EUGENIE JONES | Good diet, workouts better than 'spot-reducing' - Kitsap Sun

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Some fitness myths are hard to put to rest. The legend of spot-reducing is a classic example. For as long as I've been in this business, it's a question I've been asked, in some form or the other, time and time again "How do I get rid of this spot? What do I do to shrink this part right here down?"

Men are usually referring to their love handles while women typically point to their hips, thighs or stomach.

As appealing as the concept of "spot training" may be, there truly is no such thing. Performing sit-ups or leg lifts until you're blue in the face won't make your stomach flat, your thighs thin, or your body spot-free.

We don't even get to pick where the spots are located. Our "spot" locations are genetically deposited on our bodies and we've only our parents to thank.

But while we may not have control over where these spots fall, we do have control over their size. That control comes about through regular cardiovascular exercise combined with a healthy diet.

It's the tried, true, and maintainable way of gaining and keeping control over how big or little your spots happen to grow.

And even though we may not like the size of things, it's usually hard to accept exercise and diet as the means of control. We want to believe there's a simpler, easier way to handle their unwanted handles.

You'll save yourself a lot of wasted time and money though if you accept that this is something that you're going to have to work for in order to be successful.

Of course it's easier to buy a thigh exerciser than it is to give up nightly rendezvous with double-chocolate-chunk ice cream, but beyond regular exercise, that's what's required.

Besides, a diet that is low in fat has a lot of benefit. With illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and adult-onset diabetes being linked to excess body fat, a diet that is balanced and low in fat will undoubtedly contribute to your overall good health.

And if you're serious about controlling the size of your fat deposits, you have to cut back on what your body already has plenty of: fat!

In terms of exercise, cardio activities such as running, cardio equipment, swimming, cycling, or any activity that involves continuous, rhythmic movement of the large muscles will work wonders towards whipping those spots into shape.

Your body will respond by proportionally losing weight all over — including in the spots you want to see disappear. Get going by choosing an activity that you enjoy, exercising at your target heart rate, for 24-60 minutes four to six times a week.

Additionally, resistance exercises, crunches, curls, squats, and the like, are great for developing muscle tone in these areas as well. They won't melt the fat, but they will develop and shape the muscles that lie beneath it and with your cardio work slowly melting away your unwanted body fat you'll be toned and spot-free before you know it.

Now go be great!

06 Sep, 2011

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