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Aug 26, 2012


Getting a nice body shape will not only improve your self confidence, it will also improve your functional abilities. To meet your goal, you will need to include muscle-building exercises into your program. Make adjustments to your diet, and add cardiovascular exercise into your regimen as well. This will help burn any subcutaneous fat, and it will also boost your aerobic capacity.

Step 1

Regulate your intake of junk food. Cut back on the desserts, chocolate-covered pretzels, doughnuts, onion rings, hot dogs and caramel popcorn. Have your diet made up mainly of healthy, high-nutrient foods, like fruits, vegetables, lean beef, poultry, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.

Step 2

Start your day with a healthy breakfast to give your metabolism a boost and to increase your energy levels. Oat bran cereal with low-fat milk and chopped-up strawberries is a healthy meal example. Grab something quick like a whole-grain energy bar if you are pressed for time.

Step 3

Eat every two to three hours for the rest of the day after breakfast to keep your hunger under control and to maintain a high metabolism. Include a portion of high-fiber complex carbs and protein with every meal. A lean sirloin steak with lentils and steamed broccoli is a meal example.

Step 4

Increase your intake of water to hydrate your system and keep your weight down. Eliminate all beverages that are high in calories like soft drinks, sweetened teas, lemonade, flavored lattes and alcohol. They can still cause weight gain, even in liquid form. Drink water throughout the day, and have it with your meals to help fill up your stomach.

Step 5

Perform weight training exercises for specific areas that you want to tone up. For example, if you want to develop a curvy body shape, spend time doing butt, hip, chest and back exercises. Use heavy weights and include compound exercises which lead to a high amount of muscle recruitment. Bench presses, back rows, squats, lunges, dips and stiff leg deadlifts are examples. Aim for eight to 12 reps. Do three or four sets and work out three days a week on nonconsecutive days.

Step 6

Choose a type of cardio you enjoy, and do it on three alternating days of your cardio. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of cardio for health benefits and 60 to 90 minutes for weight loss. Exercise in the higher time frame if you have excess weight to lose; stick to the lower amount, otherwise. Brisk walking, jogging, dance aerobics, swimming, elliptical training, stair stepping and kickboxing are examples.