If you're sick of excess bulge in your thighs and arms, it's time for a smart exercise plan. Although you can't spot-reduce, working out can help you lose weight all over, reducing thigh and arm size proportionately. What you put in your mouth has greater impact on weight loss than working out, so complement your routine with a healthy diet. The University of Minnesota Medical School recommends 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day for women's weight loss.
Perform 60 minutes of moderate cardio, or 30 minutes of vigorous cardio, five days per week. As the most efficient calorie-burning exercise, cardio will help trim your whole body. For moderate exercise, take a brisk walk, shake your stuff in a cardio dance class or rake the lawn. For vigorous exercise, go for a run, jump rope or walk quickly up stairs.
Perform pushups to sculpt the backs of your arms. These and other resistance exercises won't burn fat, but they will add definition. Lie on your stomach with your hands just outside your shoulders, palms flat. Straighten your elbows fully to lift your body off the ground, bend them to return to the ground and repeat for 12 total reps. Rest and perform one or two additional sets. Regular pushups are tough for many women, so leave your knees on the ground if you need to.
Perform hammer curls to shred your biceps. Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, or use soup cans or water bottles. Dangle your arms, allowing the weights to rest naturally against the sides of your thighs. Bend your elbows -- but not your wrists -- to lift the weights to your shoulders, pause for a second and slowly lower the weights back down. Repeat for 12 reps, rest and repeat for one or two additional sets.
Perform squats for your thighs. As the quintessential leg-and-glute-sculpting moves, squats work your entire lower body. Stand with your feet just wider than your hips, and bend at the hip and knees at the same time until your thighs parallel the floor. Wait for two seconds, then slowly rise back to starting position. Perform 12 reps, then repeat for one or two more sets.
Perform lunges for more thigh toning. Stand with your feet close together and your hands on your hips. Step forward with one foot, landing heel first. Bend both knees to 45-degree angles -- your rear knee should be just a couple of inches from the ground. Push back up using the forward leg and repeat, starting with the opposite leg this time. Perform 12 lunges on each leg, rest and repeat for another set or two.
- University of Minnesota Medical School: Weight Loss Recommendations
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: General Physical Activities Defined by Level of Intensity
- ExRx.net: Push-Up
- American Council on Exercise: Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl
- American Council on Exercise: Bodyweight Squat
- ExRx.net: Lunge
- See your doctor before starting a new diet or exercise program.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.