The quickest and most effective way to lose weight and tone up is with intensive interval training, and quick intensive circuit training is an excellent way to perform this style of exercise.
Circuit training has three major advantages over every other type of exercise:
- It works the whole body, upper and lower body, it stretches and conditions the body too.
- You can create a circuit to last any length of time, and then repeat as often as required, or within a set time. So create a circuit that takes you 5 minutes, and you automatically have a 5 minute workout, a 10 minute workout, a 15 minute workout and so on. Time is never an excuse not to exercise again.
- It can be done in a very small space at home, so no gym required and bad weather cannot stop you.
Simple Circuit for Maximum Toning and Fitness
Start the circuit with skipping. Skipping is an excellent way to warm up plus it burns a lot of calories. Use a speed rope to make skipping easier. Those old heavy ropes slow you down. Skipping also helps tone the arms and shoulders so you can wave goodbye to those chicken wings!
Push Up Station
Although we call them stations, they can all be done in the same place! Push ups work the shoulders, arms and chest, and also help tighten the core. Keep your back straight, good posture is important to get the most out of a push up. If a full push up is too hard then try a quarter push up, which means having your knees on the floor instead. As soon as you can perform 20 of these you should be working on the full push up. If you get tired stop and hold in the plank position to help tighten the abs.
Bicycles are a form of crunch really. They are thought to be the single most important abdominal exercise. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head (but do not pull on your neck). Simultaneously lift your right elbow towards your left knee, so that you perform a twisting crunch sit up. Return then repeat on the opposite side. Repeat for the duration / number of reps you are aiming for.
Athletes perform full body tricep dips on parallel bars, but you should start with dips on a chair. Start by sitting on a chair with your hands next to your hips, the fingers over the edge of the seat. Then move your buttocks forward off the sit and lower yourself, then lift straight upwards. Focus on tensing the triceps. Watch as those chicken wings fly away!
This short circuit works the whole body and you should be able to comfortably work for 1 minute on each exercise with a 15 second rest after each one, making 1 circuit in 5 minutes.
10 Quick Weight Loss Tips for the Weekend
Did you know that many working women actually eat reasonably healthy during the week, but then blow it all over the weekend? Many people convince themselves that they can let themselves relax the diet a little at the weekend.
However, the reality of the situation is that if during 2, or 3 if you also have a Friday night binge, days out of 7 you are overeating, you will gain weight. Or at best, you will fail to lose weight. So here we provide 10 quick weight loss tips to stop your weekend excesses going straight to your bums, tums and thighs!
- If you are hungry in between meals at the weekend, eat a fruit snack. If you have children take the opportunity to encourage them to eat fruit too. Peel apples together and share. This makes eating fruit more fun for all the family.
- Ensure that you have breakfast. You can often get away with a small or no breakfast in the week while working as you still do not get the chance to eat again until lunch time. At the weekend you are far more likely to snack on junk food mid morning if you miss breakfast.
- Keep counting those calories and maintain high food quality. Many people say that counting calories does not work, but on a broad scale it does. Knowing how much you are eating each day is vital, as if you do not know how much you are eating, how can you alter your diet to make changes? To lose weight you need to ensure that each day you eat around 500 calories less than your daily needs.
- Take your time. Eating slowly helps you to keep in touch with your feelings. People that eat slowly eat less because they are more aware of the transition from being hungry to being satisfied. Eat fast and you skip the satisfied stage and end up stuffed. This makes you fat.
- Stay hydrated on healthy liquids. Remember that every drink except water has calories. So only drink water. Or black coffee and tea. Green tea has been shown to aid metabolism and weight loss.
- Sleep well. Researchers have shown several times that getting your 8 hours of sleep a night helps you lose weight. Hormones and binging make tired people fat.
- Don’t go crazy on the booze. Alcohol is a major cause of weight gain. If you want to lose weight, go easy on the booze.
- Do some exercise. You should have more time to exercise at the weekend, so take this as an opportunity to get active. Remember, walking is great exercise, and walking around the shops all day is no less effective than walking on a treadmill!
- Cook a 3 course meal. OK, be careful here, don’t go crazy. But instead learn to cook healthy meals with many different healthy ingredients. Keep the courses small and healthy. The weekend is a time that you should have the opportunity to cook something special.
- Exercise with friends. Research has shown that women who exercise with friends lose more weight. So whether you want to go to the gym, do a keep fit class or go running, get together with some friends and exercise together. Your naturally competitive nature will mean that you work harder, but also have more fun in the process!
So there you go, 10 easy tips to help you lose weight and tone up. Of course, these weight loss tips are not really restricted to the weekend, you should try to follow as many of them as possible all week.
Fast Weight Loss Workouts For Busy Women
Whether you are at work all day or have children to look after, like many women you probably find that you can never make the time to exercise. Well, exercising at home is actually very easy, and very effective. You do not need any fitness equipment, you do not need gym membership, or a DVD to follow. Just the time and a willpower to shape up!
