It’s been a New Year's resolution for longer than you want to admit. That toned body is always just out of reach as time continues to march on. Follow these 6 simple steps to a toned body, and invest in healthy habits that will go beyond a rockin’ bod.
1. STRENGTH WORK
Strength training is the fastest way to achieve that toned body of your dreams.
Weights work to build muscle, which means your metabolism will be faster and you will burn more fat. The more you are activating those muscle groups, you will see noticeable change relatively quickly.
By investing in barbell and weight sets, it means you can even plant yourself in front of the television and catch up on your stories while building muscle and toning. No one is knocking the weights rooms at the gym, but a home set will mean increased accessibility and ultimately tone your body faster.
2. FLOOR WORK
Roll out that yoga mat and hit play on ‘Eye of the Tiger’, because things are going to get heated here. I hate to be the one to tell you, but most of your least favourite exercises will take place on the floor. Key toning exercises would be; planking, side planking, crunches and scissor abs.
Now we don’t want this to be a death sentence so ease into floor work and add a few reps each session. It’s important to have rest days, so that you can give the muscles the chance to tear and heal which is essentially how they grow. Alternate with your barbell and weight sets so you are engaging each muscle regularly.
3. THE RIGHT FOOD
Strength training and floor work are all well and good, but if you are cooling down with a thickshake and a burger you might not reach those goals too quickly, if at all. If calorie counting is not your thing, there are easy meal plans where the heavy lifting has been done for you, pun intended.
I find it easy sticking to complex carbs in the morning, tuna and salad for lunch with protein and vegetables for dinner. If you can stick to this cost effective diet, it means you can unleash at the health food store and buy items to enrich those meals, or use in a shake. Flaxseed, berries, mixed nuts and fish oil are great for muscle growth.
4. MIX IT UP
For the sake of your desired goal, not to mention your sanity, give your work out some variation each session. Engage different muscle groups with new techniques and it won’t feel so much of a chore. It’s important to incorporate cardio where possible, whether it’s a brisk walk with a weight belt or hand helds, or lunges and squats with burpee reps thrown in. with daily strength and cardio routines, you won’t have to wait too long to see the results.
5. CONTROL BLOATING
Now that you’re on your way to toning your body, it’s time to look within and see what can be done to aid digestion and minimise bloating. Bloating is trapped gas in the abdomen which is going to keep you from seeing those toned ripples so take a hard look at your diet and figure out what needs to change to control bloating. Beer, carbonated drinks, beans and wheat are the main culprits for bloating. Carrot, coconut and chia will aid digestion, so try and incorporate them throughout the day.
6. PROTEIN IS THE WHEY
I like to think of protein as a snack for your muscles.
Protein aids the recovery of muscles fatigue, allowing you to gain muscle faster as well as potentially being a handy meal replacement. If you are looking for an easy way to consume protein, the powder is the most cost effective and has the highest concentration.
Foods with high protein include Greek yoghurt, eggs, ground beef, fish and most cheeses. Common practise is to have protein just before and right after a workout. The body does not store protein like it does sugar, fats and all that other bad stuff, so no need to skimp on your protein levels.
The road to a flat and defined body is a sweat-filled one, where your equipment and diet will determine the success of your journey. Change up the routines and play around with the menu so you don’t get bored.