Toning Your Body for Women

by Ossesso Blog on October 26, 2020

Everyone desires a fit and fab body, but rarely do people know how to get one. Well, a combination of nutrition and exercise is the key to losing weight. You can't rely on either one, but have to incorporate both in your daily routine.

There are many different ways to exercise, such as Pilates, aerobics, yoga, weight training and more. You can choose to go to the gym or exercise at home. Some prefer gym classes as it gives them the motivation to exercise with people around them.

Moreover, every person has a different reason to exercise; either to lose weight, or improve their fitness and health. If you feel that you want to remove excess fat, then the solution is toning.


 

What is Toning?

Toning is a way to stretch and define our muscles. Toning and exercise go hand in hand because if a person has a distinctive layer of fat, it will be difficult to tone the muscles. Hence, a person has to lose their fat to tone their muscles. And with the right combination of determination and commitment, it's not that difficult.

The successful way to have a toned body is to eat according to your bodily needs and exercise according to muscles' needs. A common misconception about toning is related to muscles. We give shape to our muscles by increasing or decreasing their size, but the makeup of the muscles doesn't change. However, we can work on increasing the size of our muscle tissues.

 

Benefits Of Toning And Exercise In General

Sometimes, a thin female has a slightly bulging stomach and immediately goes on a diet to remove that bulge. This is not a healthy way to lose that extra piece of fat. In this example, she has to tone her body instead of losing weight. Because if she diets and exercises, she will lose weight, and it won’t necessarily have to be from her stomach.

1. A healthy lifestyle - Toning your body involves exercise, which in turn contributes to a healthy lifestyle. It burns excess fat as well.


2. Builds stamina - Your stamina increases when you exercise. The intensity, as opposed to the speed of the exercise, helps in toning your muscles.

3. Improved mental health - Research has proven that those who exercise are more confident and have greater self-esteem.

4. A greater outlook on life - A person who regularly exercises for a certain part of the day tends to be more alert as exercising increases your body's adrenaline. Additionally, exercises release endorphins, which are known to counter the stress hormones in our body. And let's face it, who doesn't want to reduce stress?

 

How to tone your body?

There are three main elements to remember, which will help in toning your muscles. Toning your muscles is not the same as wanting only to show muscles on your body – there is an important distinction.

1. A healthy diet.

2. Regular cardiovascular exercises.

3. Strength training, which affects all the muscles. 

 

A Healthy Diet

It is a myth to assume that only lowering the intake of calories is a sort of diet. That is not always the case. Some females, who are active throughout the day, require more calories to keep themselves healthy and full of nutrients.

Every female has a different body type. And the intake of calories depends on their body mass index and the level of activity in their daily routines. For example, a female who is 5 feet 4 inches and weighs around 126 pounds requires at least 1600 calories per day. If she has an active daily routine, her calorie intake can increase up to 2400. 

A healthy diet includes the intake of fruits and vegetables. They provide nutrients and minerals, and at the same time, you will not feel guilty about gaining any fat this way. Moreover, proteins through eggs, chicken, and fish are also recommended.

The products with refined carbohydrates such as white bread and white pasta, allow a person to feel hungry quicker than usual as they are easy to digest. It is better to move to complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain options.

And last but not least, water intake is extremely vital. When we exercise, we sweat, and without proper fluids, there is a chance of dehydration. Avoiding other liquids during the day, such as processed ones or alcohol, is the right lifestyle choice and makes your body retain water.

 

Regular Exercises

Aside from their help in toning, exercise keeps your heart healthy and the blood flowing in every part of the body. Exercise, like food, also has its limits. You do not want to overdo with your exercise regime by burning more calories than you intake. This will decrease the nutrients in your body and make you weaker instead of leaner.

For beginners, exercise should be kept to a minimum so the muscles can become used to the activity, and then there should be a gradual increase in the duration and intensity. For example, you can start from 20 minutes and move on to an hour within a month. This does not mean the intensity should remain the same. From 5 pushups, you can gradually increase to 20-25.

There should be a combination of a High-Intensity Interval Training (circuit training) workout with strength training. You don't have to exercise every day; even if you do a HIIT workout thrice a week along with strength training, that is doable as well. This way, it is easier to fit in a schedule and maintain a good exercise and diet combination.

 

Strength Training

Females don't have to worry about having their muscles swelling. The difference in this is because males have a higher level of testosterone, which enables their muscles to grow bulky. Including strength training in your weekly exercise is critical, as only cardio exercises will not tone your body. 

A weekly exercise regime to tone your body 

Warm-ups are essential before any exercise, whether it is before walking, swimming, aerobics, lifting weights, and so on. They increase your body temperature and help in easing the blood flow to all parts of your body. But most importantly, it lessens the risk of injury.

You should also stretch after exercising as well, as it helps in soreness and can prevent muscle pull.

