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How to Tone Up Your Body

How to tone up your body so your clothes look fantastic on you.

It’s definitely time to tone up your body if just the thought of going to the beach, wearing shorts or summer outfits makes you cringe inside.

If you've neglected your muscles lately then you are more likely to have flabby arms, flabby legs, flabby belly, cellulite and saggy skin.

Even if you’re not over weight, those stubborn lumps, bumps and flabby bits are difficult to hide.

Don't panic, it can be fixed. But, before you can successfully tone up your body there are 5 important steps you must follow.

How to tone up your body in 5 steps

How to Tone Up Your Body in 5 Steps:

Step 1. Change Your Diet.

Many people do not realise how important this step is, if you skip this step you could end up spending months trying to tone up your body but you will not get the results you want. To make it possible for your body to build toned muscles you must give it the right food. It is vital that your diet contains plenty of good quality lean protein which is the main component your body needs to enable it to build lean muscle mass.

Stop eating empty calories, you cannot feed your body junk and expect it to look toned and supple.

Everything you eat must help you tone up your body which means you must not eat processed foods or anything that has been manmade unless you know it has been made from natural ingredients.

That means you should not be eating white bread, pastries, sugar, cakes, biscuits, cookies, crisps, chips, sugary cereals or 90% of the food available on the supermarket shelves. Even ice cream is off limits if you seriously want to tone up your body.

Always check food labels and avoid foods that contain additives, preservatives, refined oils, hydrogenated oils, sugar and salt.

To help tone up your body you should be eating plenty of natural wholesome foods such as fresh vegetables (or frozen when they’re out of season), salad vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts and dairy such as natural organic yoghurt or unsalted organic butter.

Your body needs natural fats as well as protein to build strong muscles. Avoid low fat meals and anything labeled as low fat because when natural fats are removed they are replaced with something else to balance the taste.

Low fat diets make you hungry all the time and you will also not have the energy levels you need to tone up your body.

According to Mary G. Enig, PhD:

"When you lower the amount of fat in the diet, you must raise something else. That something else is usually carbohydrate, and invariably today it would be mostly simple carbohydrates such as white flour, corn syrup or refined sugar. High levels of carbohydrate in a diet do not provide the satiety that natural fats do, and the result is that there is a tendency to overeat carbohydrates. Today the carbohydrates come with many undesirable additives and are frequently missing many nutrients. But if the carbohydrates are similar to those available 60 years ago, (that is, whole grains and complex sugars) the situation might not be too bad for a short time."

She also says that:

"Most people are at risk of lowered intakes of the important fat-soluble vitamins and other fat-soluble nutrients when they consume low fat diets for any length of time. So it would seem that the fat content of the diet of yesteryear, with an average of 35-40 percent of energy as fat, makes sense."

However, this does not give you the green light to go rushing down to your local fast food outlet so you can tone up your body!

The fats you eat must be natural fats such as butter, olive oil, coconut oil, cream, even lard and dripping (tallow) are considered healthier fats than the refined vegetable oils found in low fat meals and processed foods.

If you need to lose more than 7 pounds then switch to eating these fat burning foods for faster results.

The most important thing that most people do not understand is this, you cannot change fat into muscle; they are two totally different substances requiring two different processes. You must lose the fat and build the muscle with the right diet and exercise program.

Bear in mind that muscle weighs heavier than fat so even though you may think you're not losing fat, because the scales are staying the same, as long as you are consistent, you will get results, so stick with it until you reach your goal. This is where a tape measure is more useful, measure yourself before you start and then you will see your progress as you tone up your body.


Step 2. Exercise More.

If you want to tone up your body you must become more active because flabby muscles are a tell tale sign that you are not active enough. A 20 minute walk every day will help to tone up every muscle in your body and if you live somewhere hilly, hill work or going up and down steps is really beneficial and can speed up the process.

I say ‘process’ because turning flabby muscles into toned muscles is a process, and you can help your body accomplish this much quicker if you give it the right tools to work with.

Walking and swimming are both good forms of exercise, walking is better because it is a weight bearing exercise but swimming is also good especially if you are overweight and find walking difficult.

