Start with a simple, short-term plan, easy-to-follow program that will help you lose fat and tone up in time for beach season. Whether you have 15 minutes or 45 minutes each day, you can shape up, slim down and feel more confident than ever.
The two primary keys for a toned body are diet and exercise. Dieting alone won’t help you shed pounds efficiently unless it is coupled with exercise. The combination jumpstarts the metabolism to burn calories.
Your fitness program needs to focus on the chest, biceps, triceps, abdominals, gluteals and shoulders. Working on these target areas will generate the greatest change and quickest results.
Don’t totally neglect the other muscle groups, though. Stagger your exercises, as over-exhausting one muscle group will slow you down in the long run. You can’t do abs every day. The perfect mix is short burst muscular training with cardio work.
Short burst training focuses on the use of short 30- to 60-second bouts of high-intensity exercises. Here’s how it works: For 30 seconds, perform as many repetitions of an exercise as you can, focusing on maintaining proper form. If your alignment begins to break down, slow down and complete fewer reps. As you progress, you’ll be able to complete more repetitions during each 30-second period.
Treadmills are great because they offer the exhilaration of movement with privacy and without worrying about traffic and other outdoor obstacles. Elliptical machines are another excellent choice for the individual seeking an upper and lower body workout with low joint impact. Also, the elliptical’s reverse peddling option is beneficial when toning the full range of lower body muscles.
Either type of machine offers incline options, which can be very effective in getting your heart rate up to a beneficial cardiovascular level. Both treadmills and ellipticals feature excellent built-in workout routines.
Obviously, dieting is a powerful tool when attempting get into shape. However, changing current intake habits can be a real challenge. One great way to get started is to change from the standard three meals-a-day to a six meal-a-day format.
With this increase in meal frequency you reduce portion size. This strategy employs your natural metabolism: After eating a large meal the body uses a burst of energy to digest and process the food and then the metabolism shuts down until the next meal. By eating six small meals a day the metabolism spends less time idling and more time burning excess calories. This is a safe and healthy way to shed some extra weight and increase fat burn.
Remember, dieting is just one part of the equation. Taking in fewer calories is important, but you still have to burn those calories with exercise to develop your beach body.