When it comes to overall body beautification, diet and exercise are at the top of the list. But many people have an incorrect viewpoint that weight training is only for men, or people who want to bulk up their muscles. As a result, many women steer clear of strength training and muscle toning activities in fear that strengthening muscles means they will gain weight and achieve a masculine figure rather than the slim, toned figure they are looking to achieve. In reality however, a muscle toning regime is not only healthy but essential for any long-term weight loss plan, and when done right, you can achieve and exceed the results you are looking for.
You’ve probably heard that muscle weighs more than fat, which is indeed true, and it is also why a scale is not the best tool to measure success. Muscle tissue actually burns calories at a much faster rate than fat tissue, meaning that hours after your workout, your muscles are still burning calories and helping you lose weight. The process of strengthening your muscles also helps strengthen your bones, counteracts the natural muscle loss that occurs with aging, increases your metabolism, and reduces your risk for injury. And from a completely visual perspective, muscle toning done right, in combination with healthy eating habits, results in a far more attractive, and healthier figure overall than diet and exercise alone.
What it is Not
Muscle toning is not about maxing out the total amount of weight you can lift, bench or push. Maxing out on your weight actually can bulk up your muscles and make you feel more masculine and less lean and toned. The key to a slimming, muscle toning regimen is multiple, slow repetitions with weights that challenge your muscles without maxing them out. More repetitions with less weight is better than fewer repetitions with more weight.
Weight Loss Without Muscle Toning
If you try to lose weight through diet and exercise alone without any strengthening activities, you could be fighting an uphill battle. One of the many mistakes people make when trying to lose weight is slashing calories and increasing cardiovascular activities without thinking of how it will affect their overall weight loss plan. Muscle burns calories, melts fat and increases your metabolism, but muscle needs protein in order to do it’s job. If you slash your calories without ingesting enough lean proteins, such as yogurt, chicken, and eggs, your muscles will begin to atrophy. Likewise, cardiovascular activities alone that don’t include strengthening and muscle toning activities will have the same effect; your muscles will begin to shrink, causing you to burn fewer calories, and decrease your metabolism. It may require you to work out more and eat less to return a similar result.
Weight Loss With Muscle Toning
Muscle toning is not difficult to work into your regular exercise routine and you don’t have to have access to a full weight gym to do it. There are a lot of easy ways to tone and strengthen your muscles at home or work using bands, springs, and even your own body weight. Unlike cardio activities, you can accomplish muscle toning without breaking much of a sweat, making it a great activity to work into a midday lunch or just before work. Muscle toning exercise sessions don’t even have to be long to accomplish your desired results, but you should aim for 2-3 sessions per week with targeted exercises in order to achieve success.
By integrating muscle toning and strength training activities into your regular fitness routines you will achieve faster results with less overall effort while benefiting from a healthier body overall. You might even find that muscle toning activities can double as relaxation exercises, so you can rest your brain while increasing caloric burn at the same time. The benefits of muscle toning are too numerous and valuable to ignore, so this year, make a goal of adding muscle toning activities to your weight loss plan. You won’t regret it.