The goal is to maintain a routine with a variety of activities available to choose from so you can perform something daily without getting bored. By doing this, you will become more toned and firm over time. Emphasizing both lower body and upper body strength training as well as performing some cardio workouts for a total average of 1-2 hours each day (yes, 1-2 hours), your body will become more lean & shapely as you continue this lifestyle. How long the process takes depends on several factors including current fitness level, workout intensity, types of exercises chosen, diet, and your overall desire to achieve reasonable goals.
The activities you choose depend on your overall objectives and the types of sports/exercising you can enjoy regularly. With a variety of choices for alternatives, the better the experience becomes while increasing the likelihood of your sticking to it. Overdoing any activity may result in injury while also increasing the likelihood of your getting burned out by doing the same old thing again, leaving you with less motivation or interest to continue than when you began.
A common concern many women express is the misconception that lifting weights will cause you to become physically bigger & more bulky. This concern hinders them from getting many of the advantages of weight resistance exercising by avoiding it. Keep in mind that unless you specifically train to target for bigger muscles, weight lifting will not result in large muscle mass gains.
You will also benefit by continuing to focus on improving sleep patterns, using stress reduction techniques and choosing a better diet as noted in Issue #10 (above)
The Bottom Line:
Simply being regular with some type of vigorous activity 4 times or so each week along with becoming more active in general will start to shape the body. Make activities last an hour or more; include weight training 2-3 times a week, and your body will shape up and tone more quickly. By sticking to this, the results will get you increasingly closer to your goals and help you maintain them.