Thursday, May 7, 2009

Toning Up To Lose Weight

Cardio work-outs are a critical part of any weight loss regime (and weight maintenance for that matter unless you want to live on nothing but raw carrots for the rest of your life.) How you get your daily cardio in is less important than making sure you find a way to fit it in every day. I run, hike, follow work-out DVDs, or walk every day.

But its just as important to find a strength and toning regime. Lifting weights is probably the most efficient form of toning, but to be perfectly honest, I find lifting weights boring as hell. Instead, what works for me is yoga. I found a yoga practice that is both challenging and incredibly toning.

Ashtanga yoga, sometimes called yoga for type A personalities, is a vigorous form of Vinyasa yoga which is not for the exercise-phobic. The first time I attended a beginner's class I was sore for four days afterwards. You can learn about Ashtanga yoga here:, and here:

Six years later I'm practicing four days a week. I originally only went to one or two classes every week, but when I made the commitment to myself to lose weight I moved my practice schedule up to three then four times a week.

I use Ashtanga yoga as my strengthening and toning work-out because I'm very goal oriented, and the practice sets up specific goals to be reached. I also get a real sense of satisfaction when, after four or five years of practice I can finally get my body into specific positions, such a sitting in Lotus.

But, as with cardio, it's not as important what you do, but that you do find a strength and toning work-out that you like and you stick with. Maybe there's a class at a local gym, or check out the numerous work-out DVDs available, or, if you like weights, get some for your house and work-out that way.

Finding a work-out that you like and stick with is the goal.

1 comment:

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