Be very clear about how much you want to tone up your body because concentrating on the end result and not where you are right now is going to keep you motivated over the coming weeks as your body changes slowly from soft and flabby to firm and toned. Realistically, it’s not going to happen over night so you must keep reminding yourself why you want to tone up your body and have a clear picture in your mind of where you are going and what your new toned body will look like.

Did you know it only takes three weeks for a muscle to start losing its firmness and tone? So if you haven’t exercised in a while the chances are you will need to work at toning up.

Also, muscles don't actually get flabby! It's the covering of fat wobbling about that makes them look flabby, muscles are either soft and weak or firm and strong. Firm strong muscles act as a natural girdle that keeps everything else in place and gives that much sought-after sleek and toned look.


Step 3. Strength Training.

One of the most important steps that will help tone up your body is strength training or resistance training. If you worry about building muscles like a body builder, trust me, it won’t happen. Body building takes years of dedication and training and it is not going to happen to you over night or by accident.

Lifting weights 3 times a week is recommended if you want to see good results. If you are a beginner you should start with weights you can lift with good form, without hurting yourself, even if this means starting with 2 pound weights.

You should aim to do 3 sets of 4 - 6 exercises for 10 - 12 repetitions each.

As you get stronger, increase the weights not the repetitions.

For strength training exercises with and without weights take a look at How to Tone Up Flabby Arms. You can also watch a video of 5 minute arm toning exercises with weights to get you started.

Lifting weights regularly has many benefits besides toning up your body. You will be surprised at how quickly you become stronger and this will make everyday chores like housework, picking things up, moving things and carrying shopping much easier for you.


Step 4. Cardio Exercise.

You don’t need to do hours of boring cardio to tone up your body and you don’t even have to go to a gym unless you want to. Short bursts of high intensity exercise together with intervals of low intensity exercise are far more effective for toning up. This is known as interval training because you do intervals of high intensity and intervals of low intensity in the same work out.

The best way to do cardio interval training is to warm up with low intensity for 4 - 5 minutes, then bring in a burst of high intensity for 30 seconds to 90 seconds (1 ½ minutes). Then return to low intensity for twice the amount of time as your high intensity so if you did 60 seconds (1 minute) of high intensity you would follow that with 120 seconds (2 minutes) of low intensity recovery time.

You should do a total of 4 - 4 ½ minutes of high intensity per workout so if you can only manage 30 seconds at a time you will have to repeat this 8 times to get to your total of 4 minutes of high intensity. If you can mange 1 full minute each time than you must repeat 4 times and if you can manage 1 ½ minutes of high intensity you would repeat 3 times with low intensity recovery time in between.

It is vital you do not stop moving but move smoothly from low to high and high to low until you have done 4 minutes of high intensity in total and then finish with 3 - 4 minutes of low intensity to cool down.

During your high intensity intervals you should give it all you’ve got because this is the part that triggers the muscle building hormones or Human Growth Hormones (HGH). The low intensity exercise is to keep your muscles moving so they pump the HGH around your body.

For more details on interval training read Fat Burning Exercise where I show you exactly how to tone up your body with an exercise bike at home.


Step 5. Toning Exercises.

These include stretches, star jumps, squats, lunges and flexibility exercises. You may find my personal toning exercises helpful so for more details read toning exercises where I have listed them with instructions on how to do each one. There are also 4 short videos showing how to do lunges properly and another video of effective workout tips and toning exercises after pregnancy.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water because it is important to keep your body hydrated at all times but even more important while you’re exercising.

Try to keep in mind why you want to tone up and how much it means to you and you will have no trouble at all.

If you follow these 5 steps you should find it easy to have the lean toned body you've always wanted.

This summer you won’t have any qualms about going to the beach, wearing shorts, strappy dresses or summer tops because you will be able to hold your head up high with pride now that you know how to tone up your body.

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Read More Toning Tips:

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Fat Burning Exercise
Fat Burning Exercise Mistakes
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Flat Stomach After Pregnancy
How To Lose Fat On Your Stomach
How To Get Flat Abs
How to Stay Youthful
Good Posture
iJoy Ride Exercise Machine
Fitness Elliptical Cross Trainer
Pedometers - Walking Exercise
Sports Bra Guide
Swimming For Exercise
Toning Exercises
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Wii Fitness
Wii Fit Plus
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Tone Up Your Body

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Information provided on Beauty-Secrets4U is for your general knowledge only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should consult your doctor with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.