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Toning up after you lose weight

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When it comes to getting in shape, losing the weight is only half the battle. You still have to figure out how to tone and tighten up what's left behind, and the answer may be as simple as changing up your workout.

Personal fitness trainer Liane Horne says think about the big picture and work as many muscle groups as you can.

At The Wellness Center at DeKalb Medical Center, Horne takes a whole-body approach, challenging her client Margaret -- who's a very fit 69 -- to work as many of her muscles as possible.

"I try to work large muscle groups first, and so with Margaret, I worked with her legs a lot," said Horne.

Horne says it's a mistake to try to tone up one problem area, like your belly, with tons of crunches and sit ups. She says you'll get better results if you focus on building up your overall strength.

"Where your bending knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, a lot going on," Horne said. "Because, you're going to burn a lot of calories when you're using more muscles at one time."

For more defined arms, Horne says work everything from your core up.

"Chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, I'll hit forearms. I'll hit every part of the upper body."

You don't need to powerlift. Find a weight that's comfortable, but challenging, and do three sets of about 8 to 12 repetitions.

If your belly is your problem, you need to focus on burning calories to get your heart rate up. You also need to watch what, and how much, you're eating when you're not at the gym.

"It's exercise, but it's also diet, being healthy overall," Horne said.

If you're trying to lose weight, Horne says the most important thing to remember is you need to burn more calories than you're taking in. The more muscle you have, the easier it is to burn those calories. It's why she recommends a combination of strength training to build muscle and cardio to burn calories.


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