The right exercises can result in slim, trim thighs.
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Saddlebags to women are like beer bellies to men. This excess fat around your hips and outer thighs can make you dread wearing a swimsuit during the hot summer months. Rather than resorting to just doing targeted exercises, emphasize cardio and strength training to stimulate fat loss from your entire body. Since spot reduction isn't possible, this is your best bet to eliminate your saddlebags.
Leg-Intensive Cardio Exercise
Losing fat from your entire body requires that you burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis. Cardiovascular exercise can help you do this. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends working up a sweat at a moderate pace for 30 to 60 minutes five days out of the week -- between 150 and 300 minutes total. Fortunately, most forms of cardio engage the large muscles in your lower body for optimal caloric burn. Jogging, kickboxing, in-line skating, climbing stairs and riding a bike are some forms of cardio you can engage in.
Full-Body Strength Training
By stimulating muscle tissue throughout your entire body you can whittle away fat in your problem areas. This is because muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain that fat. It speeds up your resting metabolic rate so you burn calories even when you're not working out. The CDC suggests incorporating a minimum of two strength-training sessions into a week. In addition to your legs and hips, target your chest, back, abs, shoulders and arms with exercises such as chest presses, crunches, overhead shoulder presses, pushups, lat pull-downs and biceps curls.
Targeted Exercises for Shapely Legs
Just doing targeted exercise isn't going to reduce your saddlebags, but will help strengthen the muscles underneath the fat. When you lose body fat, shapely, toned legs will emerge. Some exercises you can do include, side leg lifts, front and back squats, lunges, wall squats, dead lifts and step-ups. As part of your full-body strength-training routine, these exercises can stimulate muscle tissue, which promotes fat and caloric burn.
About Diet and Safety
Regardless of how much you exercise, if you're eating unhealthy, high-calorie foods, you'll never see the desired results. It takes a reduction of 500 calories a day to lose a pound per week. A healthy diet can help cut calories and contribute to your weight-loss efforts. MayoClinic.com suggests eating smaller portions, limiting saturated fat, and emphasizing lean protein, veggies, fruits, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. Before you decide to change your diet and start exercising, consult a doctor, especially if you have a medical condition or injury.