Whether you are looking to lose those last few pounds, get more definition or simply start toning, there is so much information available on improving your physique, it can be hard to know what to do and where to start.
While it is different for everyone and completely dependent on your starting point and your goal, try these five areas to get you on the right path:
While you can’t build muscle when you are engaging in excess cardio, you can use cardio to burn fat. Becoming toned and defined is a combination of building up muscle and eliminating the layer of fat that is on the muscle. With that in mind, depending on your body composition to start with, it is critical to engage in cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling or HIIT sessions, to become leaner and allow the muscle to be exposed.
Add in Pilates
This is pure core training, focusing on developing the abdominal muscles through methods of slow, intentional and controlled movement. The moves are often held for a longer period of time, and strongly emphasize isolation of specific muscles of the abdominal area, including upper and lower abdominals and the obliques. Look up Pilates classes near you and give one a try.
For many people toning, losing weight and developing definition starts in the kitchen. Becoming more aware of what you are eating and really reigning in on your consumption of sugar, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and excess calories is the best place to start. You do not necessarily have to completely eliminate foods, nor should you plan to get rid of carbs, get rid of gluten or get rid of foods altogether. Simply become more mindful of what and how much you consume.
Drink More Water
If there is one thing that will drastically help you, it is to drink more water. Every part of your body, from your digestion to elimination to liver cleansing to fat metabolism to immunity, all function better when you are consuming enough water. While there is no set amount, and it is totally individual, keep in mind that you are likely not currently consuming enough and you can start by trying to incorporate an additional 500mL per day.
Look After your Gut
You may not realize it, but the health of your gut is responsible for things such as digestion, elimination, detoxification, production of vitamins and minerals and much more. When your gut health is compromised, it can be the cause of things like bloating, gas, stomach distension, irritability, mood swings and even poor sleep. Getting a good handle on your gut will not only help you improve your physique, but it will increase your energy, boost your confidence and make you feel better about yourself. Also check out 5 ways to improve your gut health!
Whatever your physique goals happen to be, there is always a place for improvement and a place to start to make them happen. Choose one from the list above, start today and then add in others once you are on your way to developing a new habit!
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH – Viand Nutrition