If you want to look good in dress and even better in bikini, you absolutely have to focus on building a shape that’s naturally attractive.
The word "toned" means different things to different people. It's not a technical term, like "strong" or "powerful" or even "big". Most people use "toned" to communicate their desire to look fit and a little bit athletic but not muscle-bound or "bulky".
Eating a healthy diet, consisting of lean proteins, healthy unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help you achieve these goals. Foods high in protein support the maintenance and growth of lean muscle mass. Some protein foods contain high amounts of saturated fat – particularly fatty cuts of meat, processed meats, dark meat poultry and full-fat dairy.
The saturated fat in these products makes them high in calories – potentially causing fat gain and increasing your risk of certain disease. To shed pounds and appear more toned, choose lean proteins such as egg whites, whey protein, flank steak, white fish and skinless chicken. Vegetarians benefit from soy foods, such as tofu, or beans and lentils.
Run it out. Just like walking, running is the perfect gym-free workout because all it requires is a good pair of running shoes and some space. Whether it's around your neighborhood, at a park or on a track, running burns more calories than almost any other cardiovascular activity, and those who do it regularly claim that "runner's high" is a real-deal. Visit SparkPeople's Running Center for workouts, training plans and more get-started tips.
Try yoga. One of the best things about yoga is that you only need your body and a mat to do it. From online workouts that explain the poses to a variety of free yoga videos on YouTube, you can try any style of yoga without leaving your living room. You can even download workouts to your iPod and take your yoga practice outdoors! While yoga isn't known for its calorie burn, it is fantastic for flexibility and can be a muscle builder when doing more strenuous poses like plank. It's also a wonderful stress reducer. Following a good workout formula gives you an attractive and toned hour glass figure.
Pop in a workout DVD. There really isn't an excuse not to work out at home with the vast array of workout DVDs available including Pilates, dance, strength, kickboxing—the list goes on and on. While many DVDs require little to no equipment, others allow you to use things you have around the house such as soup cans as dumbbells or a chair for support. No matter what level of exerciser you are, there's something out there for you!
Go for a walk. Walking is one of the best activities to do because it requires only a pair of supportive shoes, and it's something that comes very naturally to most of us! If you're a beginner, hit the pavement at a pace that gets you slightly out of breath but not so much that you can't carry on a conversation. If you're a seasoned exerciser, walk in an area with hills or try intervals of speed walking followed by a slower-paced walk.