That phrase right there is something I hear ALL the time... especially now that I've made a big commitment to compete in a bodybuilding show...
But that phrase, and similar phrases ("I'm toning up", "I just want more tone", "she looks really toned") drive me BONKERS!!!
For some people "getting toned" is associated with doing a LOT of cardio on an elliptical machine (or other cardio machine). But that is never going to get you toned.
All I can keep repeating is "weight training, weight training, weight training"... and of course the response I always get from the females is "but I don't want to look manly"... I can't help but laugh of course...
If a female wants to get rid of the "cottage cheese" legs, the "chicken wing" and the "love handles"... you're going to have to do some weight training. And I'm not talking about 2lb weights that you move around easily... you have to have RESISTANCE.
If your muscles aren't burning after you've done 12-15 reps then you are not using enough weight. Now don't go grab the heaviest thing you can pick up either, because when you are doing these moves you have to have proper form so you don't hurt yourself. Have you ever had a torn muscle? Do you know how much it hurts? I do... and let me tell you... you don't want to feel it... It hurts a LOT.
Weight training should be a big part of your workout regimen if you want a "toned" look. Of course cardio should still be there to help reduce overall body fat, but the weights are going to give you the sleek, sexy, rounded in all the right areas kind of look.
By the way... don't fall into the trap of thinking you can "spot train" certain areas like your lower abs, your legs, etc to lose fat in those areas. Fat can't be lost JUST in one area. It doesn't happen. When you lose fat as a result of working out, you lose it ALL over your body.
Here is my own example. I am a pear shaped person. I accumulate fat in my legs, butt and hips FIRST and then in other areas. So when I start to see a double chin forming on myself that's when I know I've gained a LOT of weight for my frame. (It's happened twice in my life now). When I finally start to lose the fat, the double chin disappears first, then the fat arms, then the boobs (yep your boobs will disappear, bye bye fat!) and then finally my tummy, hips, butt and legs. It's a slow process for me to feel slim ALL over. DON'T LOSE FAITH!