Beginners level of fitness AKA I'm out of shape. Please advise!
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Cardio is important for so many reasons besides just losing weight. Toning absolutely requires strength training, and there are several options available. Isometrics might be a good starting point if it's been a while since you strength trained. Isometrics are exercises that use your body weight as resistance (sit-ups, push-ups, etc.). For more toning, you can add a balance ball- the instability of a balance ball requires your body to use stabilizer muscles to maintain balance.
The second option would be circuit machines, but you mentioned that you did not want to go to a gym. The advantage of circuit machines is that when they are set properly, your body is kept in proper form the whole time- this is important if you have injuries that need to be worked around.
Your final option is free weights (my personal favorite). This gives you added resistance over isometrics, but utilizes stabilizer muscles since you are not set up in a machine. Just a pair of 2-5 pound dumbbells can help make a huge difference. But if you do not maintain good form throughout your exercises, you can absolutely injure yourself. For that reason alone, I would suggest trying to get an appointment with a trainer so you can learn how to do everything correctly.
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