Workouts to Get a Smaller Waist

Workouts to Get a Smaller Waist

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A type of low-intensity cardio, swimming can play a role in helping you lose waist fat.

Sometimes, feeling in control of your body is as frustrating as getting to sleep after a double espresso. After constantly seeing a larger-than-necessary waistline in the mirror, many begin to think about taking action to change their physiques. Unfortunately, despite what infomercials claim, no shortcut to a skinny waist exists. A skinny waist will only be possible when you've reduced your bodyfat to a low enough degree. To do this, you will need to design an effective workout. Consult a physician before making major changes to your diet or exercise routine.

Work Your Body to Work Your Abs

Low-intensity cardio lets your body burn fat directly, according to the University of California, San Diego, provided you exercise long enough - generally over 40 minutes, depending on intensity and other factors such as what you ate prior to exercising -- to allow your body to switch its energy source from muscle glycogen to fat. Because fat loss necessarily occurs throughout your body, not in a single area, any cardio exercise will help you lose weight around your waist; you do not need to focus on cardio that “works the abs.”

Too Easy!

For some exercisers, low-intensity cardio is either too easy or too boring. Luckily for them, although low-intensity cardio does burn a high percentage of body fat, it burns off less body fat and calories overall than do moderate-to-high intensity exercise or interval training. For the former, just step it up: increase your speed or consider attaching weights, such as ankle weights, to your body while you work out. The latter, interval training, requires you to work out at high intensity for short bursts, such as 20-second bursts, then reducing your intensity to low for a longer period of time, such as 40 seconds to a minute. You then repeat the process a number of times, such as 10 sets.

Muscles Mean Weight Loss

Weight training helps you build muscle, which in turn increases the number of calories your body burns throughout the day. But don't worry about weight training making your waist bigger; even with daily weight training, it takes people years to “get bulky.” If you still feel concerned about adding muscle to your waist, simply avoid weight training exercises that target the waist. Instead, work on building some muscle in your lats and thighs, which can help your waist look smaller and give you an “hourglass” figure. Also consider circuit training, in which you perform a series of resistance exercises one after another, which short rests in between. For example, a four-exercise circuit could consist of 30 seconds of pushups, situps, dips and hyperextensions, with 30 seconds in between each exercise. You could then repeat the process, after resting, two or three minutes, a number of times, or “circuits.”

Tighten Your Waist and Your Schedule

A weekly workout schedule that you stick to is necessary for results. Aim for five or six days a week, with three days of cardio and one or two days of weight training. Intersperse weight training days so that you're not engaging in weight training two days in a row. Your body must rest after weight training days to restore its muscles. But you can engage in low-intensity cardio on or between weight training days. When fitting workouts into your schedule, remember that a standard workout need not be longer than one hour. Consider using a home gym, which will allow you the convenience of exercising at any time you'd like.

That Extra Mile

If your eating habits increase in tandem with your exercise habits, you might not see results. Eat at a caloric deficit to help you with losing weight all over your body, including the fat deposits stored at your waist. Also, focus on ensuring that you have enough fiber in your diet. Diets high in soluble fiber help reduce visceral fat, the type of fat stored in the abdominal region. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which contain loads of soluble fiber. In addition, sleep well every night, trying your best to get over six hours of sleep. According to the International Journal of Obesity, sleeping under six hours a night is correlated with increased visceral fat.

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