Toning Upper & Lower Body in 20 Minutes with Prevention fitness systems

Toning Equipment on Yoga Mat

I haven’t done much toning lately, so I thought I would try one of the toning workouts from the “Prevention fitness systems” (see previous post).

The “pre-built routines” section contains several toning, e.g., individual lower or upper body plus core, and combined upper and lower body sessions. The 30-minute pre-built programs, besides the cardio workouts, contain only upper and lower body toning plus core strengtheners. I went for the combined upper and lower body 20-minute workout as a good compromise between time and body parts covered.

20-Minute Toning Workout With Weights

This 20-minute workout is comprised of a 5-minute walking warm-up, 15 minutes of toning, and a 5-minute stretch at the end. It’s really 25 minutes, but who’s counting? I like to see how many steps I rack up during a video, even if it’s not a cardio workout. In this 20-minute workout I racked up a total of 671 steps. No surprise, but that means I have to do some serious walking this afternoon. Hopefully the rain will let up so I can get outside.

The Workout

You will need a set of dumbbells or hand weights, a mat and a chair. As with the cardio workouts in this video, onscreen were the instructor, Chris Freytag, and 2 of her colleagues. Chris’s instructions were clear and between the three women on camera, it was easy to follow along. The upper body exercises, which help to improve posture, included exercises to tone pretty much every muscle in the back and arms. I felt like I had a pretty good upper body workout, using both 3- and 5-pound weights. It’s no secret that the weight of your dumbbells will determine the intensity of your workout.

The lower body exercises are chosen to give a total leg workout. There were lunges, squats, pliés and other lower body moves. I didn’t feel like I got a good inner thigh workout, but the routine was adequate and pretty much worked all the lower body muscle groups.

Bone Density and Weight Bearing Exercise

I’m a huge proponent of weight bearing exercise to delay or prevent osteoporosis and maybe reverse some osteopenia. After menopause I had a bone density test that indicated some osteopenia. At that time I began a daily 30 minute to 1 hour yoga practice. It wasn’t even crazy power yoga, it was gentle hatha yoga. A year later another bone density test showed an increase in bone density. When you think about it we can all agree that there are many yoga poses that are weight bearing and contribute to maintaining or increasing bone density. Here’s a good article on osteoporosis prevention and management.

If there is one thing I want you to take away from this article, it is how important weight bearing exercise is to our health and our quality of life. Studies abound that show that weight bearing exercises lower the incidence of some disease and improve balance and posture.

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