Use these 5 exercises to lose weight as well as increase your muscle tone and elevate your mood.
Along with good nutrition and clean living, the best way to lose weight and maintain it is by moving more. Spontaneous movement and a structured exercise program can be performed absolutely anywhere.
JJ Virgin of the Virgin Diet explains,
“In order for something to be exercise, you have to get hot and sweaty, and it should hurt a little bit."
She also explains
“Putting on some muscle mass is the best thing you can do for your metabolism, it raises your metabolic rate all day long keeping you burning calories.” (2013)
Here are 5 of the best exercises I’d like to share that target the whole body. I've tested these with my clients and they work. Some exercises you'll know, while others may be new to you.
# 1 Walk Yourself Slimmer
One of the best things you can do for your body is to walk.
It's easy, free and get results and is great for beginners. Walk in nature where you further benefit from nature’s colours, sounds and smells.
"Walking is man’s best medicine."
The health benefits of walking are vast. It burns calories, tones your legs and bum. It de-stresses you, aids smooth digestion and gets the heart pumping.
Challenge yourself – walk a little further, walk faster, go up hill, go downhill, walk like a crab, find stairs or carry hand weights so you’re working harder.
Aim for 30 minutes of walking 2-3 times a week.
# 2 Swim Away The Pounds
Swimming is highly effective for weight loss and toning. It’s low impact, it strengthens, tones and conditions your whole body. A 30-minute leisure swim can burn up to 220Kcal (swimming.org).
If possible, have a few lessons to ensure good technique. I’ve done so myself and cannot recommend it enough. Don’t be afraid to get your hair wet, and even if you can’t swim, grab a float and get kicking.
# 3 Multi-Directional Lunge
For toning the lower body lunges are my favourite. Lunges burn calories. Lunge in three different directions – forward, lateral and back.
- To begin the movement, draw the navel in, keeping an upright posture and take a straight step/lunge forward to 12 o’clock, bending both knees, and your back knee should get as close to the floor as possible.
- Next, take a lateral step out to the side (3 or 9 o’clock position) keep both feet facing forward and bend the leg you are stepping out with.
- Lastly take a step straight back to 6 ‘o’clock getting as deep as possible. To progress this exercise add weights and press them above your head as you come back to start position.
#4 Pushes From The Floor
This is just like a push-up but more achievable for beginners. Great for working the upper body and core.
- Lie flat on your front and position your hands slightly wider than your shoulders, finger tips in line with shoulders.
- Keeping a tight core throughout the movement, push yourself up onto your knees, hold and then lower yourself completely back to the floor.
To progress this movement push yourself up onto your toes.
#5 Plank To Pike
- Get into the plank position on your hands and toes, ensure wrists are in line with shoulders.
- Raise your bottom up towards the celling then back down hold for 3 seconds then raise bottom up again.
Perform all these exercises for 12-15 repetitions, 2-3 sets of each exercise with 60 second rest between sets.
Or perform as a circuit format – one set of each exercise back-to-back within a designated time. Repeat the circuit 3 times.
If you have been sedentary up to this point in time, now is the time to get up and MOVE.
Doesn’t matter how little you’ve done up to this point, just start with 10 minutes a day of some sort of physical activity and at the end of each week add another 5 minutes until you reach one hour.
Mix up your training schedule by alternating resistance training days with aerobic days to ensure you get a full body workout and guaranteed results.
Don’t be afraid to get yourself hot and sweaty, raise your heart rate, become breathless and feel your muscles working. Do this every other day and you will be leaner, fitter, stronger and feel more energised.
So get moving, it is part of life and we are designed to move.