Toning Overview

Everyone is looking for that elusive, magic weight-loss trick. The only “magic” weight-loss trick I know of is strength training – weight-bearing exercise designed to build and strengthen your muscles. That’s what this section of my site is all about toning and firming those muscles!

Muscles work miracles on your metabolism. For every pound of muscle you add, you automatically burn and extra 35 to 50 calories per day. The reason? Muscle demands more energy than fat does. Therefore, the more muscle you build, the more calories you body burns.

Keep in mind that conditioning your muscles doesn’t mean bulking up so that you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. It does mean burning more calories and giving your body a whole new shape!
Your arms and legs will look and feel firmer. Your waist will become narrower and your belly will shrink. Your clothes will fit better. You’ll start to look younger and feel stronger!

Building muscle is a must-do when it comes to losing weight and getting fit. So even if my toning exercises aren’t your favorite exercises, you need to do them if you want to lose weight and be fit. You’ll love the results — both how you feel in your clothes and how you look in the mirror.

When should you do toning and strengthening exercises? Strengthening exercises should be an important part of your regular exercise routine. However, when you do strength training it’s important to give your muscles time to rest and recuperate after a workout. With this in mind, you should not strength train the same muscles everyday. You can do toning and strengthening for all your muscles every other day (giving yourself a day of rest in between), or you can alternate – doing lower body exercises one day and the next day upper body exercises – as I do on my shows. The exception to this rule is the abdominal muscles – they can be exercised everyday.

Even if you’ve never exercised before or aren’t used to working with weights, you can do my toning exercises. They don’t require a gym membership or fancy machines. In fact, if you don’t have the basic tools listed below, you can use items that you probably have around the house:

   * 3, 5, 8 pound dumbbells (you can substitute full soup cans or water bottles)
   * A weight bench (substitute a sturdy chair)
   * A jump rope
   * An exercise mat (optional)