Working out every day to get toned can be hard, and not everyone's first priority in life. However, doing yoga can be a great, low-impact way to tone your body and look fitter. And there are a few ways that you can complement your yoga practice to help you get toned up.
Mixing it up
Most fitness trainers agree that you should add variety to your workout routine. Doing the same things day after day won’t help you to get toned any quicker. Listen to what your body needs and mix up yoga and stretching with more intense workouts and lifting to create a good balance between your workout. This will help you develop a more well-rounded fitness base, and prevent injuries from overuse, as well as keeping things fun and less boring!
One of the easiest and best ways to get your body moving? Walking! Unlike some more hardcore workouts like Hiit or metabolic training, walking gives very little additional stress to the body, which actually results in a higher ratio of fat burning. This is due to the fact that low-intensity workouts like walking rely far more heavily on fat reserves, instead of stored carbs for completion. Another bonus? Walking removes deep abdominal fat first. Just remember to wear comfy shoes that are supportive also!
Set realistic goals
Try to make a specific plan with smart goals that are both realistic and attainable. Motivation to work out can be hard, but making a plan and sticking to it is the best way to ensure results. Good things come to those who preserve! Don’t set unrealistic goals, like promising yourself to workout six or seven times a week, for a long time. Instead, try to start with something easier to manage, like two or three times a week for 30 minutes. This will make it more likely for you to reach your goals and will build confidence, a sense of accomplishment and add to your newfound motivation.
Take the stairs
All fitness experts agree that taking stairs can provide a great workout for your body. Try to skip the lift and take the stairs whenever possible, but also you can use the steps in your house for exercises like calf raises. This involves stepping onto each step and dropping your heels, then raising them as high as you can and dropping again. This is a super-easy way to exercise your calf muscles, which helps with other workouts like running and cycling.
Workout in the morning
Life often gets in the way of working out, and we often have every intention of exercising or hitting the gym at the end of the day or after work. It’s also really easy for us to think our way out of it, and can just sit at home watching TV instead. The solution is to work out in the morning before your brain can talk your way out of it! By the time you’ve actually woken up, you’ll be halfway through your workout, and enjoying the endorphins.
Try just a few minutes a day of high impact exercise
High intensity interval training can have a huge impact on your body in a small space of time. Why not try just doing a few minutes of intense exercise, by setting a timer on your phone and doing things like squats, jumping jacks, pushups, burpees or jump squats? Or try spinning for a few minutes at a time to get your heart rate up and your muscles working. This will boost your endorphins before you know it. Try this a few times throughout the day.
Try something slower and double before jumping into hardcore workouts. This will make your workouts less intimidating and easier to do. For example, try Yin or Hatha yoga before an intense Vinyasa workout. This is perfect for newbies and people recovering from injuries.
Stretch Stretch Stretch!
We can often neglect stretching, but flexibility can help to prevent aches and injuries and can be easy to incorporate into your day-to-day life. Stretching can also improve your posture, which can tone your shoulder muscles. For example, a chest stretch can elongate your pecs and make you look more toned. It’s also important to stretch if you sit for most of your day, in an office for example.
One of the best and easiest ways to tone your upper body is to start punching. If you grab hand weights and use them to punch out in a straight line, you can tone up your chest and shoulders. Try to do it for 60 seconds without stopping at a time - or even better, go down to your local boxing gym and hit the bags.
Don’t skimp out of the protein
Increasing your intake of protein can help to sustain muscle, especially during weight loss. When you lose weight quickly, it can be easy for your body to lose muscle mass, which can affect the toned look you might be going for. Leucine in whey, animal protein and dairy products can have a direct effect on muscle mass to prevent loss.
If you’re thinking about getting toned, this week's classes support strength, flexibility, and weight loss. Yoga and yoga-fusion classes can help tone your entire body and also help burn fat. While yoga is about self-acceptance, there is also nothing wrong with using your yoga practice for specific goals.
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