Trim and Tone Up Without Killing Yourself at the Gym

Trim and Tone Up Without Killing Yourself at the Gym

Do you feel a little uneasy about swimsuit weather?

If so, try following these simple strategies to trim and tone. They may make the difference between having a self-conscious summer and enjoying fun in the sun.

Trim Your Body

Trimming your body likely involves losing a few pounds. Thankfully, all it requires is a little bit of discipline and patience to acquire these weight-reducing habits.

Remember to talk about your wish to lose weight with your doctor. He’ll most likely have some great tips for you and might even provide you with a printed nutritional program to follow.

1. Decrease incoming calories from your drinks. Reduce or cut out sugared beverages like juices, teas, and sodas.

* If you like sweet drinks, try sweetening them with Stevia. Stevia is one of the newer non-caloric sweeteners available on the market. Made from the leaf of a plant, Stevia is all-natural and doesn’t carry the health risks of many other artificial sweeteners.

* The healthiest choices for beverages are water or herbal tea.

2. Avoid high-calorie desserts. As summer approaches, avoid fat-laced desserts and replace them with lower fat and reduced calorie treats, such as fat-free Jell-O and puddings. Strive to eat three fruits a day, one after each meal for dessert.

Tone Your Body

Toning your body involves increasing muscle strength and definition. When you increase muscle definition, you look stronger and in great shape.

These simple strategies will help you tone up for summer:

1. Do floor exercises while watching television. Use a rubber mat or thick layers of blankets to provide a protective, comfortable cushion. Start out by doing 10 each of these exercises:

* Perform the calisthenics you used to do in gym class when you were in high school. Maybe you did jumping jacks or bent to touch your toes. Go slowly with these; quick movements can injure and also don’t yield the benefits of taking your time with exercise.

* Do abdominal crunches.

* While sitting on the floor, stretch your legs out from your body at 45-degree angles. Then, bend forward at the waist and do alternating toe touches-right hand to left toes and left hand to right toes. Like with calisthenics, slow and steady wins the race.

* Also while sitting, make circles in the air with your out-stretched foot and toes.

* Lie on your right side and do side leg raises. Then, do the same on your left side.

2. Another sure way to get toned is to jog. Experts advise getting good quality running shoes to support and protect your feet, ankles and legs. Jogging tones your legs, arms, and abdomen. Plus, you’ll feel stronger and experience an increase in your overall physical stamina.

* Begin your jogging program by walking.

* Then, increase walking speed in the second week of your program.

* During the third week, pick up your walking speed even more.

* The fifth week, try jogging periodically throughout your walk.

* Alternate walking and jogging until the end of your workout.

* Gradually increase the distance or amount of time you jog.

* Before you know it, you’ll be jogging short distances.

Of course, before beginning any form of exercise, check with your doctor for approval. And always do warm-up and cool-down stretches before and after your workouts.

If you try even a few of the suggestions above, you’ll come out ahead for summer. Before you know it, you’ll feel more comfortable in a swimsuit and ready for the beach!