Working out doesn’t necessarily mean lifting heavy weights and pushing your body to its limits. Some people just want to slim down and tone their muscles. Luckily, there are a wide variety of workout programs you can take part in to get the lean physique you’ve always wanted. Here are some of the more popular types of exercise that can keep you healthy, toned, and fit.
The ancient Indian practice of yoga was introduced to the West over a hundred years ago, and since then has been adopted by millions. The benefits of yoga are numerous: relieves stress, calms the mind, lowers your blood pressure, and even helps with anxiety and depression.
But yoga is also beneficial for weight loss. Even though it’s not an intense method of exercise, studies have shown that practicing yoga can help you slim down. Some popular types of yoga for beginners include hatha, vinyasa, and yin yoga.
Pilates may seem similar to yoga, but it doesn’t have a spiritual component. Instead, it focuses on building core strength and improving posture as well as flexibility. The exercise routine has also been shown to have weight-loss benefits.
If you want a trimmed-down physique and a stronger core, Pilates may be a good option. Assuming you’re new to the activity, try a mat class to start out with, where all you need is a yoga mat.
HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a popular workout method that is composed of intense interval training with short rest periods. It’s very effective at building muscle as well as promoting weight loss. Beginners may find it overwhelming due to its intensity, but an HIIT workout only lasts 15 minutes on average, and you’ll see results in no time at all.
It’s more than just a mode of transportation or competitive sport. Riding a bike has numerous health benefits similar to running or swimming: it strengthens your legs and improves your heart function.
And it doesn’t even need to be done outdoors. You can join an indoor cycling class and work out while enjoying the luxury of air-conditioning. It’s important not to neglect your upper body, though, so try to incorporate some light weight-lifting into your workout routine (see below).
If you have bodybuilding in mind when you think of weight-lifting, think again. True, lifting heavy weights will indeed bulk up your muscles, but light weights will get you that perfectly toned upper body you’ve been dreaming of.
So skip the bench press and pick up some kettlebells or 10-pound dumbbells. Kettlebells are incredibly versatile and can be used to strengthen both the arms and legs, while dumbbells usually target the arms. Whichever one you choose, you’ll reap the benefits.
Besides being a recreational sport, swimming is good for you in a number of ways. Swimmers typically have lean, muscular bodies and excellent cardiovascular health. Doing laps in the pool for just half an hour can burn 180 calories, and in the process adds definition to your arms and chest. And it’s a great way to cool off on a hot day.
Try a few of these exercises until you find one that works for you and that you enjoy. That way, you’ll be able to stick with a routine to help you stay healthy and toned.
Written by Natan Rosenfeld
- Yoga Landed in the U.S. Way Earlier Than You’d Think—And Fitness Was Not the Point
- Yoga for health
- Yoga in Women With Abdominal Obesity— a Randomized Controlled Trial
- The effect of Pilates exercise on body composition in sedentary overweight and obese women
- High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss
- Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights