To fit exercise into your weekly schedule, try combining two or three of the exercises below for a total-body workout. Mix cardio exercise with toning and muscle-training exercise. For example, mix jogging (the cardio exercise) with yoga (a muscle-training exercise); walking with weight training; or jogging with yoga and weight training. Perform each exercise type for at least 20 minutes. Aim to combine these moves three to five times a week.
Building up intervals during jogging passes the time more quickly and burns more calories. Start off by jogging slowly for about two minutes. Double the speed for about three minutes, then jog slowly again for five minutes. Jog at a slightly faster pace for seven minutes and finish off by jogging slowly for another three minutes.
"Studies show walking is one of the best ways to shed belly fat, in less time than you think," says Prevention Magazine in an article about losing weight by walking (see References). It is possible to reap the physical benefits of aerobics with 20 minutes of brisk walking. Try this routine: Walk with heel to toe and knee bent for the whole routine. Start off walking slowly for five minutes, fast for ten minutes, at a medium speed for five minutes, then cool down with a brisk stroll of five minutes.
Calisthenics require the use of your own body weight and can be performed anywhere. Try this total body routine of simple exercises:
• Push Ups
• Sit ups
• Calf raises
• Shoulder shrugs
Go for five sets of eight repetitions (reps) of each move.
Yoga need not be performed in a studio or gym to reap the toning benefits of this style of exercise. Visit a Web site that sells DVDs and read user reviews to get a good idea of what style of yoga you like. Power yoga burns more calories than meditative yoga. Kundalini yoga focuses on working the spine and core muscles. Many yoga videos come in shorter 20-minute routines.
"Lean muscle mass naturally decreases with age. If you don't do anything to replace the muscle loss, it'll be replaced with fat," says the Mayo Clinic. But the Clinic also advises that weight training can help you reverse the trend at any age.
Weight training can be performed in a gym or at home with a set of dumbbells. Sample home dumbbell moves include bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, squats with bicep curls, and lunges with weights at the side.
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