How Long Do You Need To Exercise For?
There is a lot of debate over how much time you need to exercise for each day to get fit and toned. If you are quite active then 15 minutes of toning exercises may be all you need. If you walk a fair amount (around 30 minutes total each day) and are not just sitting at a desk working, then you can get away with a short but intensive 15 minute workout. If you are more sedentary, such as an office worker, then you should do some additional cardio exercise also.
The 15 Home Toning Workout
This workout is designed to be short and intensive. Go easy if you have not exercised for a long time. As you get fitter and stronger you will naturally want to push yourself harder and try to perform more of each of the exercises.
This is a bodyweight circuit training workout, which means that you will only be using your own bodyweight to provide the resistance which will exercise your muscles.
Start with squats. From a natural standing position squat down, focusing on moving your backside downwards and backwards rather than bending with your knees moving too far forward (you should feel a subtle difference, with less strain on the knees and more strain on the glutes if you do this). Then stand up again. Repeat.
Aim to perform 50 at a time. If you start to struggle then you can hold the back of a chair to support yourself, which will help you to perform more “reps”.
The glutes are a large and powerful muscle, so working them requires a lot of energy.
These also work the legs well. From a standing up straight position, step backwards with one leg and then drop your body downwards so you enter a lunge position. Then step back up again. Repeat with the opposite leg. These will be hard to perform after the squats, so aim to do 20 in total.
Push ups are not just for male boxers! They are an excellent exercise which helps to tone the arms, shoulder and chest, and also improves posture and core strength.
If you cannot do a full push up, start with “quarter push ups”. These are done by placing your knees on the floor so that you do not have to lift so much of your body at once. Aim to perform 20 at a time.
If you cannot do quarter push ups another alternative is to use the stairs or a wall. Stand facing the wall at arms length, then start performing the push ups on the wall. These will be much easier and you should be able to perform your 20 with relative ease. Once you get fitter and stronger move onto the stairs, then quarters, then full.
Always attempt at least one full push up each session though as this will help to improve muscular strength.
Jumping Jacks / Star Jumps
This is a the classic old exercise that almost everyone has done at school at some point in their lives. Aim to do 50 of these as quickly as possible. Simple start from a standing position and then simultaneously jump and fling your arms out and upwards while your hop your legs to each side to make a “star”. Land and return immediately (or as quick as you can) to the start position.
Lie on the floor and place your hands behind your head under a sofa, or grasp a solid table leg. Then lift your legs up to a vertical position without bending your knees too much. Aim to perform at least 20.
Roll on to your tummy and then, with your arms by your side or gentle touching your temples, raise your torso off the floor, hold for a second, then lower. Aim to perform 20.
That’s it. You can gently stretch afterwards, touch your toes, or do a seated stretch. There are 6 exercises here so depending on how quickly your completed them you could repeat the circuit for a 2nd time, or even 3rd time.
By performing fewer exercising at a time but then repeating you allow one part of your body to rest while exercising another.
You may want to add some crunches to the end of the workout too, we decided not to today as often people focus too much on crunches, thinking that these will burn off more stomach fat – they do not.
Weight Loss For Busy Women
Weight loss does not need to take up all your time. As time is an issue for busy women, we shall keep this article brief. In fact, in true business style, all we need are some bullet points. Read them and momorise them, then put them into action immediately.
- Weight loss requires a change in diet. Eat less, eat healthier.
- Weight loss requires exercise. Short intensive sessions are effective (scientifically proven fact).
- Weight loss requires more muscle. Do weight training at last once a week.
- Weight loss requires planning. This is where you can really utilise your strengths – get organised.
That should be enough for you to work on to lose weight and get fit. If you have 5 more minutes to spare, then lets elaborate a little.
Diet – Eat Less, Eat Healthier
If you limit yourself to around 1500 calories a day, and eat only fruits, vegetables, pulses, lean meat, fish and poultry then you will lose weight and remain healthy. Fill up on bread and you only succeed in consuming energy with no kick (by kick, we mean vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and all that jazz).
Short Intensive Exercise
Some sports scientists believe that 10 minutes exercise is enough each day to help you lose weight and get fit. But that has to include 5 high intensity 30 second sprints where you go flat out. Imagine you are running 200m and there is a lion behind you – that is the sort of speed we are talking about.
Muscle – Weight Training for Women
- Muscle burns fat when it grows
- Muscle burns fat when it repairs
- Muscle burns fat when is sleeps
Nothing more to say on this. Pump some iron, reap the rewards.
Plan your training and your meals. Lack of planning leads to disaster. If you do not shop right you end up having to buy food on the go, and this is almost always junk food.
Do not plan your exercise and you risk missing or putting off sessions. Planning is vital to avoid mistakes.
For more fitness inspiration read the article Women Still On Top by Eleanor Oldroyd which discusses many of the great female athletes and sports stars who prove that women can be superfit and super successful.