Body toning: benefits and suggestions

Lifestyle changes in recent decades have led people to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Many spend most of the day doing activities that don't make their muscles work properly and only allow them to burn a small amount of calories. Even if you simply want to get a toned body, regular physical activity can bring a great deal of benefits. Significant changes, such as improved strength levels and cardio-respiratory well-being, can already be seen after a few weeks. A toned musculature is also important to support and protect the joints from incorrect movements and biomechanical loads. A joint supported by strong, toned muscles will suffer fewer injuries than a joint supported by weak muscles.
Muscle toning and weight loss are gradual processes that require constant effort. Body toning does not only mean practicing the right mix of exercises, it also means following a correct diet before, during and after a training session. It is important to perform both strength and aerobic exercises using appropriate systems and techniques. If a significant part of your life has been characterized by sedentariness and you have not practiced physical activity or if you suffer from heart problems or other health disorders, you should consult a doctor before starting new training programs.

Tone your muscles

Using only a few muscles is never good: the muscular apparatus needs to be systematically spurred on in order to be kept healthy and efficient. In order to stimulate it, it is necessary to "force" it to overcome the "external resistance forces", whether it is its own body weight or external loads such as handlebars and rockers. Benefits range from improving the most important metabolic functions to increasing overall functionality. Training your muscles also helps change the appearance of your body, which becomes more toned.

What does a toned muscle look like?

A toned muscle is the result of a sophisticated mechanism that allows a continuous exchange of information between the central nervous system and the muscles. Tone is nothing more than the perception, to the touch, of the hardness of the muscle. The hypertonic neurological response of training increases the stimuli from the brain to the muscles. A trained muscle, therefore, maintains a better basal tone than an untrained muscle. The skin is important: it covers the muscle and under the dermis has a more or less thick layer called "hypodermis", a tissue that contains fat and plays an important protective role in heat loss. A thick layer of hypodermis, which does not have the "hardness" of a muscle, makes the muscles perceive a lower tone.

A hard, muscular buttock, like that typical of professional dancers, is defined as "very toned". In almost all dynamic sports, the athletes' bodies are very toned up, even in Sumo's wrestlers, although their muscles are covered with a thick layer of fat.

Tips for toning

The importance of power supply

Toning programs are most effective when combined with a balanced diet, because the muscles need fuel. Before training, it is advisable to eat something nutritious, but easily digestible, such as a fruit or a slice of bread and jam. If your workout lasts a few hours, have a snack during the session, eating fruit or an energy bar for example. Once your workout is over, it is important to eat well to recover lost energy.

Avoid drinking alcohol before and immediately after training

To be digested, alcohol uses the resources necessary for the body to function properly and slows down the important mechanisms for sports performance.

Wear suitable clothing and suitable trainers

Most minor accidents in the gym occur due to distraction or negligence; if you're running on a treadmill or near mechanical equipment, always make sure you've fastened your trainers and avoid tying sweaters or shirts at the waist or shoulders.

Gradually increases the load of weight

It is a basic principle for increasing muscle mass. If you always train with the same load at the same intensity, your body adapts and thus prevents growth and improvement of muscle tone.

Prioritise "grassroots movements"

Basic exercises that require strength, such as squatting, getting off the ground, stretching your arms on the bench and more, are great for toning up and involve different muscle groups simultaneously.

Have fun while you train

Willpower and constant determination are not enough. By having fun while you train, you will be able to achieve your desired results faster.

The benefits of body toning

Even if you just want to improve your physical appearance to get a toned body, regular physical activity can bring a number of other benefits:

By toning increase strength and reduce illnesses

Toning your muscles reduces fat and body weight. Weight loss on the body's skeleton results in an improvement in health, which benefits the heart, joints and skeletal system. A toned body provides more strength, energy and flexibility, and can decrease the risk of developing certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Toning improves posture and mental health

Some forms of toning, especially exercises that focus on the muscles of the abdomen and torso, can improve posture. In fact, several low-impact standing weight exercises help tone muscles and strengthen bones, improving posture, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and reducing tension on the spine.

Muscle toning exercises, especially when combined with heart and strength exercises, can help improve mental health. Studies have shown that people who train regularly have more energy, reduced stress levels and greater self-confidence and self-esteem.

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More attention at work thanks to toning

Body toning helps not only improve your physical fitness and mental health, but also your lucidity and concentration at work, thanks to increased attention. This renewed vitality will reduce the intake of caffeine or sweets to recover attention, improving the overall diet, and thus the toning of the body.

Enjoy life

A toned and healthier body allows you to live more experiences. An increase in strength allows you to take part in physical activities such as swimming, dancing, walking and other sports that those who are out of shape may not be able to practice.

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