Time to shrug-off those cozy cardigans and wool trousers, spring will soon be here. And bikini season? A mere few months away! With helpful hints from Oakville-based personal trainer, Tina Ceroni, we adopt the season’s mantra of long and lean by following her suggestions on how to get back into the gym … one pant leg at a time.

When I walk into the gym, I am intimidated by all of the machines and equipment. What are some alternative exercises?

* Try free weights, bands and resistance training using your own body weight. These are great alternatives and all have different benefits and advantages.

As much as I’d like to work out every muscle group in one session what is the best way to tone up? All at once or one at muscle a time?

* Start with the larger muscle groups (legs, back and chest) and then work towards the smaller muscle group. Minimize time by combining two muscle groups at once. For example try a forward shoulder raise with a squat. Muscles need to repair themselves
so make sure to take 1 -2 days full recovery after an entire body workout.

I can be impatient when it comes to the gym. How much cardio will I need to do before I start seeing results?

* Cardio training should be done at least three to five times a week to see substantial changes. Break it up into thirty minutes a day by choosing an activity you enjoy doing and keep the variety. For example, run (outside or on the treadmill) for 1-2 days a week, then try an aerobics step class another day and a spin class the following. By keeping your cardio routine interesting, you are more apt to stick with it. The key is to increase your heart rate enough that you’re breaking a sweat.I’d love to try an exercise class but I know I’ll feel foolish. Any advice on how to get started without feeling self-conscious?

* Make sure you choose a class that is suitable for yourself. Chances are you won’t feel too comfortable in the salsa workout if you already consider yourself dancing disaster. Introduce yourself to the instructor before class begins and let them know this is your first time and you’ll be amazed at how much fun they can be.

I’ve got the work-out outfit and my iPod – anything else?

* Shoes, shoes, shoes. Three words every girl loves to hear. Try a cross training shoe that will work with most type of workouts. Make sure you choose a suitable shoe for your foot type, so when you go shopping, be sure to ask for the help of the salesperson at the store. The Running Room (across Canada) is a great place to go for proper shoe fittings. They are highly knowledgeable on what works for different foot types. Without the proper shoe you’ll be more prone to injuries. And yes, consider buying the proper footwear an investment!

Is it worth-it to book a session with a personal trainer?

* Yes. For many people starting a gym routine or for those looking to get back into shape, a personal trainer will help you find a program that is suitable for your goals and lifestyle. Guaranteed you’ll be navigating your way around the gym like a pro in no time!

Learn how to make your bod bikini-ready with these exercises!