Nearly everyone knows that cardiovascular exercise burns calories and helps keep you fit and strong, but if you’re seeking muscle definition you’ll need to do more than just cardio. Many people, women especially, avoid weightlifting because they’re afraid they could start looking brawny or bulky. But luckily, there are ways to attain a firm, all-over toned body without looking like you’re preparing to enter a bodybuilding competition.
Cardio and diet. Make sure you fit in regular exercise to keep excess fat away – otherwise you’ll never be able to see those toned muscles you’ve worked so hard for! And eating a well-balanced diet will help you to get all the nutrients you need so your body has all the fuel it needs to power you through your workouts, keeping you energized and strong.
Low weight, high repetitions. When it comes to weightlifting, go for a lower weight and a higher number of repetitions. Four or five sets of 15-20 reps are ideal for all-over muscle toning.
Use your own body as resistance. Exercises like yoga and pilates will strengthen and tone every muscle in your body, giving you the long, lean look that comes with an all-over toned body. Exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, and triceps all work your body using your body’s own resistance, so you don’t even need a gym!
Stretch. Stretching your body thoroughly before and after every workout will prevent injuries and lengthen your muscles, making it less likely your physique will develop into a group of knotty, bulky muscles.
- Grip the jump rope handles firmly with your elbows close to your sides, make small circles with your wrists as you jump.
- To help keep your balance, keep your gaze ahead, your head lifted, and your torso relaxed.
- Jump only high enough to clear the rope, and always be sure to land lightly on the balls of your feet.
- Lastly, never sacrifice well-formed jumping for speed.
- Once you’ve mastered your form, you can start trying variations like increasing your jumping speed, switching directions, and crossovers.
Do you think that your health isn’t precisely as you’d like it to be as you have additional fat? If so, you ought to think about getting rid it by weight lifting. A lot of individuals connect strength training with body builders, however this shouldn’t be thought of simply as a means to become very strong and muscular. Disciplined weight lifting is one of the more valuable methods to lose weight and keep it off. It is appropriate for anyone over the age of twelve, either male or female.
Prior to starting any weight lifting plan, it’s important to obtain a medical go-ahead from a physician to be certain that you don’t have underlying or unknown health issues that could create a risk while working out. Although you look or feel completely fine, it’s usually wise to obtain this consent to be certain that you’ll be able to work out consistently and will be able take demands which might be put on you by your instructor.
If you have access to weight lifting machines at a fitness center, you easily can do some dumbbell lifting slowly in the beginning. This may be 3 to 4 sessions to begin with, however you may step up with time. At your home, you might do some dumbbell workouts while listening to music or watching TV to help distract yourself from the strain.
Even when you’re not working out, it’s helpful to move more since it also can be a factor in your weight loss. For example, at school or work, you could use the stairs instead of the elevator. If you have extra time at home after dinner, jog or walk the dog to burn more fat.
Aerobic exercise is fat burning exercise. As you do some activity using large muscles (legs, especially) that raises your heart rate but still allows you to breathe normally, your body will burn fat with the oxygen you’re breathing. However, your body will only burn blood-sugar at first, because it’s easily available. So, to get to the fat-burning stage, you have to exercise for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes or more. Walking and bicycling at a gentle pace are aerobic activities.
Anaerobic exercises are high-intensity exercises that get your muscles working hard, and you will have trouble breathing. The word “anaerobic” means “without air”, meaning that you will be breathing fast, but still not getting enough oxygen to properly fuel your muscles. This leads to muscle strengthening, but it also means that you’re burning blood-sugar only, not fat, and you end up with lactic acid that will make your muscles feel like they’re burning. Weight training and sprinting are anaerobic activities.
You can keep doing aerobic exercise longer than anaerobic exercise, and you’ll burn about equal amounts of calories overall doing either. Aerobic exercise burns those calories from fat during the exercise. Anaerobic exercise only burns blood-sugar, but burns a lot of fat later (the rest of the day) to replace the energy. Is it possible to combine the two, so that you can burn fat while exercising, and keep burning the rest of the day? Yes, with Interval Training.
What are the benefits of interval training?
1. Intervals vastly reduce boredom. Traditional steady state cardio training can become quite boring. HIT offers more variety and excitement to your workouts.
2. Interval training increases post-exercise energy expenditure (calories burned following exercise) more than steady-state exercise, which means that more fat is burned. After intense exercise, the body needs extra calories as it works to repair muscles, replace energy stores (i.e. carbohydrate) and restore the body to its normal state (e.g. reduce heart rate). As this can take many hours, you will keep on burning more calories long after the workout is over. In fact, research shows that metabolic rate is higher for several hours following interval training compared to steady state exercise.
3. Interval training stimulates the respiratory system, cardiovascular system and nervous system to a greater degree. Therefore, more fat and carbohydrates are burned to support the expanding energy demands of the body during, and after, intense exercise.
4. Interval training increases the activity of enzymes involved in fat burning. Research has shown that after a bout of interval training there is more fat in the blood (i.e. free fatty acids), which is an indication of more fat, being used for energy production.
5. HIT burns more calories. As an example, 30 minutes on an Elliptical machine using a steady state program will burn roughly 292 calories, whereas 30 minutes of intervals will burn approximately 584 calories!
Are you making enough footprints each day? Think about it. For the majority of the day are you sitting or walking? Most people (due to jobs) sit and are sedentary for the majority of the day. You may think that you do not have the time or energy to increase the number of steps you take per day; however, a little goes a long way. What I mean is there are little, easy, changes that you can implement to add steps to your everyday routine.
First, take the stairs. Not only will you increase the number of steps you take but you will get the added bonus of stepping up which is great for strengthening the lower body. And, hey if you work on the 75th or even the 10th floor just get off the elevator a few floors early and continually add a floor each week.
Second, park further away at the grocery store, mall, or anywhere there is a parking lot. Besides the added steps you will gain you won’t have to keep circling the parking lot for 15 minutes trying to obtain the “perfect” spot.
Third, turn leisure time into walking time. Grab a friend, neighbor, spouse, or loved one and go for a stroll around the block on evenings and weekends. Just adding a 10 to 15 minute walk most days of the week can add up to an hour or more of walking.
Remember, no matter what your fitness level or age there is always time to add walking into your life. So, improve the quality of your life today by following these three easy tips. Happy Walking!