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Exercise and Fitness

Muscle Toning Without Excercising

07/16/2010

Question:

I am a 30 year old mother. My weight is 63.5 kgs and ht is 5 feet 4 inches. I only eat healthy food. I think my weight is ok comapred to my height. I try to excercise whenever I can but I look flaby. So every day I do crunches and push ups 50 times each without doing any excersise. Will that help me lose my weight as well as tone up my body? Or will I jsut built up muscles (whic I dont want). Is this (just mucle stregthening without excersise) a healthy way of losing your weight and toning up your body?

Answer:

Your weight is indeed healthy for your height. However, many people maintain a healthy weight while still having a high percentage of body fat.

So how does one decrease body fat? Well, if you put more calories out than in, the body will tap into its fat stores. The best way is to do this slowly but consistently. Increase your daily physical activity and exercise. Decrease your consumption of unhealthy, caloric foods and snacks. Increase your consumption of fruits and veggies. If you are diligent, this always works!

The crunches and pushups you do will not expend enough energy to really affect your fat stores. They will help increase and/or maintain strength in your upper body and core. This can be beneficial for "toning" but will not make you look any less "flabby". You should be doing aerobic exercise 30 minutes, 5 days a week and total body strength training 2 days a week. Aerobic exercise is any rhythmic activity that uses large muscle groups and is performed continuously, including walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, step aerobics, etc.

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Response by:

Rebecca  Nguyen, MS Rebecca Nguyen, MS
Manager of the Faculty and Staff Fitness Program
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University