How many times have you heard people talk about toning exercises? Probably plenty. However, most people would have a hard time defining what toning exercises really are.
Why? Because if toning is anything, it is a myth. What most people think of when they talk about toning is getting better defined, firmer muscles - ie. muscle toning? And how do you do that? By doing resistance training to build your muscles, and cardiovascular work to burn off the fat - it's starting to sound a lot like other workouts, isn't it?
Over the years, people have taken the word 'tone' and redefined it to describe how lean we appear, how well our muscles show. It's often a gender-specific word, too - women go to the gym to 'tone up' while men are there to lift weights. The reality is that both are doing the same thing. In truth, you are strictly limited in what you can do to your muscles - in essence, all your muscles can do is get larger and stronger, or smaller and weaker. If what you want to do is be able to see your muscles, then your goal is actually to lose body fat.
Fortunately performing resistance exercises is one the best ways of losing fat. Why? Because the more muscle you have the more calories you burn throughout the day. A pound of muscle burns about 60 calories a day, while a pound of fat only burns about 5 calories a day. Resistance training can and should be part of everyone's workout programme. To get fit and lose body fat there are three things you need to do: take regular cardiovascular (CV) exercise, perform resistance training for all your muscles, and adopt a healthy, low-calorie diet. Before you know it your muscles will be looking sleek and strong, and your friends will ask you how you managed to get so toned.