General Question

nikipedia's avatar

What's the best way to get fit?

Asked by nikipedia (27333 points ) April 17th, 2009

Fine, I’ll never be skinny. I get it. Nature is cruel and unfair.

So instead, I would like to get super toned and look amazing naked. What do I need to add to my running regimen to cause this to happen? All those weight machines creep me out, but I’ll give them a shot if it’s worth it.

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22 Answers

hearkat's avatar

If you run, that’s excellent for fat burning. Yoga and Pilates are great ways to tone without intimidating machines.

Facade's avatar

For you, I’d say run at different intensity levels for different amount of time. And tae-bo will tone you up.
disregard my avatar lol

timeand_distance's avatar

Okay, I was about to ask this same question about a week ago, but then I thought about it and I already knew the answer.

Simply, do toning exercises and cardio 3–5 days a week. Eat less calories than youre burning. I’ve done all kinds of stupid shit to lose weight (pills, all kinds of diets, etc.) and doing that is the only one that worked for me and kept it off (for the most part. i’ve gained weight lately because my boyfriend is around, and i just say “fuck it” to all things diet.)

So just get onto shape.com, look up a couple of exercise plans, google your BMR and go from there.

ALSO:
don’t just do cardio. muscle tone helps to increase your metabolism, which will help you lose weight faster.
:) hope that helped.

timeand_distance's avatar

Oh, and by the way, my genes hate me, too.

nikipedia's avatar

@timeand_distance: Cool, thanks. Do you think there are any specific exercise plans that are better than others, or is it just a matter of trying a bunch until I find one that works? Like, I’m asking because I’ve never done “toning exercises” before; I just run, and those “flatter stomach in 16 seconds!!!!!!” things don’t convince me, but I don’t know how to accurately vet them. Know what I mean?

aviona's avatar

It might help to keep an exercise log, too. To keep track of your progress and to keep yourself in check ;)

timeand_distance's avatar

@nikipedia where are your problem areas?

squats and lunges are AMAZING for your ass, hips, and thighs. if your inner thighs are bothering you there’s this one exercise that’s really good (i’ll find it when i get home, im in school atm). crunches and oblique curls are good for your abs and sides. looks for tricep exercises if your arms bother you.

3or4monsters's avatar

Don’t just do cardio and diet. Caloric deficit and cardio will cause you to burn both fat AND muscle. If you tell your body that it must preserve it’s muscle during a caloric deficit, then you will only lose fat. You want to preserve your muscle because it is what gives your body it’s great shape, that great shape is just hidden under fat.

The way you tell your body to preserve it’s muscle tissue (you know, the metabolically active tissue—the more you have the faster your metabolism will burn, why do you think men lose weight faster and easier than women?).... is to use resistance training and work your muscles 2–3 times a week. The key is RESISTANCE. Running helps but it isn’t enough. You will plateau eventually.

A bosu/exercise ball and resistance rubber bands are a great start. I will link you some youtube videos with great workouts that don’t involve machines or a barbell when I come back from lunch. :)

dynamicduo's avatar

@nikipedia You are right to distrust the “your perfect body in 5 seconds RIGHT NOW!” articles, as they are nothing more than fake and false promises to sell magazines.

Logs of all types are very important, they let you determine what works best and what you can change to make better. Exercise logs, weight logs, inches logs, food logs, all of these are valuable data, and when they are combined trends can start appearing that would otherwise be unrecognized.

Very generally speaking, cardio is best for weight loss, weight training is best for muscle development. Running is pretty much only cardio, so you have to incorporate some weight training to start becoming toned. There are many different weight training methods, including dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells (my favourite), and the weight machines with all sorts of seats and handles. I recommend trying them out (with someone who knows how to use them, you can seriously injure yourself if you start with too high of a weight or with improper form) and sticking to whatever you love most. For me this is kettlebells because they’re cheap, small, and efficient. I also find I can personify kettlebells more, in the sense that I feel like I challenge the kettlebell in my workout (and it challenges me), and I win if I get through it without giving up.

Your diet is very important, your muscles will be crying out for protein to rebuild themselves after your workouts. Try to eat lean protein as much as you can, but poached chicken breasts on lettuce gets old fast, so keep some variety in there to prevent boredom.

