Tea

You need a drink to wash all that goodness down and a scientific study by The American Journal of American Nutrition found that green tea has a thermogenic effect, which means that it burns calories efficiently.

Aim to drink four or more cups a day and if you find it a little bitter, add a squeeze of lemon juice to sweeten the taste, boost your immune system and aid digestion.

To find out more about fat-burning foods and how to squish them into your diet to be healthier or lose weight, become a member of Curves and you’ll get great advice on nutrition and meal planners that make it easy.

Perfect Your Office Outfit with Winser

Which clothes do you invest more time and money in, items for work or for your life beyond the office?

In an ideal world, piecing together the perfect office outfit would be far less important than how well you actually do your job but like it or not, your professional appearance matters and getting it right, could be the difference between making or breaking your career.  

Thankfully, the eponymous fashion house of Kim Winser, OBE, is on hand to make the working woman’s office outfit easy to perfect.

The Winser London range is all about understated, classic, feminine “desk to dancefloor” clothing which is ideal for the office and your life outside of it.

Here are just a few key pieces from their collection that make the perfect office ensemble:


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Tuxedo trousers

Slim-fitting Tuxedo trousers come a choice of black, nude, camel or red and teamed with a suit jacket and flats or heels, make for a smart and powerful look in any boardroom.

For a slightly less formal yet equally professional look, opt for wide-leg Palazzo Pants in black. These versatile trousers are made from a fluid jersey fabric which drapes and moves beautifully. Pair them with a pair of flats and a jacket or cashmere twin-set.

Either pair of these trousers can instantly be transformed for post-work glamour with a strapless or halter-neck top and some statement jewellery.


A dress is the ultimate feminine fashion piece and if you only ever buy one for the office, make it the Winser Miracle Dress.

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Miracle Dress

This cleverly tailored dress is both feminine and functional and strikes just the right chord for a professional image.

The gently scooped neckline, ¾ length sleeves and below-the-knee hemline combined with delicate waistline pleating flatters all body shapes and lets you stride into any conference with confidence.

Select yours from a choice of colours including black, dove grey, Hollywood red and midnight or Winser blue. It works as a complete office outfit in the summer but can be teamed with a smart jacket or scarf in cooler months.

If you prefer skirts, then Winser also stock the Miracle Pencil Skirt which is made from the same Ponte de Roma jersey stretch fabrics for a flattering and comfortable fit.


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Silk Top

As long as you avoid see-through fabrics or anything too low-cut, a top is perhaps the easiest item of your work wardrobe to get right.

But, if you want to look and feel confident, successful and feminine, then Winser’s Silk Shirt is a must-have. With a sharp collar, two front pockets and optional cufflink fastenings, this luxurious and delicate shirt works equally well with trousers or a skirt.

Like the majority of Winser’s collection, this shirt is available in muted tones which flatter all skin shades and which complement items of clothing in almost any other colour, giving you a versatile mix and match wardrobe that you can wear anywhere.

Any of these items will keep you comfortable without compromising your credibility but perhaps more importantly, every piece in the Winser collection is timeless, so you’re free to focus on work in luxurious style, in any season.

For more advice on elegant fashionable lines that you can wear anywhere, or to explore the rest of the Winser London’s womenswear range, visit their website or any of their boutique pop-up stores in Harvey Nichols, Peter Jones, Rossiters of Bath and selected branches of John Lewis.

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