Women with a pear-shape often call their thighs and waist their trouble spots. Excess weight in your belly increases your risk of certain health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Regular exercise, combined with a healthy diet, can slim down your waist and legs for a silhouette you'll be proud to show off.
You can't target your belly or thighs with cardio, but it is important for burning calories, getting rid of excess fat all over your body and uncovering the muscles in both areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting at least 150 minutes of cardio each week for basic health benefits -- increase that number for weight loss. Spread the time out to keep your metabolism going. Choose activities that work your lower half to increase the benefits; these can include swimming, biking, walking and dancing. And, of course, ditch unhealthy eating habits and stick to a low-calorie diet so you don't undo all your hard work.
Using your own bodyweight to slim to thighs and waist is ideal for a home workout. It also lets you get in a few moves whenever you have time, such as waiting for dinner to cook or while watching your favorite television show. Try inverted flyers, as bending over and lifting your leg movements engage your obliques and your thighs at the same time. Bodyweight squats and lunges are other choices that activate both areas with one move. MayoClinic.com recommends doing at least one set of 12 repetitions of each exercise in your routine, two or three days per week.
When you do moves that work your legs and waist at the same time while holding dumbbells or barbells, the weights increase your total body weight, which makes your muscles work harder. Hold a set of dumbbells while doing squats to maximize the benefits. Mix and match your favorite exercises, doing at least 12 of each two times per week. Torso rotations, stepping moves while holding weights and deadlifts are good choices.
While you don't have to use gym machines to get a workout for your waist and thighs, certain moves offer a workout option if you prefer to use a gym for exercise. Do standing low cable hip adductions and abductions to work your waist and legs at the same time. Add leg presses to further work your thigh muscles. Do at least 12 of each move two or three times each week.
- American Council on Exercise: Ab Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Upper Leg Exercises
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Huffington Post: Is The Apple Or Pear-Shaped Body Type More Dangerous?
- MayoClinic.com: Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier
- Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images