As you may recall, last month’s focus was all about healthy eating and counting calories. As important as nutrition is, it’s only half of the equation when it comes to a healthy and fit body. The other half, of course, is exercise. Weight loss only occurs when you are burning more calories than you are taking in, therefore you can cut calories, do the Special K diet, drink Slim Fast and order $1,000 worth of that vile Nutrisystem food (if you can really call it “food”), but if you aren’t incorporating fitness, you are only reaching half of your weight loss potential.
Tone Up to Trim Up
Dieting alone will shed some pounds, but the result will be the dreaded “skinnyfat”. Ya know, the chick who might look small, but is all mush? Without exercise, there is no muscle being built. No muscle means no tone, no flat tummy and no tight booty. So not only does exercise dramatically increase your weight loss potential, it firms up the flab. Just the existence of muscle burns up the fat around it and speeds up your metabolism. If you are considerably overweight, obviously focus on cardio to burn the optimal amount of calories, but also incorporate weight lifting to firm up even more as you go.
No gym? No Problem.
Unfortunately, a gym membership is a luxury that not everyone can afford or has time for. On the other hand, we live in the day of technology where any information that we want is at our fingertips, which makes working out at home easier than ever. Want to know how to shed those bat wings? Google tricep workouts! Want to reshape that mombutt? Look up some glute workouts! Many at-home workouts require no equipment at all, although a couple of inexpensive dumbbells or some resistance tubes are necessary to tone the upper body. A set of 5 and 10 pound dumbells should suffice. Now, what to do with those dumbbells? The best site that I have come across for at-home workouts is www.exercisetv.tv They have hundreds of free, full-length workout videos that you can follow along with on your computer. From weight training, to yoga, to aerobics, to abs, to Bootylicious Buns (my personal fav!), the site has a workout that is right for everyone.
In addition to utilizing the World Wide Web to whip you into shape, get outside! Push your kids in the stroller (the added resistance is an amazing workout), do some lunges in your backyard, do calf raises while you water the lawn, wog around the block (“wog” = a combo of walking and jogging). Do something! If the weather is bad, be creative and find ways to get moving inside your house! Jumping jacks, crunches, push-ups, run your stairs, etc. Sometimes the most basic moves are the most beneficial. Your body will tell you if you are doing enough. If you are sore the next day, you are doing something right and a better you is just around the corner!
Try this simple leg/butt workout today and see if your lower body isn’t feeling the burn! Do it three times a week to start seeing quick results. Add weights and more reps as you get stronger.
Walking lunges – 6 sets of 10
Calf raises – 3 sets of 50
Kick Backs – 3 sets of 20, per leg
Squats – 3 sets of 15
Remember, the old saying “No pain, no gain” still rings true, but I prefer the newer and sassier “What doesn’t kill me, makes me hotter!”