Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cardio & Muscle Toning

While I prefer to workout at home, when I have been at the gym I noticed that some people either do all cardio, or just tone their muscles. Cardio and muscle toning go hand in hand, you really need to do them both to be truly fit. Than there are those that only tone certain muscles, which makes their bodies look so unproportioned.

Photo credit: Healthful Headlines
What the cardio does is take off those unwanted pounds, or help you maintain your ideal weight. In order to burn calories our bodies need to be involved in some type of activity that gets the heart rate up. A leisurely walk is a good thing because you are up and moving, but unless you step up the beat and get that heart rate up the calories are not going to come off. Not I am not saying you should not take a leisurely walk, this is a great start if you are just starting out, but challenge your self. Set a point where you maybe walk a little faster, or take on a slow paced jog. Whatever it is you enjoy doing do it, but if you want to burn calories you have to get that heart rate up.

There may be times where your heart rate reaches its peak, and tells you it is time to stop. At this point walk it out, get that heart rate back to normal don't just plop down somewhere, you need to walk it out. There are times when I am doing a new workout, and the cardio just gets too much. I pause the DVD, and walk it out until my heart rate is back down, then go back for more. Mind you I have been working out for over 20 years, your body might just say I don't think so, then stop. Make a goal to do a little more, you should be doing a cardio work out four days a week, three at the least.

Photo credit: Futinity
Tone those muscles, this is really important if you are losing a lot of weight or trying to take off those extra pounds after child birth. The cardio will take the pounds off, but you will be left with loose saggy skin, no one wants that? For a well proportioned body all of the muscles need to be worked, some like to work different parts of the body on different days, and it is even recommended. Some will just work all of the upper body one day, lower body another, and incorporate the core, abs, and back, during one of those sessions. However, we are all different, and I say do what works for you.

Personally I do my cardio and muscle toning all together all four to five days I work out. It is said that you should not work your muscles every day. The term ripped comes from the fact that when you are toning you are actually ripping the muscle, and you should give them a rest, working them every other day verses every day. How ever you decide to tone your muscles, just do it, you will feel so much stronger and healthier.

Muscle toning also aids in building bone density which is great before pregnancy, and helps to prevent osteoporosis. As a matter of fact if you or someone you know has osteoporosis working with weights can reverse it.

I also want to mention that when starting an exercise routine it can take up to 40 days to see results. At the same time if you do not exercise for 3 days you will start to lose what you have worked for, stinks huh?

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