While many of us may want to 'tone our legs' or 'get a six-pack', the truth is you can't actually 'tone' a muscle. A muscle is only capable of doing a few things: they can shrink or grow larger in size, or can gain strength or lose it. Unfortunately, muscles cannot be etched into a certain shape or look. So, if you want that defined, muscular look, you need to exercise regularly and manage your weight.
Instead of focusing on 'toning' individual body parts, implementing a whole body approach to managing your shape will give you the result you are after. To do this, you need to implement three important strategies: resistance training, aerobic exercise and eating a healthy balanced diet. Following these strategies will help you achieve the shape you have always wanted.
1. Resistance training:
This type of training helps to maintain and increase muscle mass. Muscle is your furnace, meaning the more muscle you have the higher your metabolism and the easier it is for you to manage your shape. Include two to three strength-training sessions into your week. You can perform resistance exercises with weights, resistance bands or simply your own body weight.
2. Aerobic exercise:
Including aerobic exercises such as running, swimming, cycling, netball or tennis into your week increases your energy expenditure, which makes managing your shape easier. Increase the amount of calories you burn by including interval training – short bouts of high intensity training, alternating bursts of intense exercises with intervals of light activity. You can also increase the duration of a session and increase the frequency (how often you exercise).
3. Focus on a healthy, balanced diet:
All the strength training and running or swimming in the world will not help you manage your shape if you don’t put the right types of foods into your mouth. Not only is it important to follow a healthy balanced diet, it is also vital that you consider your portion sizes. Too much food, combined with the wrong food choices can make managing your shape particularly difficult. Maintain a healthy balanced diet.