Question: Firming And Toning

Hi lisa Following a serious illness in which I had 18kg of excess fluid rapidly removed, my skin on my legs is in serious need of firming and toning. What will be the first steps in starting an exercise routine to remedy the problem?

Answer

Boost circulation
This is one of the most important steps in firming up the body, fighting off cellulite and maximising health. Bouncing on a mini-trampoline is an excellent way to stimulate circulation. It also helps drain the lymphatic system – often an important factor in fending off water retention. Next, hit the powerplate. This does much of the same, as the vibrating plates help stimulate circulation, as well as intensify regular exercise. Finally, invest in a dry brush. Dry brushing involves brushing the body with firm and sweeping strokes before you bath or shower. Not only is this an excellent way to boost circulation, it will also exfoliate skin, strengthening and thickening it for smoother and improved skin textures.

Practise high intensity cardio and interval training.
Shaking up a steady-state cardio routine to one that is varied and explosive has been proven to target more fat. This is perhaps because you will not only burn more calories during the session, but afterwards as well. The exertion of varying intensities will stimulate your body’s repair cycle more than if you were going for a steady state run. This means more fat and calories burnt for up to 24 hours after training.

– Switch up your usual run with 20 seconds of sprinting followed by 60 seconds of jogging or walking. Repeat these intervals 15-20 times each session. As you progress the 20 secs can become 30-40 secs and the rests can reduce to 20- 30 secs.
– Don’t switch all your cardio sessions to high intensity interval training. Aim for two sessions a week, along with one or two regular 30-60 min cardio sessions.

Include dompound movements for lean mass and increased metabolism.
Strength training plays a critical part in toning your legs, as well as the rest of the body. Muscle requires fuel to operate, so the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day, and the higher your metabolism. Compound exercises are multi-jointed movements, while isolation exercises only use one. Many people accredit isolated exercises to significant results, but compound exercises are responsible for greater calorie burns during sessions as well as increasing lean muscle tissue at a greater rate , therefore improving your resting metabolism.

Be sure to incorporate compound movements into your strength training sessions, dont only focus solely on your lower body.

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