Many of us dream of a perfect body, or at least one that is significantly improved over what is lurking beneath baggy sweats and oversized t-shirts as of now. The idea of sculpting ourselves into something resembling a Greek god or bikini model can be a little daunting, but it is possible to get the body you’ve always wanted. It may take some effort, but you can do it! Good nutrition and exercise are key to good health and fitness. A little inspiration and perspiration can get you where you need to be. You need to set goals, make a plan, and make a commitment to yourself to be the best you that you can be.
Determine what the appropriate weight range is for your body, but don’t fixate on a specific number. Remember muscle is heavier than fat, so a well toned body can carry a heavier weight and look toned and sculpted while another person may look out of shape at an even lower weight. If you determine you need to lose weight, strive for a balance of good nutrition and exercise to lower weight. Even moderate exercise like brisk walking burns calories and builds muscle. Good nutrition requires a heavier concentration of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, poultry, seafood, nuts, beans and seeds and a lower concentration of carbs and fats. Eliminating excess sugar from your diet will lower caloric intake. Empty calories, such as sugary drinks, candy, and salty snacks contribute minimal nutrition to your diet while piling extra pounds onto your frame. If you need to lose a significant amount of weight, you may want to consult with a physician about the most effective means for weight loss. Remember, weight comes off gradually. Most people will lose an average of 1-2 pounds a week. Be prepared for those plateau stages where, in spite of your best efforts, you may not lose any weight for a few weeks. Keep in mind you can boost metabolism during plateau stages by lowering carbs and increasing protein rich foods.
A big part of getting the body you want is sculpting and toning your muscles for the effect you want. Walking, for example, can build your calves more effectively if you step with your heel before your toe. Bending your elbows with every step will also work out your arms. Resistance training using heavy and lighter weights, bodyweight workout and flexibility training helps to build and define muscles. Push-ups build upper body strength and muscle. Sits up can tone and tighten the abdomen. Running, cycling, aerobics, spin classes – anything that gets your heart rate up burns calories, builds muscles, and tones the body. Weight lifting exercises are great for building muscle and can be adapted for specifically targeted areas. Consider joining a gym or if your budget allows for it, work with a personal trainer. Obtaining massages frequently after workouts can help managing sore or tense muscles. It’s not a bad idea to visit a massage therapist regularly anyway.
Keep in mind when working on building the body you’ve always wanted that slow and steady wins the race. Changes won’t come about overnight and it will take time and effort to see your goals realized, but you’ve got all the tools you need to get it done. Don’t beat yourself up over the occasional mistake. If you fall off the horse, you just get right back on and try again. It may be a long and difficult journey, but in the end, it’s about more than getting the body you always wanted. It’s about the confidence and sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving your goals and realizing a dream.