Toned and Tight: more than just cardio.

Every day I watch women young and old, come into the gym get on a piece of cardio equipment, and sweat for an hour. Well, cardio is important and good. But, if you are looking to make changes to your body, it's going to take more than that.

First let's tackle the too much cardio. If you aren't eating enough healthy food, your body is breaking down from all that crankin' cardio. Soon you will be a "skinny fat" person. I'm sure you have a friend or know of someone who runs marathons, bikes, does all kinds of aerobic activity but they still have cellulite thighs and a belly. You hear them say things like, "my body just won't change" or "I just carry my fat on my thighs and hips, only lyposuction can save me." Wrong! She's in the circle of too much cardio and a poor diet.

There's the problem, here's the solution! For your work outs, use the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) method. Change your hour of cardio to 30 minutes. Find a monstrous hill or raise the level on the treadmill to at least 10. Crank up the intensity (speed) to where you can safely manage it, but also go breathless. You'll do sprints full out for at least one minute, or until you can no longer stand it. Then slow it up for a minute or two, catch a little breath, then HIIT it again! This should be so intense that there is no way you could make it past 30 minutes. If you get to 30 and want didn't push yourself hard enough. That's where a trainer or friend can push you to your limit. Do this about 4 to 5 times a week. This type of cardio will lean out and tone up those resistant legs! You also want to use weights for your upper body twice a week. Especially your back and shoulders....for posture and that beautiful V taper.

Your nutrition, of course, is key. If you don't eat enough, your muscles can't recover and tighten up. But don't make it too complicated. It's really pretty easy, six small meals a day. Two of these meals can be quality meal replacement shakes or protien bars. When you wake up, eat breakfast and then eat about every three hours from there. You want a serving of quality lean protein (turkey, chicken, fish, lean beef, egg whites), one serving of complex carbs (oatmeal, whole wheat pastas and breads, sweet potatoes), and plenty of vegetables (spinach, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, just to name a few) and fruit with each meal. So many people are afraid of too many calories. But there has to be a balance. We say at our house, "if you eat fat, you get fat"! Quality calories, not empty calories! Keep those meals clean and healthy and the fat will begin to melt away. Drink about a gallon of water a day. Now get to work! Your toned, tight body is waiting to be uncovered...literally!

Good Luck! - Chani Overstreet

5/24/2009 10:51:35 AM
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As a Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor in Flower Mound, Texas, Chani has dedicated her life to health, fitness and nutrition. She strongly believes that if you exercise regularly and really pay attention to what you put into your body you will enjoy great health and wellness. She lives her life by example for all h...
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Thanks for the replies. Mandy, let me know how it goes and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Your friend in fitness, Chani Overstreet
Posted by Chani
Thank you Chani, I will take your advice this evening when I HIT the gym! Mandy
Posted by Mandy Harding
this is good post
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