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Exercise and Fitness

Love handles

06/25/2007

Question:

I am a 23 y/o female and I am having a problem with "love handles". I am healthy and active with a BMI of 19.3 (as I am 5 feet tall and 100 lbs). Although I am quite petite my largest fat deposits sit well above my hips. My waist is very tiny and you can almpst see my ribs and then I have large love handles. I do not know what to do about them as I know they make me look very unproportionate. Any suggestions or ideas about exercises to reduce them? I cannot really afford to lose weight but would like to tone this area.

Thank You!

Answer:

Unfortunately, it is not possible to lose fat mass in just one area. While abdominal exercises will help strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles, it is only through aerobic activities such as jogging or bicycling that you will burn fat.

A well-rounded exercise program should include a combination of aerobic activity and strength training. Strength training exercises will maintain or even increase muscle mass, and since muscle weighs more than fat, your total body weight will be maintained. Strength training should be performed on alternating days so that you do not work the same muscle groups two days in a row. It is recommended to perform a minimum of 8-10 separate exercises that train the major muscle groups, 2-3 days a week (alternating days).

Now that the weather is becoming warmer, you may want to do some outdoor walking for aerobic activity. This type of activity may be performed as often as possible, with a goal of 30 minutes 3 - 5 days a week. Best of luck to you in your exercise program.

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Response by:

Carolyn   Nickol, RD, MEd Carolyn Nickol, RD, MEd
Director
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati