tone it up: the busy girl's guide to getting fit.
You're a badass babe. You're taking on life as best you can, you're open to new opportunities and you're a hard worker. But lately, fitness just doesn't have a place in your life, and you're not sure where to start.
That's what this tone it up series is all about—bite-sized workouts and exercise routines for each muscle group. Fit them in when and where you can because you have the ability to be your best self—in health and in life. So, let's get started.
lay the foundation
Because we're all health nuts here, we share a common belief in living a healthy lifestyle or the desire to develop one. Before we dive in, it's important to set ourselves up for success. This series is about taking small steps toward a bigger goal, and, in order to see results for your hard work, consider taking these steps:
Eat healthy. In order to see results from any type of exercise routine, you have to maintain a healthy diet. Cut back on sugars and processed foods/drinks, switch simple carbs for more complex ones, get enough protein and healthy fats, eat tons of veggies and plenty of fruit and drink lots of water. Remember that portions do matter—eat until satisfied, not stuffed.
Exercise your whole body. Slowly work some cardio into your schedule a few times a week, and don't forget about your other muscle groups. Gym goers typically dedicate each day of the week to a different muscle group, but you could do a full body workout with just two or three exercises per group every other day. Then, fit in cardio and a specific muscle group workout on the in-between days. Find what works best for you.
Be consistent. This one should be in all caps with asterisks and strobe lights around it because if you don't stick to your workouts, you won't see much progress. But, it's counter-productive to put pressure on yourself with unrealistic goals. Start slow, and maybe just commit to working out twice a week at first. Even if you're just doing two muscle group workouts per week, you'll eventually want to add workouts in. (Exercise eventually gets addictive, after all.)
Turn exercise into self care. Tired after your day job? Instead of collapsing onto the couch, Netflix on and wine in hand (trust me; I know this feeling all too well), pick up your dumbbells and do a quick workout. You'll feel more accomplished and less stressed. Plus, you'll sleep better. Think of these mini sweat sessions as part of your self-care regimen. Oh, and when you get home at the end of the day or when you wake up in the morning (depending on what's better for you), don't think about working out—just do it.
Focus on proper execution. When doing the exercises in this series, aim for 12-15 reps and 3 sets of each. Rest about 1 minute in between sets. If you can complete 15 reps easily for the first 2 sets of an exercise, up your weight a bit. If you struggle to get 12 reps out of the first set, lower your weight. Move slowly and evenly through each exercise to exhaust your muscle and build lean and defined muscle tissue.
OK, now that we have a healthy foundation in place, let's get to the workouts. (Yoga will also be involved, of course.)
Muscle up, health nuts. ;)
Read more posts in the tone it up series here.