Tone Up for Summer in Five Minutes a Day
CalorieKing’s Tips to Tone Up
One of the best ways to start or continue an exercise program, is to make it easy to fit into your daily schedule. For this reason, five- or ten-minute workout plans are an excellent way to improve your fitness. You will get much better results by exercising for a short period of time regularly, rather than doing an intense workout once a week. And, while it may seem very obvious, you get much better results if you actually do an exercise program, rather than just think about it!
Start Toning up for Summer
Establish a firm foundation for your exercise plan to tone up for summer. By summertime, you will have significantly improved your muscle tone and flexibility by performing four simple exercises per day in just five to ten minutes. Each time you do your workout, think about yourself as being one step closer to your goal of a fitter, healthier body by summertime.
If you do these exercises for just five or ten minutes each day, you should feel the results in just a few weeks.
The results will be improvements in your muscle tone, your strength, flexibility, and balance, rather than just improvements in weight loss. Weight-loss improvements occur as a result of dieting and carrying out a cardiovascular exercise routine. For weight loss, it is recommended to attempt 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to five times per week.
The important thing for overall body health is to combine strength and stretch training with your cardio work. The routine will help give an all around body conditioning workout and help keep you motivated.
Start Today – Now if Possible!
In ten minutes you will have already completed your first workout on your path to better health and fitness. Some of you will have seen the exercises before, so will find it easy to start straight away.
The Top Four Exercises for Improving Strength and Flexibility
Stand up straight with the hands on the hips.
Step one foot 2-3 feet forward.
Slowly and with maximum control, bend the front knee until the knee is directly over the middle toe of the foot. At the same time, allow the back knee to bend slightly, until it just touches the floor.
Slowly and with control straighten the front knee, without locking it.
Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Lie on your back with your calves resting flat on a bench, the knees bent to 90 degrees. (To increase the action of the lower abdominals, you can see if you can hold the shins in a horizontal position, without relying on a chair or bench for support.)
Fold the arms across the chest so the right hand touches the left shoulder and the left hand touches the right shoulder. (This can also be done with the fingers interlocked behind the head.)
Pull the lower abdominal region back towards the spine to increase the action of the deep, lower abdominal muscles.
Slowly (as you exhale) lift the shoulders and upper back off the ground, flexing the trunk towards the knees.
Contract the muscles of the abdomen, to bring the shoulders toward the knees.
Slowly (as you inhale), lower the back down to the floor again.
Perform 2-3 sets of 10- 15 repetitions.
Come down onto the floor into a half push-up position as shown. As you get stronger, see if you can perform the exercise in the full push-up position.
Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder-width apart, your knees resting on the floor.
The shoulders, hips and knees should be in one straight line, make sure you do not sag in the lower back. Keep the abdominal muscles firm and pulled in. Keep the chin tucked in and the neck in line with the rest of the spine.
As you inhale, slowly lower the chest as far down towards the floor as you can.
As you exhale, slowly straighten the arms, and lift the body back up to the starting position.
Make sure you keep the shoulder blades anchored firmly down the back of the chest, do not let them rise up towards the ears.
Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Sit on the floor and stretch one leg straight out in front of you.
Tuck the heel of the foot of the other leg in towards the inner thigh.
Stretch as far down the straight leg as possible.
Feel the stretch along the back of the straight leg.
Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
By Alex Armstrong, CalorieKing Exercise Physiologist