Saturday, March 22, 2014

How to tone up your body

woman doing situps

Check out these top tips on how to achieve a firmer body, courtesy of the experts at Tesco Diets

Thinking about starting a new exercise routine? First things first: have your goal in mind, plus a realistic, healthy time frame to achieve this goal in – and a four-week programme is a great place to start. 

Think cardio

By including a cardiovascular element to your fitness programme, you get the heart pumping and your body losing fat while you tone. An easy way to get going, particularly if you haven't exercised for a while, is to tell yourself: "I will do three 20-minute brisk walks this week".
After the first week, you should increase your walks by around five minutes per week, this will build you up to a good cardio programme after the four weeks.

Pick up the weights

Your programme also needs to include three to four sessions of weight training a week, which will tone those tricky areas of arms, legs and tummy. You can buy a set of weights, but household items including tins of beans and large bottles of water work just as well.
Warm up with 5-10 minutes of cardio, such as walking or jogging on the spot at home. Start with one set of 8-16 reps of each exercise using your weights, adding extra sets gradually. Cool down with some stretches. 
All the exercises below will help to strengthen and tone your arms, stomach and legs.

Toning exercises

The bicep and tricep curls will banish the dreaded bingo wings and tone your body.
Bicep curls
1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your weights held in each palm, arms by your side.
2. Concentrate on keeping your tummy pulled in tight and your knees slightly bent.
3. Bend your arms at the elbow and bring your palms up towards your shoulders.
4. Return to the starting position and repeat (8-16 reps).
Tricep curl
1. Stand with your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder width apart (you can also sit on a bench if you feel more comfortable).
2. Holding one weight between both hands, raise your arms straight above your head, bend your elbows and then slowly lower the weight to just behind your neck.
3. Straighten your arms and return to the start position.
4. The two exercises below will not only tone your body but also work your stomach muscles, so you can say au revoir to a flabby tummy.
Sit ups
1. Lie flat on your back and knees bent.
2. Keep your hands to your temples and slowly raise your chin towards your knees.
3. Make sure the small of your back (just above the bum) is kept flat on the ground at all times.
4. While performing the movement make sure you are engaging your core and pulling in the tummy muscles.
Back extension
1. Lie flat on your stomach facing the floor with your hands at your temples.
2. Slowly raise your torso upwards, while pulling in the stomach muscles and engaging your core.
3. Keep your head in line with the rest of your body and don’t face outwards.
1. Stand tall with your feet together (you can hold dumb bells in your hands if you want to add to the workout).
2. Step forward with your right foot, taking a slightly bigger step than normal.
3. Bend your right knee and lower yourself towards the floor until your left knee almost touches the ground.
4. Your left thigh should be in a straight line with your back. Push backwards off your right leg to return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg.
Remember to keep variety in your workout and make changes every few weeks
Source: Tesco Health UK