Are you Beach-ready? Spring into swimsuit!

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The Easter bunny has hopped away and summer is just around the corner. I’m sure some of us don’t like to admit that this winter has provided us with its fair share of discontent. It’s like gaining a few pounds each winter wasn’t enough, but this time we have to add Ramadan, two feasts and now Easter to the equation. So if the very thought of walking around a crowded beach in your bathing suit makes you feel like breaking out in hives, it’s understandable. If you are afraid of trying on some of your summer clothes, then welcome to after effects of the grueling winter battle. The question is do you want to get ready? Are you up for the challenge?

To get ready for the beach doesn’t translate in shaving your legs and buying a cool bikini. It is not hitting the gym a couple of times before migrating to the beach either. It involves a lot more than your fitness. As a matter of fact, it tackles three main issues: body, hair and skin. Being a loyal and devoted tanner myself, I had my fair share of trial-and-error, and I can honestly say I have learned from my mistakes. However, I see other women around me who have not learned from theirs, worse, I think these mistakes are spreading like an epidemic among our beaches and it’s time e stop them. Here are some of the main slip-ups I notice among Egyptian women.

1. Skin

Where do I begin? The atrocities done to women’s skin in this country are unheard of. Let’s begin with the products used (or not used) to our skin for tanning. ‘Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil’ is not a tanning product, never was, nor will it ever be. Using a product like this for tanning puts your skin in so much risk, among which is skin cancer. Ladies for real, if your tanning is so important to you than I assume your health is even more important. Don’t you want to live long enough to witness your tan? What’s next, cooking oil?

Tanning products must have a Sun Protection factor (SPF) to prevent skin diseases. Contrary to popular believe, you can still get a tan when using tanning oil/lotion with SPF. In fact, you can still get a tan using sun-block (given that you will be sitting in the sun). The recommended SPF is from 10-25; anything less than that is dangerous, anything more might not give you the fast results you crave. Think about it in another way, if you don’t use SPF you get sunburned and you peel. So the tan you worked so hard for gets peeled away with the dead skin and you are left with you old, brighter skin. So if you really want a long lasting tan, you have to use SPF.


Saltwater is another disaster. When you leave saltwater on your body, to achieve a better tan, you are literally robbing your skin form any water and moist it might have stored over the winter. It is vital that you wash the saltwater off before sitting in the sun. Logically, would you prefer looking sixty when you are only thirty years old? This is exactly what unprotected tanning does to the skin, it makes you wrinkle three times faster, hence speeding up the skin aging process. Have you ever wondered why celebrities like supermodel Christie Brinkley look so damn fabulous although she’s approaching her sixties? Yes, you guessed it, it is sun protection. She repeats it over and over; she always took care of her skin when exposed to the sun.

The choice is really up to you, although it is pretty clear to me. Having a nice durable tan, or having a sandpaper-like skin when you’re 35?


2. Hair


Your feminine quality and most treasured women’s asset is being constantly beaten, tormented and tortured over the summer. The things I see women doing to their hair, assures me that they must want to get rid of it. It is inconceivable that some of these abusers would still want to have any hair left after the summer is over. It’s like the daily agony of blow drying it every week, using various hair products and chemicals and living in a dry weather is not enough. Oh no, we have to add to its misery in the summer. For instance, we spill beer all over it in hope of some blonde streaks to come its way. For those who still don’t know, beer is a drink intended to be drunk, through the mouth, not your hair pores. I mean do we really need experts to invent more ways to highlight our hair, there are so many, much less harmful ways, to have a brighter hair; why Beer? Beer contains ingredient that suck your hair dry, leaving it looking worse than scrubbing loofah.


Saltwater is just as bad.  It makes your hair so dry; you will need all of Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible team to run a brush through it. If you were one of the lucky ones whose hair maintained some of its natural oils, well now you can kiss them goodbye. Saltwater absorbs all moist from your hair, which includes oils that your hair naturally produces. Therefore, it is quite important for you to wash your hair after coming out of the sea. It is also highly advisable to leave a bit of conditioner or hair cream on while tanning. This way your hair will be better protected from the sun.


3. Body

Getting fit for the summer can be achieved easily through performing minor exercises at the gym or at the comfort of your own house. I am not recommending that you lose weight to a ridiculously low body fat level. I am merely suggesting that you lose a considerable amount of fat and yet look absolutely "babylicious" in your swimsuit.

There is plenty of time for you to achieve your target weight. However, you can start off by shaping up your body for this summer, as the human body can only lose up to two pounds of fat per week without losing muscle. This is a workout designed to stimulate all of your body muscles as well as burn calories. I have tried it myself, and ladies it works.

A. Dumbbell Squats


Starting Position:

Stand up straight with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms hanging down at your sides and palms facing one another. Maintain a neutral spine and a slight bend in the knees throughout the exercise.


 Lower your body by bending from your hips and knees stopping when your thighs are parallel with the floor. Contracting the quadriceps muscles, slowly return to the starting position.



B. Dumbbell Reverse Lat Row

Starting Position:

Sit on a bench with your feet close together. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms hanging down at your sides and palms facing one another. Bend your upper body so it is parallel with the floor.


Contracting the mid to lower back muscles, draw both arms toward your body and turn your wrists so that your palms are facing the ceiling. Keep your elbows tight against the body and stop when your arms are at chest level. Slowly return to the starting position.

C. The Lunge

Starting Position:

Stand straight with your feet together. Hold a dumbbell or cans in each hand with your arms down at your sides.



Step forward with the right leg and lower the left leg until the knee almost touches the floor. Contracting the quadriceps muscles, push off your right foot slowly returning to the starting position. Alternate the motion with the left leg to complete the set.

D. Dumbbell Chest press

Starting Position:

Lie on a flat bench with your spine in a neutral position. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at chest level with your upper arm parallel to the floor and your elbows facing outward.



Contracting the chest muscles, press both arms upward above the chest until the arms are almost fully extended with a slight bend in the elbows. Slowly return to the starting position.


B1. Cardiovascular Exercise


You can perform any cardiovascular exercises you want, whether it’s power walking, running or even jogging. If you are machine lover, you can use any of the treadmill, elliptical or the bike. The key is not to do less than 30 minutes three days a week. If you feel your fitness level is improving, challenge yourself and do 45 minutes, or maintain your 30 minutes but with higher resistance level.

The above mentioned exercises do not focus on each muscle separately, rather on your body as a whole. Still, they work every muscle you want to target.

 This article consists of just guidelines. However, it is important for you to recognize the wrong doings done to your skin, hair and body. Follow these suggestions and I guarantee you will have a great summer, a hassle free fall and a t

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