Exercises to ‘tone’ your body and lose weight without going to the gym

Any type of training we do does not necessarily have to be strength, it will improve our health and help us lose weight.

The pandemic has made gyms less frequent. If in 2019, the percentage of the population that went to one of these centers in Spain was 13.4% of the population, in 2020 the figure fell to 12.3%, according to Statista data. However, there are no excuses for not doing physical exercise and sports, especially if we are trying to lose weight.

Whether on the street in the open air or in our own home, we can (and must) train and tone our body to gain well-being and health. Why is it important to keep our body in tone and maintain good muscle mass? Why is it important to have our body toned?

Actually, and as explained to EL ESPAÑOL Valentín E. Fernández Elías, professor of Sports Training and Sports Training Planning at the European University, “the concept of toning, or technically speaking body toning, does not exist in the training methodology, it is a popular term. However, the idea of ​​toning the body refers to the technical concept of muscle tone, which is the tension that the muscles have partially or passively for the postural control of the body. That is, the tension or hardness that can be perceive of muscles “
To achieve this, of course, “the higher the level of training, the greater the muscle tone,” explains the expert. But in addition, a lower body fat allows the perception of muscle tone to be greater and, therefore, easier the association of good health with that of a body with good muscle tone, or “toned”, it is finally about training for improve and strengthen our body muscles.

Train for health

The important thing, as we have said, is to train to improve body musculature and therefore gain health and also, it does not have to be, as we sometimes think, specifically strength training. “If I train (any type of training, not necessarily strength, which is sometimes also mistakenly and exclusively associated with” toning up “) I will improve my health and it will help me lose weight and, above all, that by losing weight the result aesthetically better than if you only lose weight through caloric restriction. Of course, it is possible to improve muscle tone even if you do not lose weight, “explains the professor.

The most appropriate exercise or exercises to improve the muscles will be simple: “Do what you like and motivate you, because that way you will maintain it over time, which is the real key, perseverance,” says Fernández Elías, emphasizing that any type of workout will tone your muscles. “Toning is popularly related to strength training, but doesn’t a runner have toned legs?” Some examples of exercises that we can do are, for example: running, doing weights or self-loads, dancing or swimming. It is important that the exercises are always adapted to the person.

Outdoors or at home

We can carry out any activity outdoors, “whether they are aerobic exercises such as running or riding a bike to strength exercises with our weight, doing squats or planks, jumps, etc., taking advantage of the street furniture (a park bench it can serve as a box for jumps), or even hills or stairs to do series. There are many possibilities “, says the expert.

And we can also train at home. We can do strength exercises with our own body weight or with small weights that we can improvise at home or, even, do aerobic exercises if we have in this case, yes, devices such as an exercise bike or elliptical, or a treadmill that so booming they were put in the confinement of March, April and May).

However, and especially on some occasions, this specialist advises that “even to exercise outdoors or at home, it is interesting to have a professional with a degree in sports science, who will help us train in the best possible way. “.

150 minutes a week

The important thing as we always say is to stay active. For this reason, the recommendations of the World Health Organization indicate doing about 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of intense activity, a week.

On the other hand, and according to Fernández Elías, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) also recommends practicing at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week (either divided into 5 weekly sessions of medium intensity or 3 of vigorous intensity) and 2 -3 strength sessions a week for each muscle group.

“The key is to work the whole body throughout the week, and find the activity that motivates us, in order to be constant and not give up. A person who enjoys the exercise they practice will remain physically active, and will improve his muscle tone, his health, his aesthetics and, above all, he will not be frustrated “, he concludes.