Many women admire Michelle and Madonna\’s shapely, defined arms and why not? To be over 40 (or 50!) and be able to sport sexy, shapely arms is very admirable. These guidelines will help you understand how to get defined muscle tone, help you set realistic goals, and help you use your resources to \’bear arms\’:
1. Most people don\’t realize how much time and energy celebrities spend on their appearance! 2 hours a day, 6 days a week is not unusual for most famous people to spend in the gym, AND with a personal trainer to top it off! How much time do most people commit to exercising everyday? NONE! The best question to ask yourself is if you want well defined arms, legs, or any other body part is how much time are you willing to commit? With kids, work, shopping, commuting, cleaning, etc., it is no wonder that most people have a hard time exercising everyday. You must first make the commitment to simply do some sort of exercise most days of the week, working your way up to 30 minutes each time. If you can\’t find 30 consecutive minutes, find 10 minutes here and there throughout your day–take the stairs, park far away from the entrance to the store, or do some floor exercises in front of the TV while you watch.
2. Once you can commit to exercising most days of the week, you must set aside time for strength training. Lighter weights will work best, but not so light that you don\’t feel that you are working. You should feel like you are working at about a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. How many sets and reps you should do depends on the amount of weight you are lifting, but typically between 8-12 reps will give you the results you are looking for. Although the topic here is arms, you should not neglect other body parts during your strength training routine; be sure to work every major muscle in your body. Recognizing that working out at home can make it difficult to focus when distractions occur, make your workouts as \’dense\’ as possible, neglecting the urge to stop and watch the TV or answer the phone. Keep things moving!
3. While having defined arms may help you feel more comfortable wearing sleeveless tops, don\’t forget about the other (more important) benefits of strength training. When done consistently and at a high enough intensity, it can reverse the natural decline of your metabolism which begins at about 30 years of age. It will also strengthen your bones helping you reduce your risk of osteoporosis. So while your arms will be tighter and more defined, more importantly, you are improving your health.
4. You don\’t really need to spend any money to do strength training since there are many, many exercises to do with just your body weight. Try doing tricep dips on a chair or a stair, bicep curls with heavy soup cans, or squats, lunges or isolated leg lifts for a lower body workout. It is a good investment to buy small pieces of equipment to add some variety to your workouts like a band, medicine ball, fit ball and/or dumbbells. Ensure safety and effectiveness by hiring a trainer, or working out with a video. Keep adding variety, be consistent and have a support system in place to help you get results.
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Have a healthy week!