Legs can look flabby due to excess fat and lack of muscle tone. If you have one or the other in your thigh or calf areas, it can leave you feeling too self-conscious to wear clothes that reveal your legs. You can go from having flabby legs to thin, toned legs by participating in aerobic exercise, eating a healthy diet and toning muscle with strength training exercises. According to Mayo Clinic, a healthy diet and good exercise habits are the key to successful weight loss that will help you slim and tone your legs.
Meet with your doctor before starting a diet or exercise program to receive health clearance. Rest your leg muscles for one day between strength training workouts.
Engage in aerobic exercise for 30 to 60 minutes a day, five days per week. Aim for exercises and activities that involve the leg muscles while burning calories to tone and slim flabby legs, such as jogging, bicycling, fast walking or tennis. Increase aerobic activity with simple lifestyle changes that include taking the stairs instead of the escalator, parking at the far end of the parking lot, and walking or biking to nearby errands instead of driving.
Reduce your daily caloric intake to lose weight and excess body fat, including fat on your legs. Cut calories by 250 per day to lose 1/2 pound per week and by 500 per day to lose 1 pound per week. Eat healthy foods that fuel your body for exercise, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein sources and low-fat dairy. Choose whole-grain products that are fiber-rich over refined white flour to feel satiated and avoid overeating.
Tone your inner and outer thighs, as well as the back of your thighs and bottom, with traveling squats. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Squat down 3 to 6 inches to get into the starting position. Step your right leg out to the side, and then bring the left leg over to meet it for one complete repetition. Do 12 to 20 repetitions to the right, and then 12 to 20 repetitions to the left. Increase the challenge to your muscles by carrying 3- to 8-pound dumbbells at your sides or by placing a resistance band around your ankles before beginning the exercise.
Perform lunges to give your legs a thinner, more toned look. Stand with your feet a few inches apart and your arms down at your side for the starting position. Take one exaggerated step forward with your right leg, bending your knee until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Extend your left leg back but do not lock your knee. Hold the lunge for a count of two without bouncing. Push off of your right leg and use the momentum to return to the starting position. Repeat with the left leg. Do 12 to 20 lunges on each leg.
Slim and sculpt your calf muscles with calf raises. Stand behind a chair and rest your hands lightly on the back of it for balance. Lift up on your toes and then slowly return to the starting position, using your calf muscles to raise and lower your body. Repeat 25 times.
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Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.