The 100% best way to get fit long term is to incorporate exercise into your life as an activity instead of as an exception or chore. If you love doing it, it stops being a bore and a chore! This is much easier with cardio (biking, running) than with weight training. I’ve found that signing up for a weekly class is enough motivation for me to keep up with using my kettlebells.

ru2bz46's avatar

@nikipedia The only way to do it is through hard work. It sucks to hear, but I found out myself after a long time that it really is true. The hardest part is finding the willpower and dedication. The next hardest part is finding an activity that you really enjoy doing. For me, that was yoga. The first session left me sore and hobbling around for six days. I realized then that it must be doing something for my body. So, I went back for another session. It didn’t hurt so bad that time. It didn’t take long and my flexibility improved (from none to some). Not long after that, I noticed muscle tone. Seeing the results and enjoying the workout (a good teacher is the key) has kept me going at least twice a week for close to a year and a half, now. I am stronger, more toned, and more flexible than I’ve ever been. The really cool thing is that though I’m doing hard work, it doesn’t seem like hard work. (Now I just need to put the fork down to lose the layer covering my abs, and I’ll be set.)

jrpowell's avatar

OK. This doesn’t answer your question.

#1.. We had dinner. I was nervous and got drunk before you showed up. A few beers turned into ten. You can’t even imagine how bad I feel about this. I am so sorry.

#2.. Really, read what is hidden behind the frame in the cartoon I drew and mailed to you.

#3.. You are really hawt. I was walking home thinking I just blew it with a really fit and smart woman.

#4.. I showed a picture of you to Aaron and he pretty much said, “You fucked up that, you are the dumbest motherfucker ever.”

So.. You are lovely. And I am so sorry.

ShauneP82's avatar

Personally I doubt any of us know for sure. We are just monkeys.

squirbel's avatar

Do you have an xbox or playstation?

Yourself Fitness

nikipedia's avatar

@johnpowell: You’re the best.

casheroo's avatar

I am all about Pilates. I haven’t done it in a while, but now that I work in a studio, I might take it up again.
I also just took my first Spin and Yoga class, that stuff is intense! Every person I see at my studio is super fit, so I’m thinking doing Spin classes would be great. They last between 30–60 minutes, you could do it twice a week, some strength yoga afterwards…You won’t be instantly fit, but you’ll get toned over some time.

3or4monsters's avatar

Ok! Here’s what I found. I have the sound turned off so I have no idea what the instructors are saying (sorry, haha..) but the moves are sound. These are good starter moves for people who aren’t quite ready to dive headfirst into free weights or even machines (I’m a big fan of dumbbells and barbells, personally). Plus, exercise bands are cheap compared to free weights, and are easier to store.

Back, Arms, and Glutes: Squat with row : I like this one, but I feel that her butt is not dropping low enough in the squat. The femur (not the bottom of the thigh) should at the very least hit parallel to the ground, anything short of that is just a curtsey and won’t get the full benefit of the movement. Make sure your knees aren’t buckling in or bowing out, and that they don’t extend too far past your toes when you squat down. When pulling back, picture pinching your scapula (shoulde blades) together and slightly down.

Arms and shoulders: Bicep curl into lateral raise: Not much to add here.
Glutes and legs:Ball+Wall Squat
Glutes and legs:Walking Lunges
Abs: Swiss Ball Crunch is kind of duh, but if you hate your abs and want to punish them, try Prone Jacknives ”: They’re really difficult and they make me hate life. That means it’s working, right?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Definitely NOT the wii.

Garebo's avatar

You can be skinny, it’s easy! It starts with what you say to your self.
Try ancient yoga practice from real yogic tradition, not McDonald’s yoga. Today’s yoga is very good exercise, but often void, lacking, or pretentious in conveying its original spiritual intent. Most Americans don’t have the patients for it, the ones that truly do practice seriously are rewarded whether they know it or not
Outside of that, I would say biking, rock climbing and rock throwing are extremely excellent exercises.
Besides, I would not worry about it, I am sure you look amazing naked to someone!
Diet, I am convinced is 75% of the battle -25% physical training of whatever nature.

wundayatta's avatar

Find a good tailor.

chicadelplaya's avatar

SWIMMING LAPS!

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Tailor Lurve @daloon

Seriously? Cardio, cardio, cardio:

Huge is soo back then, lean and fit is in.

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