It seems that the first area your body stores fat is the last area it leaves, and for many women that area is the inner thighs. While it's not possible to "spot reduce" the inner thighs with miracle cures, a regular exercise program and a healthy diet can make a world of difference. While walking doesn't isolate the inner thighs, it's an easy and effective cardio exercise that can tighten and tone your legs.
The Inner Thighs
The adductors are the muscles in your inner thighs, running from your pelvis to your thighbone. Like their name implies, these muscles are in charge of adduction, or bringing your thighs together. Unless you play a lot of sports with side-to-side motion like volleyball or tennis, these muscles are probably not used very often and can gradually lose their tone and flexibility. Unfortunately, unless your stride closely resembles a mosey, walking will not specifically target these muscles.
Walking primarily works your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. More importantly, walking is a low-impact cardiovascular fat-burning exercise that requires almost no real exertion. According to MayoClinic.com, a person weighing 160 pounds walking at a leisurely 2 mph pace for an hour will burn 204 calories. The same person walking at a brisk 3.5 mph pace for an hour will burn 314 calories. To lose 1 pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories, or 500 calories every day. By walking briskly for one hour a day, assuming that you don't reward yourself with ice cream and bacon afterward, means that over the course of a week you can burn around half a pound of fat. While you will lose this fat across your entire body, the cumulative effects of walking over weeks or months can add up to less fat and increased tone and muscle.
Targeting the Inner Thighs
You can target your adductor muscles by walking laterally. Exercises that incorporate side-to-side motion, such as lateral lunges or lateral leg lifts, will work your inner thighs. Additionally, some exercises such as rollerblading or ice skating involve your legs pushing off at an angle to propel you forward. This motion relies on your adductor muscles to contract with every stride.
Toning your inner thighs will require both exercise and a healthy diet. By taking in fewer calories than you expend in walking, you will gradually force your body to burn its fat stores to give you the energy to exercise. Be sure to check in with your doctor before starting a new diet and exercise regimen.
Todd Maternowski began writing in 1996 as one of the co-founders of "The Chicago Criterion." He joined the local online news revolutionaries at Pegasus News in 2006, where he continues to work to this day. He studied religion at the University of Chicago.