Ester Marsh: Spring it time for toning
Q. I have worked out hard and my body fat is low. I am very happy with my body except that I feel that my legs are just not as tight as I want them to be. Which exercises can I do to tighten them up?
A. Yes, the weather has been nice and the shorts are coming out of the closet. This is the time when you really notice your legs looking different from the summer before.
The older we get, the more our skin changes. Actually, I call it ěsag.î When you pull your skin up everything looks great. Or lying on your back with your legs up in the air works, too.
Out of personal experience when I just gain a couple of pounds I notice a change in my skin especially on my legs. I try to watch what I eat and exercise regularly.
Personally, running, yoga and Pilates, a strength workout, works well to keep the legs (and of course the rest of the body) nice and tight.
A good range for women is between 15 percent and 25 percent and for men 10 percent to 15 percent. Now, you can really try to get your body fat lower, working out harder, but you also have to live.
You want to enjoy life. Some wise person once told me that if you donít eat anything bad and do everything you are supposed to do life sure seems longer.
Are you willing to give up treats to get to a lower percent and maybe (not sure) have tighter legs? The lowest I have ever been was 6 percent body fat.
That is very low for a man, but for a female itís super low. It was in 1990 at the AAU Ms America in Chicago. I got fourth.
My upper body was ripped, my legs were cut and my butt was still round.
If you do not lift weights definitely start a weight-lifting program today. If you do better in a class setting Bodypump or Power flex can do the trick.
If you canít run, an elliptical, bike (or bike class) or swimming can be great for your cardio workout. And there are many different level yoga and Pilates workouts available
Great exercises for the legs are: lunges, squats, leg press, leg extensions and leg curls, you can do two sets of 15 reps or three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
All I do know is that your skin changes when you get older. You have to work a lot harder to look good and eat a whole lot less (and better). There are special creams for your face, your body and, oh, those ěwinterî feet. But you know what? ěSagî is just part of growing old gracefully.
Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt
Associate Executive and Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA.
Q. I have worked out hard and my body fat is low. I am very happy with my body except... read more