Is toning the same as weight training, or is it something else?
If it's weight training, please consider starting now. I don't know that it'll have an effect on loose skin, but I've noticed that I have even more energy now that I've added weight and core training to my exercise routine.
I'm also curious why you only plan to do it twice - what am I missing?
I'm not sure on the skin firming lotions. My gut instinct is that, if they work at all, it's short term, but I have nothing to back this up beyond a jaded hunch.
As always, best to you, regardless of what you choose.
Gamerchick, when people talk about 'toning', they're usually referring to muscle building. You build muscle (or tone, whichever you want to call it ) by exercising with weights or resistance. You've probably heard of weight training, resistance training, and weight lifting, right? Well, they're all the same thing as toning.
The reason why people weight train when they're losing weight is to preserve and build their muscle mass. Why? Because muscle is what burns calories in your body - think of it as little fat-burning furnaces. If you diet and lose weight without exercising to preserve your muscle, up to 40% of your weight loss will be muscle, not fat. And that's bad because your metabolism will slow down and your weight loss will stall. So lifting weights while you lose weight is a very good thing!
OK, back to your question. Toning won't tighten up excess skin. It works the muscles underneath the skin but doesn't have any effect on the skin itself. Of course, you can build muscle that can fill out some excess skin but it won't shrink your skin, unfortunately.
There really isn't anything you can do to tighten up excess skin while you lose weight. No, firming lotions don't work. But don't lose hope! You're young and your skin is still elastic. You have a much better chance of not having skin problems than older people. If you don't smoke or tan, that's even better. To read more about weight loss and how it affects your skin, check out our Weight Loss And Skin FAQs.
BUT - don't go away yet! Like I said before, lifting weights is a very smaart thing to do while you're losing fat. Not only will it preserve your muscle mass, but you'll look much better with some nice tight curvy muscles. When should you start? Right now! Right away! It's a good idea to be exercising - both cardio and weightlifting - from the first day of your diet. And don't ever quit or else all your lovely muscle will disappear. I still lift weights five days a week and I've been at goal for almost five years.
And you don't need to take a break from dieting in order to exercise. Diet and exercise work together for the best results. It's a winning formula ... cardio + weights + good nutrition = great results. It's what worked for me and I know you'll be happy when you reach your goal.
Start: 257 - June 1, 2001
Goal: 135 - May 12, 2002
Size 22/size 4
OK, I think I get it. Like push-ups and crunches and so on? (No need to be embarrassed - I was just trying not to go off on too much of a tangent if you meant something else entirely!)
I still say, start doing them now, if you can. Just do a little at a time. As my local NPR station during pledge-drive-season reminds me, "a little plus a little plus a little is a lot!"
I know this is old advice, but if you can find an activity you LOVE, it makes getting exercise & even toning in a LOT easier. I DREADED the gym until I decided to train for a triathlon. Now, I LOVE my gym and have started looking for ways to make myself even better at my chosen sport (like adding weight training and stretching). It's just so much easier to convince myself NOT to skip out on my planned workouts if I know that I'm trying to get my bike time down to riding a 3:30 mile.
So, what do you love to do? Bike? Walk? DDR? Can you think of toning as helping you with THOSE things instead of just loose skin?
It doesn't have to be a big, involved thing, either. Start with simple body weight exercises once or twice a week and work up from there. I'd also add stretching every night before bed, just because I really, really love doing it, it's a fairly easy (and free!) way to add a little extra movement into my day, and find I sleep better when I do it. (Obviously, if you hate stretching with passionate intensity, don't add it in.)
In layman's terms, cardio exercise and strength training exercise really do two different things:
Cardio exercise (running, walking, biking, rollerblading, aerobics, dancing, etc.) burns a lot of calories, therefore helping you lose weight. It is also excellent for the heart, because it gets your heart pumping.
Strength training exercise builds and firms muscle, so that your muscles are much more shapely. A very thin person can still have a "flat behind" or a soft belly and shapeless arms if they do not strength train.
There is a difference as well, between soft, flabby skin, and soft, flabby muscle. You will see an improvement over time with strength training to your muscle tone, but skin is skin, and loose skin will not go away with strength training. However, your body looks a zillion times better with shapely muscle than a body without it.
For me, personally, I get the best results by having a proper, low calorie diet, and combining strength training and cardio exercise-all at the same time-and keeping it up for life. I strength train a few days a week, and I do cardio (teaching dance and walking, etc.) on the other days. It gives you the best of both worlds that way.
You also want to keep up your exercise even after you reach goal-because you want to keep the body you worked hard for. It is also common for your body to KEEP improving, even after you make your goal weight, because you are continually working it and making it more fit.
Start weight after baby #3: 233.9
Current weight: 143
90 pounds lost!
Yup, what's been said. You should never wait to tone. Do it now, continuing doing it, and keep doing it...for life. You can make your skin LOOK tighter, but loose skin will always be loose without surgery. You can massage lotions. I use firming lotions daily but have heard its just the massage that does the trick and not the lotion but figure it can't hurt either. You can keep your weight in check. And you can keep your muscles toned. Those actions will help to diminish the appearance of the lose skin. And, the way you carry yourself, your posture, can also affect the looks quite a lot.
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