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Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, sculpting the body of your dreams also takes time. But you don’t need to make extreme, drastic changes to get the results you want. Sometimes minor, simple tweaks to your diet and fitness regime can make a huge impact on your overall physique. We compiled these 10 effective-yet-super simple tips from 20 Pounds Younger, a new book by Yahoo Health Editor-in-Chief Michele Promaulayko. (Find out more about the book and get 4 Foam Roller Exercises to Burn Fat and Reduce Cellulite.) Incorporate as many as you can into your fitness routine and watch the pounds—and years!—melt away.
Swap Some Cardio for Weight Training
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According to researchers at the University of Southern Maine, 30 minutes of weight training burns as many calories as 30 minutes of running at a blazing six-minutes-per-mile pace. Try The Easiest Strength Training Plan Ever!
Do Something—Even If It’s Not What You Planned
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You’re 61 percent more likely to skip a workout next week if you skip one this week. Short on time? Try this 8-Minute Total Body Workout.
Work in Some High Intensity Exercise
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Only eight percent of people who exercise vigorously say they typically have trouble falling asleep. That means you’ll wake up refreshed and ready for tomorrow’s workout! That’s a vicious cycle we can get onboard with. Check out these additional 8 Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training.
Squeeze in Yoga
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Yoga can shift your ratio of muscle to fat, even when your overall weight stays the same, according to a 2013 University of Arizona review of yoga research. Consistency is key, so even if you don’t have time for an hour long session, try this 6-Minute Total-Body Toning Yoga routine at home.
Do This Exercise Every Day
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Donkey Kicks work 55 and 79 percent more of your hamstring and glute muscles than squats alone, according to the American Council on Exercise. Get on your hands and knees and bend your lower right leg toward your thigh. Keeping your knees bent, lift your right heel toward the ceiling. Hold the top position for a few seconds, then lower to the starting position. Do 12 reps, then switch to your left leg and repeat. If you have time, do 12 reps of each of these 7 Booty-Sculpting Exercises with a Bonus too.
Update Your Playlist
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Listening to music for about an hour a day can help reduce fatigue and may help your cells grow and repair themselves, keeping your insides spry, according to 20 Pounds Younger. Just make sure the beats are, well, upbeat, whether the music is Gaga or Mozart. Consider adding a few of these 10 Most Popular Workout Songs of 2014.
Get a New Sports Bra
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One study found that 17 percent of women who experienced exercise-induced breast pain skipped a workout, reduced their exercise duration or intensity, or switched their activities because their hooters were hurtin’. Find out The Best Bra for Your Breast Type and then go buy it!
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Yoga’s downward-facing dog pose and weight lifting’s dumbbell bent-over row may seem worlds apart, but they share one common aspect: mindfulness. You can’t do either well without self-awareness and focus, and it all starts with proper breathing. Find out how to breathe during strength training workouts to get more benefits from every move you make.
Psych Yourself Up
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Before every exercise, repeat a mantra that reflects the purpose of your workout. According to 20 Pounds Younger, thinking about a mantra like a hashtag: #strongbodystrongmind, #bestshapeofmylife, #fitfromwithin, can help. Mentally repeat your mantra throughout your workout—especially during the really tough parts, or when you catch your mind wandering.
Choose Compound Exercises
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Focus on moves that work multiple muscles at once, rather than ones that work just one muscle group at a time. Biceps curls, for example, are a simple exercise whereas a squat with an overhead press is compound. Sophia Bush’s trainer focuses on this type of exercise in the workouts they do together. Find more compound exercises to try in the 20 Pounds Younger fitness plan.