10 Quick Ways to Go from Fat to Firm
When You Have a Specific Goal in Mind
What to do to maximize your efforts when you want to...
4. Fend off gravity at 40+. After age 30, women lose about a quarter pound of muscle mass each year, says fitness expert Kathy Smith, creator of the Body Boomers Workout. "The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn 24/7," says Smith -- and the stronger your bones will be. Her basic plan: a challenging weight workout two or three days a week, plus a mix of low-impact cardio, such as walking with speed bursts, cycling, or swimming, at least three days a week for 30 to 45 minutes.
5. Drop a size, fast. Take a three-pronged approach, says trainer Alwyn Cosgrove, owner of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. First, follow a daily diet low in refined carbs (white bread, pasta) but high in fruits and veggies, with moderate protein; aim for about 1,500 calories. Twice a week, do total-body strength workouts (go to fitnessmagazine.com for some ideas), reducing or eliminating rest time between sets. Finally, three days a week, do interval training (alternating four to seven high-intensity levels with moderate recovery periods). Stay the course and you should reach your goal in about four weeks.
6. Stop sucking it in. Eat right and work out to minimize flab after having a baby. If you've got post-pregnancy pooch, try this move from Tracey Mallett, creator of the 3-in-1 Pregnancy System DVD: Lie faceup on a towel placed horizontally on the floor, with knees bent and heels in line with glutes. Cross the towel over your midsection, holding each end. Lift head, neck, and shoulders off the floor as you exhale, drawing abs toward spine while pulling tightly on the towel. "In many women, the abdominal muscles actually separate from the added pressure of the baby, so the first thing you need to do is strengthen them until they join together," says Mallett. Do 10 reps a day.
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