Staying fit with weights routines and healthy eating is the best tried and true method of muscle toning and building. It’s not going to happen overnight, but if you stay consistent, you’ll begin to sculpt a healthier body over time.
Eat the Right Foods and Avoid the Wrong Ones
Concentrate on eating foods that are rich in nutrients instead of those with empty calories. Whole grains, veggies and fruits, along with lean meats and low-fat dairy are good choices. Reach for nuts or sunflower seeds when you need a quick pick-me-up.
Avoid fatty foods that contain hydrogenated oils or saturated fats, high fructose corn syrup, high sugar content or lots of sodium. One fast way to cut back on these foods is to limit fast food visits and avoid boxed mixes.
Eat Like a Newborn Baby
You don’t have to revert back to eating pureed carrots or mushy peas, but babies can teach us some valuable lessons when it comes to eating habits. When a baby comes into the world, she is hungry about every two to four hours, and when she’s full, she’ll push her food away.
Eating frequent, small meals or snacks is a great way to provide constant muscle-building nutrients to your body, boost your metabolism and keep your energy levels up. Just make sure that your frequent meals are light, low in fat and rich in protein. And when you’re no longer hungry, make like a baby and stop eating.
Drink Your H20
One of the first things God did during creation was to gather the waters together. Water makes up most of the world’s surface, and your body is made up of 80 percent water. Sometimes when you think you are hungry, you are really just thirsty or dehydrated. Turn to water instead of sugary carbonated sodas or artificial fruit juices. Drink at least eight to ten, 8 oz. glasses of water each day.
If you enjoy something other than water with dinner (or you’re just getting sick of water by the end of the day), opt for unsweetened iced tea or infuse your water with cucumber, lemon or another tasty fruit.
Work Your Muscles
If you have a set of weights, put them to good use. If you don’t have weights, visit a gym or use items you have around the house like soup cans or old milk jugs filled with water to get you started.
Focus on one section of the body’s muscle groups at a time, concentrating on building the core with each workout, taking a day to rest every other day.
– Arms – Bicep curls and tricep curls
– Chest – Pushups and bench presses
– Back – Shoulder lift and back arches
– Abs – Crunches
– Legs – Wall sits and toe raises
– Glutes – Hip extensions
Your Muscle-Building Routine Will Look Something Like This:
– Monday – Upper body and core muscle groups weights exercises
– Tuesday – Lower body and core muscle groups weights exercises
– Wednesday – Rest
– Thursday – Upper body and core muscle groups weights exercises
– Friday – Lower body and core muscle groups weights exercises
– Saturday and Sunday – Rest
Make it your goal to do three or four sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise when using lighter weights. Also, take a day or two off between muscle workouts to give your muscles time to revamp.
Given the choice, it’s best to do more repetitions with less weight. When you try to lift a weight, you should be challenged but not struggling to the point of exasperation. Start with fewer repetitions and build up to more before increasing the weight.
It sounds counterproductive to do any form of exercise that isn’t directed specifically at building muscles, but a brisk walk or bike ride gets your heart pumping and burns calories, working your entire body all at once. Focus on these cardio workouts for 30 to 45 minutes a day on the days in between your muscle-building routine.
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is when the body rejuvenates itself, so be sure to get enough sleep every night. A healthy adult typically requires between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. You’ve earned it!