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How much can I realistically change my body just through exercise?

(19 Posts)
IslaValargeone Sun 04-Nov-12 15:49:37

I am not overweight, but I do no exercise at all and my body seems to have spread and drooped somewhat.
I'd like to develop some muscle tone and improve cellulite.
What can I do to achieve this?

LittleLucifer Sun 04-Nov-12 16:01:52

Running & Body Pump classes will completely transform your body. I'd recommend at least 3 times a week for fast results.

HalleLouja Tue 06-Nov-12 11:58:35

I have definitely toned up since starting couch to 5k. I have got to the end just about and have more definition. I also do pilates and one exercise class a week (but just started these again).

lottiegarbanzo Tue 06-Nov-12 12:03:07

A lot. You'll be surprised at how different your self-image and actual appearance can be.

Swimming is a good thing to start with, quite toning but easy to begin with, to increase and hard to injure yourself. Then one strength thing, like pilates or bodypump and one endurance like running or more swimming.

Issy Tue 06-Nov-12 12:14:25

I think you can change it a lot but I also think it takes lots of exercise and a looong time.

I ran 5K 3x per week for ages and I didn't really notice any changes until I started to train for a half marathon. My thighs definitely have more tone now. However, even after six months of training for a half marathon, my arse is still large and saggy. I've just started training over shorter distances but doing more interval training (running fast for short periods) and I think that might help.

I also do reformer pilates - the one where you exercise on a modern day equivalent of a torture rack. After four or five months I can see the difference in my arms and stomach.

HalleLouja Tue 06-Nov-12 12:16:21

Oh and I feel so much better about myself than I did before I started exercising. I was really low and had little self confidence.

Pilates is fab - I do the mat one.

ninjanurse Tue 06-Nov-12 12:17:20

I agree with previous posters, body pump is superb at toning and sculpting your shape. You would notice a difference after a couple of months of doing it twice a week I think, if you continually up your weights. I would then add in another cardio based exercise to keep your general fitness up.

Sleepwhenidie Tue 06-Nov-12 21:07:19

Weight training is definitely the key to changing your body shape, particularly if you don't have weight to lose. Doesn't have to be body pump (though this is great), could be a free weight routine in the gym, body weight exercises (eg push ups, pull ups, squats and lunges), Jillian Michaels shred etc dvds also good. 3-4 times a week will show results very quickly (shred meant for 6x though, its less than 30 mins).

notyummy Wed 07-Nov-12 11:36:11

Agree with any of the others. I run and depending on time/weather have regularly done up to half marathon distances. What changed my body the most though is strength training. It will not bulk you up unless you are taking supplements etc and lifting half a car. Second the recommendation for Jillian Michaels. I can't get to a gym, but have a range of her DVDs and weights that vary from 1.5kg up to 7kg. My body looks very different now, and it doesn't necessarily take that long if you work hard and stick at it. The key is really pushing yourself and not wimping out the moment it feels uncomfortable (I don't mean heart attack territory btw - just trying to do a few extra reps when your muscles are screaming at you.) Would recommend Shred, Ripped on No more trouble zones. All excellent workouts.

plentyofsoap Wed 07-Nov-12 15:49:02

As above, body pump and weights have really changed my shape. Same as you op I wasnt overweight just not as toned as I would have liked. Started in sept with swimming and now do 3-4 hours a week. Body pump, attack and combat then pilates or gym. Massive change in my shape and I have lost 5ib just through exercise. Feel so much healthier which is the most important thing!

Pedallleur Fri 09-Nov-12 08:47:35

You are better to alter your diet as well as exercise. Reducing fatty foods/snacks etc plus weight training/cardio stuff/swimming all work together. Some people find low or no carbs in the evening good. Increasing protein also. Dieting and not exercising is not recommended as a long term way of keeping the weight off imo

WrathdePan Fri 09-Nov-12 09:06:17

Agree with Pedallleur re the diet altering.
There is a saying in the exercise world that slim/muscle/toned bodies are made in the kitchen, not in the gym. Fortunately exercise raises your metabolism which helps with the burning up of calories even when you are rested. (so exercising the morning is gud)

TheArmadillo Fri 09-Nov-12 09:13:43

As others have said strength training is the key to body sculpting - whether that be free weights (I do them at home with weights I bought from argos , started with a free online programme and then moved to 'new rules of lifting for women'). But bodypump, kettlebells, or dvds such as Jillian Michaels are good. You can do strength building with your own bodyweight/with items you find around the home to start with. There are a few programmes online for this - e.g. nerdfitness has one on their site.

Cardio won't sculpt you but don't think it is unnecessary - it gives your cardiovascular system a good boost and improves your overall fitness and health.

NHS recomends 5x30mins of cardio and 90mins of strength (I do 3x30mins sessions per week) per week for adults IIRC.

IslaValargeone Fri 09-Nov-12 19:16:36

Thanks for all the advice, I will get some free weights and the workout dvds as suggested.

Acumens100 Fri 09-Nov-12 19:22:54

I normally get defined abs after about six weeks of low-impact pilates, about 30 minutes 5 days a week.

Acumens100 Fri 09-Nov-12 19:23:44

(Then I get bored.) grin I'm a child!

IslaValargeone Fri 09-Nov-12 19:28:18

I don't think I will do any dieting, I am well within my height/weight recommendations, I just have no definition on legs or arms.
I reckon if I do what everyone has suggested and chuck in some pilates for flexibility I should be on the right track.

Pedallleur Sat 10-Nov-12 21:51:13

It's often not about dieting but making choices about what/when/how much you eat? If you eat more protein you will feel full since protein is dense whereas eating rubbish food just satisfies a temporary craving. You do have to exhaust a muscle to build it up so not putting in an effort really doesn't work

IslaValargeone Sun 11-Nov-12 12:40:09

Sorry, I may have misunderstood, are you suggesting I won't be putting any effort in?
I shall be doing some weights, some cardio and a bit of pilates, that's effort innit grin My God, if that's not enough I think I'll just learn to love my cellulite.

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