We all want a healthy body, inside and out. To achieve this goal, it’s important to work towards good cardiovascular health, flexibility, and optimum nutrition. Keeping our body toned and our muscles flexible and healthy goes a long way towards a feeling of wellbeing, and the continued impetus to exercise and to eat well. This is a cyclical effect. If we’re healthy, we’re more equipped to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and to stay healthy. Here are seven tips to keeping your body in tip-top, toned shape all year round.
- Cardiovascular workout
A good cardio workout not only improves the health of your heart, but also aids in muscle toning. Some easy exercises to try are star jumps, cycling and skipping with a jump rope. Cardiovascular exercise, along with many other types of workout, can also greatly benefit mental health, providing the positive attitude and motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Upper-body toning exercises
Push ups are a very effective exercise to develop tone in the arms, chest, and upper body. If you have an exercise ball, you can add some variation by doing push ups with your feet supported by the ball, with the benefit of working out the muscles in your legs more, too. Chest presses and arm raises with weights can also help develop great upper body tone.
- Lower-body toning exercises
Lower body strength and tone provides a good foundation for strength in the upper body. Some good toning exercises for your legs and gluteal muscles are squats, leg-lifts, side-kicks and lunges. Be sure to perform all exercises after a proper warm-up and in appropriate footwear, stick to safe guidelines, and cool down afterwards.
- A protein-rich diet
High-quality, protein-rich foods are a vital building block in any balanced diet. Protein is important for muscle repair, so it makes sense that it would aid in maintaining healthy, toned muscles. Nuts, eggs, fish, lean meat and green vegetables are all good sources of protein, and as part of a varied, balanced diet can contribute greatly to your fitness and toning routine.
- Keeping a lifestyle diary
Whether you’re a naturally organised and driven person or find it difficult to focus and stick to a schedule, keeping a lifestyle diary can be a great motivating force. Keeping a simple journal, in which you list your fitness goals, nutritional plan and daily activities can help you to clear your mind, and encourage you to keep up your healthy routine.
- Nurturing your mind
Just as it’s vital to feed your body right, you should also seek out the best nourishment for your mind. Exercise is great for maintaining health and bodily tone, but it’s most effective as part of a varied, balanced lifestyle. Make sure you give yourself time for rest, recreation, and a social life, too. This will promote good mental health, which often goes hand-in-hand with physical health.
- A pro-active approach to your general health
Staying in touch with your body and your health is a must if you’re committed to staying fit and toned throughout the year. The last thing you want is for illness to stop you in your tracks, and should it, you’ll want to get back on your feet as soon as possible. An active lifestyle of course brings with it risks of muscular strain and joint injury, so be sure to seek medical attention if any such problems occur. You can speak to your GP, or even seek private, trusted health advice from sources such as Highgate Hospital, which offers a range of services, from a private GP service to specialist orthopaedic consultations and expert physiotherapy.