How to Tighten Your Arms, Legs and Abs

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This article is part of the series How to Lose Weight with Exercise. Incorporate these tips into your own weight loss workout program.

Congratulations on reaching the halfway point in your new weight loss workout program. Now that you've established an exercise habit and your fitness level is improving, it's time to tighten your arms, legs and abs. To do that, you'll begin to include strength training and flexibility exercises in your weekly schedule.

If you're afraid of bulking up or gaining weight, don't worry. When you build strength, you actually boost your weight loss efforts. Not only do strong muscles help to shape a tighter, leaner body, but research studies have shown that building muscle mass can help to offset a declining metabolism as you age. A flexible, strong body is also more comfortable throughout daily activities and is less likely to become injured during workouts. These benefits help you to stay active and burn more calories with NEAT throughout the day.

Lesson Three: Tighten Your Arms, Legs and Abs

  • Step One: Learn More About Strength Workouts
    Until now in the program, we've focused on cardiovascular or aerobic training. Now it's time to balance your workout program with strength training and flexibility exercises. Learn how these workouts play a key role in your weight loss workout program.
  • Step Two: Do Simple Strength Workouts
    You'll get lean faster if you build muscle. But you don't have to go the gym to lift weights. You can do these three workouts at home, at the health club or even when you are traveling to get strong sexy muscles.
  • Step Three: Change Your Habits to Get Tight Abs
    Very few people have perfectly flat abs, but anyone can tighten their belly and get a firmer tummy.  And believe it or not, the trick to get flat abs does not involve doing a million sit ups every day. You do have to change a few habits, though.  Find out how to adapt simple strategies to get a midsection that you're proud of.
  • Step Four: Consider Yoga Carefully
    At this point in the program, many people ask me if they should go to yoga class to burn calories and lose weight. Unfortunately, the answer is a little bit tricky. If you are thinking about yoga, get the facts about how it may or may not help you reach your weight loss goals.
  • Step Five: Eat the Right Amount of Protein
    Make your strength workouts more effective by fueling your body properly. Build your meals around lean protein to build muscle, curb your snack habits and maintain a healthy metabolism. Find out how many grams you need to get fit and get lean.

Take 2-3 weeks to incorporate these new workouts into your full weight loss workout schedule. Continue to do your cardiovascular workouts and eat a healthy diet to reach your goals and get the lean body you deserve.

Sources:

Len Kravitz, Ph.D. "Controversies in Metabolism." University of New Mexico, Department of Exercise Physiology

Janssen I, Ross R. " Linking age-related changes in skeletal muscle mass and composition with metabolism and disease." Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging November - December 2005.

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