When you slim and tone, you not only achieve muscle definition, you help boost your metabolism and your self-confidence. There are several ways to improve your body and how you feel in just a few days with a combination of food choices, calorie counting and exercise.
With any fitness program, it's important to go slowly and check your body positioning. If you feel excess pain after exercising, consult a body-worker or chiropractor to discuss the appropriateness of the movements for your own body. With each weightlifting exercise, the 15th repetition should feel really hard. That's how you know that you're using a high enough weight. With aerobic exercise, you should be able to talk while working out or you're pushing your heart rate too soon.
Combining Aerobic Exercise and Weight Training
Aerobic exercise helps with weight loss and helps speed up the fat burning process. Even if you're not overweight, at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 to 5 times a week will help you with your overall fitness and muscle definition goals. If you're a member of a gym, you can set up a circuit training program for yourself. Pick 8 to 10 weight machines you want to use, one for each major muscle group. A good grouping might include:
- A quadriceps machine
- A hamstring machine
- A machine that works the entire lower half of the body
- An overall abdominal machine
- A biceps machine
- A triceps machine
- A chest machine
- An upper back machine
- Hip adductor
- Hip abductor machines.
Do one set of repetitions at each machine and move from one machine to the other as quickly as possible. Repeat the entire circuit one or two more times.
Muscle Building Exercises At Home
If you don't have access to a gym, you can still build muscle definition at home. Simple leg lifts help to tone the legs. Standing up, lift the leg straight ahead of you, to the side, and directly behind you. You can get creative and tie a can of soup to your ankle for added benefit. If you imagine that there's tension when you lift, you'll still work the muscle.
If you're sitting down with your back firmly supported and attempt to bring your knees to your chest without the help of your arms, you'll work the lower abs. You can also work the abs while lying on your back. Besides the traditional crunch, cross one leg over the other and lift your trunk off the ground while turning to the side. You can also bring your lower body up to your chest to work the lower abs.
Arm curls are a great way to add arm definition without weights. Use a can of soup or other object to add weight. Do bicep curls and turn the arms with your palms toward your chest and press outward to work the triceps.
Lowering your caloric intake to 1,500 to 2,200 calories and choosing foods wisely will help you maximize your efforts to slim and tone quickly. Choose foods that are low in fat, high in fiber and as minimally processed as possible. Create a balanced diet focusing on 5 to 6 servings of whole fruits and vegetables, 3 to 4 servings of whole grains, particularly quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat, and 2 to 3 servings of lean meats. Supplement with 1 to 2 servings of healthy fats, such as avocado or raw nuts and seeds.