We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
A set of dumbbells can help you exercise in your own living room.
When it comes to weight loss and toning, the word "easy" is actually a pretty complicated term. To achieve results, you have to do work -- and that's far from easy. Time constraints, fear of injury, inexperience and lack of motivation are just a few things that make exercise difficult for a lot of people. If you get over those fears or blockages, however, it doesn't take a great deal of time each day to tone your upper body and see weight loss results.
Move Your Body
To lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit -- meaning you have to burn more calories than you consume. That includes limiting the amount you eat and drink, but it should also include cardiovascular exercise that burns calories and blasts fat. Since there's no such thing as "spot reduction," burning calories will help you lose fat all over your body. However, doing cardio that focuses on the upper body will also help you build muscle around your chest, arms and core. In a gym, that could include using a rowing machine or "ergometer," a hand-crank cycle, swimming or using a stationary cycle or elliptical trainer with arm levers. If none of those appeal to you, just pick any type of cardio you enjoy and stick to it for at least 20 to 30 minutes, three days a week.
Rev Up the Intensity
Steady-state cardio is beneficial -- but high-intensity interval training or "HIIT" may be better, especially for burning fat around the belly. Pick any form of cardio you want, whether it's rowing, running, swimming or something else. After a five-minute warm-up, increase your speed to about 90 percent of your maximum capacity for one minute. Then slow down to 50 percent for another minute, switching between the two speeds six to eight times. HIIT will give you a highly effective workout in a short time, burn subcutaneous abdominal fat -- the fat just under the skin -- and boost your metabolism for the entire day. Try it two days a week on days you're not doing a longer workout.
Build Muscle and Get Toned
When it comes to "easy" exercises for building muscle, keep the oldies but goodies in mind, including pushups, pull-ups, dips and various versions of the crunch. Pushups target the pectoralis major, but also require the help of the abdominals for stabilization. Make them easier by resting your weight on your knees, or progress to a more difficult version by elevating your feet onto a platform. Dips, which you can do between two sturdy benches, will target the pectoralis major if you focus on leaning forward. Also, try some of the most effective abdominal exercises, including bicycle crunches and crunches on an exercise ball. Reverse crunches and captain's chair leg lifts are also beneficial. If you have a set of dumbbells, incorporate bench presses, chest flies and overhead presses using a flat, incline or decline bench. Aim to do two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of two or three types of chest and belly exercises, two or three days a week.
When the Going Gets Tough
Back to the question of "easy" exercises. Knowing what to do is only half the battle. If you're finding exercise difficult for other reasons, you're going to have to look for ways to get motivated. If boredom is your issue, don't think you have to stick to one exercise all the time. Check out new fitness classes, join a sports team, rent fitness DVD's, or consider hiring a trainer to teach you new techniques. Hire a trainer or health coach if you're not confident. Working out with a friend or fitness buddy can also cut down on boredom, increase compliance and make you motivated to show up. Finally, if one exercise seems too difficult, stop doing it and choose something that is easier for you. As you get more fit, you'll want a greater challenge, meaning you may be able to return to that once-difficult exercise again.