Lifestyle changes in recent decades have led people to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Many people spend most of their day doing activities that do not work their muscles properly and only allow them to burn minimal amounts of calories.
Regular physical activity can provide a great deal of benefit and, after just a few weeks, significant changes can be seen, such as improved levels of strength and cardiorespiratory well-being, and a joint supported by strong, toned muscles will be subject to fewer injuries than one supported by weak muscles. Toning the body isn’t just about practicing the right mix of exercises, it’s also about following proper nutrition before, during and after an exercise session.
Toning your muscles
Using only a small part of your muscles is never good for you: the muscular system needs to be spurred systematically in order to be kept healthy and efficient. To stimulate it, you need to “force” it to overcome external resistance forces, whether it’s your own body weight or external loads such as dumbbells and barbells. The benefits range from improved major metabolic functions to greater overall functionality. Training your muscles also helps change the appearance of your body as it becomes more toned.
What does a toned muscle look like?
Tone is nothing more than the perception, by touch, of the hardness of the muscle. The hypertonic neurological response of training increases the stimuli that start from the brain and go to the muscles. A trained muscle, therefore, better maintains a basal tone than an untrained muscle. The skin is important: it covers the muscle and under the dermis has a more or less thick layer called “hypodermis”, a tissue that contains fat and plays an important protective function in the dispersion of heat. A thick layer of hypodermis, which does not have the “hardness” of a muscle, makes the muscles feel less toned.
Suggestions for toning
The importance of nutrition
Toning programs reach their maximum effectiveness when combined with a balanced diet, because muscles need fuel. Before working out, it is recommended to eat something nutritious, but easily digestible, such as a fruit or a slice of bread and jam. If your workout lasts a few hours, you should have a snack during the session, such as fruit or an energy bar. Once the workout is over, it is important to eat well to recover the energy lost.
Gradually increase your weight load
This is a basic principle for increasing muscle mass. If you always train with the same load at the same intensity, the body adapts and thus prevents the growth and improvement of muscle tone.
Prioritize “basic movements”
Basic exercises that require strength, such as squats, deadlifts, arm stretches on the bench and others are great for toning and involve several muscle groups simultaneously.
Have fun while you train
Willpower and constant determination are not enough. By having fun while you work out, you’ll be able to achieve your desired results faster.
The benefits of toning your body
Even if you just want to improve your physical appearance to have a toned body, regular physical activity can provide a number of other benefits:
Toning increases strength and reduces disease
Toning your muscles reduces fat and body weight. Weight loss on the body’s bones results in improved health, which benefits the heart, joints and skeletal system. A toned body allows for more strength, increased energy and flexibility, and can decrease the risk of developing certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Toning improves posture and mental health
Certain forms of toning, especially exercises that focus on the muscles of the abdomen and torso, can improve posture. In fact, several low-impact, weight-bearing exercises performed while standing help tone muscles and strengthen bones, improving posture, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and easing tension on the spine.
Muscle toning exercises, especially when combined with cardio and strength exercises, can help improve mental health. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have more energy, reduced stress levels and increased self-confidence
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