What would you like to know?
Share this Story

A busy gal's guide to staying toned

Christine Bryant is a freelance writer based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and daughter. She writes for SheKnows, as well as several other publications that include newspapers and magazines. She writes on topics such ...

Here's how to keep those abs from turning into flab

Work, family, chores, soccer games — it's hard to find the time for a shower, let alone a workout, if you're a busy gal. Want to stay toned but don't have much time to dedicate to shaping your body? Here are some expert tips on how you can stay toned on the go.
Fit woman

keep those abs from turning into flab

Work, family, chores, soccer games — it's hard to find the time for a shower, let alone a workout, if you're a busy gal. Want to stay toned but don't have much time to dedicate to shaping your body? Here are some expert tips on how you can stay toned on the go.

Staying toned is a combination of several fitness areas — from weight lifting and cardiovascular health to your diet. If you're on the go, it can be difficult to work off the flab that has suddenly invaded your waist line and other problem areas.

Fitness expert and personal trainer Peggy Hall offers some tips on how you can turn your body's flab into fabulous results.

Keep your abs engaged

Don't like sit ups? Whether driving, walking or running errands, keep your abs engaged by standing tall, shoulders down and back. Then imagine you're sandwiching your spine between your hip bones and lower back.

"This position fires up the entire abdominal area, especially the transverse abdominis, the deepest layer of muscle in your midsection, which acts like a built-in corset," Hall said.

Firm your fanny

Park as far away from your destination as possible and then walk briskly, with intention, squeezing each butt cheek with every step, Hall said.

"If your hands are free, swing your arms from the armpits with the elbows bent slightly to work the upper arms," she said.

Take the stairs whenever possible, and if you're on an escalator, walk up the moving steps instead of getting a free ride.

Burn fat with cardio blasts

No time for cardio at the gym? Instead, grab five minutes three to five times a day to get your heart pumping.

"Do a few jumping jacks, or my favorite, Kundalini walking — raise the opposite arm overhead and opposite leg, like you're marching tall," she said. "Come up onto the balls of your feet and feel light and bouncy, as if on a trampoline."

This will get your heart rate going, and studies show that five-minute cardio blasts may be even more effective than steady-state cardio performed 20-30 minutes at a time, Hall said.

Use that desk

Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of your desk and walk your feet back until your arms are straight. Then bend your elbows, lowering your chest to the desk. Push your arms straight to complete a modified pushup.

"Do about 10 to 12, then flip around and place the heels of your hands on the edge of the desk, back close to the edge," she said. "Bend your elbows to lower your body an inch or so, then press back up to work the backs of your arms or triceps. Do about 10 to 12 every day and you'll feel results in a week."

Keep burning with your diet

Consider increasing your protein and healthy fat intake and decreasing carbs. This will help train your body to rely on protein and fat as preferred sources of energy instead of the quick-burn carbs, which once depleted, can leave you feeling fatigued, Hall said.

Hall's snack ideas include two hard boiled eggs with 20 almonds; 1/3 cup of hummus drizzled with olive oil, along with celery and carrots; one tablespoon each almond butter and full-fat yogurt, mixed together and spread on celery sticks; cold cooked chicken wrapped in romaine lettuce and topped with avocado; and 1/2 cup full-fat cottage cheese with one teaspoon of cinnamon and two tablespoons of chopped pecans.

MORE STAYING TONED ARTICLES:

Toning your top half: Get your upper body fit and fabulous
Snowboard champ Kelly Clark's fitness and motivation tips
How to keep your beach body all year round

Recommended for You
Comments
Hot
New in Health & Wellness
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!