If it does not hurt, chances are, you are not doing it right.
This is my motto when working out. I enjoy getting a good sweat from a work out; very beneficial for good health and healthy skin texture. Before I dive into the needy greedy, let me talk about why maintaining a healthy lifestyle has health benefits. I have always been very active from a young age up until now.
Exercising along with eating healthy has helped me deal with unnecessary anxieties and self-image issues. In addition to this, I am able to handle stress well when I burn some steam off in a workout session. My mind and body are in sync when I eat healthier food options and workout too. Now people for the most part misconstrued working out and eating healthy.
A RULE OF THUMB to a healthy lifestyle is eating healthy and exercising. These two aspects are like peas in a pod. They have to go together. Just play this in your mind until it sticks because there is no alternative. Do not go have a good cardio workout and end up treating yourself to pizza. NOT GOOD!
How do I keep up a toned body? I keep telling people who approach me with this question that, I am lucky enough to have a fast metabolism. This simplifies things to some degree. However, if you do have a fast metabolism, please do not take advantage of it by eating reckless or not caring for a good workout session. With old age, all these reckless health decisions catch up to you unfortunately. The older you get the slower the metabolism. To try avoiding this, working out should always be on your weekly agenda as well as healthy eating. I will not get too detailed with healthy eating habits as I want to specifically focus on staying toned, so here we go.
If you have a gym membership, well and good. Treat it like a free workout pass. If you do not, then there always alternatives to working out outside the gym like workout DVDs to watch in the comfort of your own home.
Every week, I go to kick boxing class, cycling and body pump. I try to incorporate Pilates and yoga when I can because these two are the perfect workouts to tone core muscles and maintain good posture.
- Kick boxing gives me a full body workout. It engages all my muscles with the kicks and punches getting a good cardio session and muscle treat.
- Cycling on the other hand is one of my favorite workouts because it engages my glutes and quadriceps. In addition to this, the core muscles are fully engaged and working during a cycling class.
- Body pump is an intimidating class, I will throw that out there. It consists of weight lifting, ab workouts, squats and lunges. First time I walked into a body pump class, I looked at all the women old enough to be my mothers and grandmothers lifting over 50 pound weights on a squat bar. The pressure was definitely on. With dedication and consistency, I worked my way up to lifting heavier weights. Body pump helps get my back muscles, chest muscles, biceps, triceps, and core muscles toned. It is a package deal.
Lunges target the glutes, core muscles, hamstrings and calves helping tone the lower body. They give you core stability and perfectly toned legs. I always incorporate lunges with weights in my workouts. They also help with balance when off course you lunge the proper way. I am a sucker for a good back area, so I always take time out of my workouts to lunge and squat.
SQUATS! Now these should be every female fitness fanatic’s best friend. Squats do justice to the back area giving you a rounded and toned bottom. They tone leg muscles giving you flawless legs to flaunt. I squat every week as a personal fitness goal. Squats will give you that peach sized behind if you will when done consistently. That is a no brainer.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for squats:
- Make sure your back is arched far back
- Your knees should not be far out in the front.
- Utilize your back, quadriceps and core muscles
- Do not put pressure on your knees.
- Feet should be shoulder width apart
- Sit back like you are in an imaginary chair.
If your knees hurt after squatting, 99.9% of the time, you did not do it right. You should always feel sensation by your back muscles and quadriceps. I always use a 20 pound kettle bell and 45-50 pound bar for squats. I then use 15 to 20 pound dumbbells for lunges. Now you do not have to go heavier if your body is not used to weight lifting. This is a progression process that requires the body to adjust to, therefore, starting with lighter weights and adding the more you lift is the practical way to go.
Also, one thing I always do when working out is alternating my workout routine. This is one of the best treats you can give your body. Just like we get tired of routine in our daily lives, so does the body. It easily gets bored literally with the same workout. After a while, the body gets used to the same thing and you stop seeing results. Alternating workout routines gives the body a chance to shock the muscles and gives them something new to work with.
Lastly, I like doing jumping jacks, jump rope and burpees for a good cardio session. This is a good set of reps that is a go-to from time to time.
I hope you guys enjoyed this long read. Thanks for stopping by. Always appreciated xo!