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Fact or Fiction: Does Toning Actually Work?

Getting in the best possible shape for your body can be a lifelong journey of trial and error. And with the advent of social media, societal pressure is at an all-time high to look your very best for fear of being photographed looking otherwise. So you sign up for your local gym, follow some fitness gurus on Instagram and lunge head first into the YouTube rabbit hole of fitness tips, tricks and myths. You start to shed a few pounds and then someone mentions the t-word.

Toning.

Oh, toning. Toning, or “the idea that you can target a certain area and specifically see results in only that area” is usually the next step after any significant weight loss. Toning actually means making a muscle lean by burning intramuscular fat (fat lodged between your muscles and skeletal structure, which everyone has!) and optimizing that muscle’s performance. And, technically, it is a thing. But, is it possible to truly tone one part of the body or, on a grander scale, the entire body? Well…not exactly. Though toning is seen as the holy grail of achieving the much-envied sleek and trimmed body of fitness lovers and Victoria’s Secret Angels, achieving it has little to do with weight-training or high repetitions as so many believe. In fact, some would argue that it’s not solely about working out at all but rather lifestyle changes outside of gym time. For example, in order to burn high levels of fat (which is paramount to achieving the “definition” so many of us seek to see in our bodies)—you have to shed more calories than you digest. Which means cutting back on high caloric foods, sugars and late night eating. Lastly, the most commonly forgotten element to achieving a more trimmed physique is undoubtedly rest. When we are working to fatigue our muscles in order to get our bodies revved up to attack fat—we often forget to give them the rest they need to actually repair themselves. Skipping this crucial step means that you’re doing nothing but breaking your muscles down instead of rebuilding them through recovery.

When it comes to toning, there are those who think it is completely a myth. Because toning has become synonymous with spot training, many fitness enthusiasts have leaned away from the concept all together. Here’s the thing: it’s impossible to solely target one area of the body through exercises without focusing on overall fat burning. Certain activities like Pilates, yoga or Stretch Therapy can help lengthen the body, improve posture and give the appearance of a more lean physique at any weight.

In the end, no matter what your goals are—you can’t go wrong with leading a healthy, active lifestyle and no matter what workouts you choose—your body will show results and be all the better for it. And on your rest days, REME is here to help you restore, relax and recharge your body.

Cheers to being your own #bodygoals!

– The REME Team