Duration

Warm-up exercises

30 seconds

High knees

30 seconds

Run on spot

30 seconds

Arms stretches

30 seconds

Head rotations

30 seconds

Plank

10 seconds

Touch your toes

10 seconds

Stretch to your sides

 

Day 1


Focus Area: Arms and Chest

Exercises

Sets

Reps

Bench Press

4

10

Incline Dumbbell Flyes

3

10

Cable Crossover

3

10

Push Ups

3

15

Close grip bench press

4

10

Barbell Bicep Curl

4

12

Hammer Curls

3

12

Tricep Dips

3

15

Elliptical

20 minutes

 

 

Day 2


Focus Area: Shoulders and Back

Exercises

Sets

Reps

Military Press

3

15

Close Grip Lat Pulldowns

3

10

Lateral raises using dumbbells

4

10

Upright Row

3

15

T-bar Row

3

15

Bent over Row

3

15

Shrugs

3

10

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

3

15

Stationary Bike

20 minutes

 

 

Day 3


Focus Area: Bodyweight Training

Exercises

Sets

Reps

Military Press

3

15

Close Grip Lat Pulldowns

3

10

Lateral raises using dumbbells

4

10

Upright Row

3

15

T-bar Row

3

15

Bent over Row

3

15

Shrugs

3

10

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

3

15

Stationary Bike

20 minutes

 

 

Day 4


Focus Area: Strength Training

Exercises

Sets

Reps

Bench Press

4

4

Barbell Snatch

5

5

Dumbbell Clean and Press

4

4

Incline Dumbbell Press

5

5

Deadlift

4

4

Bent Over Row

5

5

Stationary Bike

20 minutes

 

 

Day 5


Focus Area: Legs

Exercises

Sets

Reps

Leg Extensions

3

8

Barbell Squats

4

12

Walking Lunges

4

15

Leg Press

4

15

Seated Calf Raise

3

10

Leg Curl

3

20

Elliptical

20 minutes

 


These are just examples of an exercise regimen that you can follow. You can use other exercises as well, but this gives a general idea of what you can push your body to do. It is better to switch up the exercises once in a while if you are following the program alone at home, as it may become boring after a while.

In the beginning, you might not be able to complete the repetitions of the sets as it takes time for the body to get used to constant exercise. Your muscles will be extremely sore for the first 7-10 days. As time passes you will build more tolerance, as every set and repetition will gets demanding.

If you feel that your body is not adapting well to the workout, refer to a nutritionist or a personal trainer. You have to listen to your body. For some, yoga works better in terms of weight loss and toning as compared to intense workouts.

 

Common Mistakes Women Make During Exercise

 

1. Not increasing intensity

    Sometimes, you might get used to a particular workout and may not increase the intensity of the exercises. This won't help in any way as your body gets used to the exercise and requires more intensity for the fat burning process to work. Every body type is different; hence you need to figure out how much your body can take initially and then increase little by little. 

     

    2. Post-workout nutrition

      It is a common feature to not feel hungry after a workout. Although this may seem well enough in the moment, your body will react later. If you don't want to have a proper meal, alternate with a protein shake, which will provide your body with sufficient nutrients. 

       

      3. Not focusing on strength training

        A common myth is that strength training leads to buff muscles. This is a misconception. If you want to tone your body, strength training has to be part of the workout program. Maybe twice a week, alternating with your other exercises as strength training focuses on the core.

        Most women believe that doing cardiovascular exercises is enough for toning. It may be enough for initial weight loss, but then the weight loss will come to a standstill.

         

        4. Overestimating calories

          As mentioned before, the intensity of the workout has to keep increasing. It is a common trend to miscalculate the intake of calories, and usually, we intake more calories than we burn. Therefore, you should know your body type and the number of calories you need daily.

           

          5. Longer rest periods

            Rest period between exercises is good, but not more than 30 seconds. Your heart rate should constantly be up, and you can't let your body cool down, as the constant increase and decrease in body temperature is not good for the body.

             

            Final Thoughts

            Setting the goal to tone your muscles is the correct way to look at things instead of losing weight unless you need to for health purposes. But the goals should also be realistic. If you want to achieve six-packs or bulky muscles in your arms and legs, it will take a long time and serious commitment.

            Therefore, you need to set achievable goals that fit in your standard daily routine; this includes time and food intake. You need to commit yourself in order to reach the goal, instead of keeping it a part-time hobby.

            Lastly, exercise shouldn't be taken as a chore. You should enjoy what you eat by looking up creative recipes and sticking to your calorie intake (and yes, cheat days are definitely allowed). Upbeat music is an excellent way to get yourself excited and energized for the workout, but usually, once a person incorporates exercise into their daily routine, it becomes fun and cathartic, especially when the result is worth it.

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