Reducing your waistline and losing weight quickly takes hard work and dedication. You naturally lose weight as the waistline shrinks, increasing your overall health. According to the Harvard Health Publications online resource, a small waist puts less pressure on the heart and internal organs and reduces your chances of developing high blood pressure and diabetes. You can lose up to seven pounds and take five inches off your waist in approximately two weeks with a clean diet and an intense workout routine.
- Skill level:
Participate in a boot-camp workout -- an intense workout that mixes aerobics and strength-training exercises. Workouts vary and may include military-style exercises like running obstacle courses, pull-ups, running and push-ups. They may also offer kick-boxing, step aerobics, Pilates, callisthenics, hand weight and barbells. Classes last between 60 and 90 minutes, and you burn up to 600 calories an hour.
Use the elliptical machine. Elliptical machines work the upper and lower body at the same time unlike treadmills that only work the legs. You need to keep your abdominals tight to get an effective workout. When you put the machine in reverse, you work different muscle groups. You should alternate elliptical-machine workouts with boot camp and aerobics workouts to trick the muscles.
Train your core muscles two or three times a week. Core muscles include your abdominals, lower back, hips and pelvis and provide stability and help you perform daily activities and sports. While local gyms have machines that work the core muscles, you can work them at home without expensive equipment. It takes more than hundreds of crunches and sit-ups to strengthen the core because they only work the front of the abdominals. Core exercises isolate the muscles under the top layer of the abdominal region. Effective core exercises include Pilates and abdominal exercises on Swiss balls.
Get up and dance. Dancing is a fun way to burn 200 or more calories per half hour, helping you lose excess weight. The hip movements build abdominal muscles. Dancing also lowers blood pressure, slows bone loss and gets the heart pumping. If you take a dance class, you also increase your social circle. You can dance at home, too, either by turning on some music and dancing around your living room or purchasing dance DVDs.
Watch your diet. Focus on foods rich in vitamins and minerals and low in fat. Avoid junk food and processed foods laden with sodium. Select fruits and vegetables that cover the spectrum of the rainbow, including berries, apples, bananas, leafy greens and red tomatoes. Substitute refined white flour with whole grains. Eat lean cuts of meat like fish and chicken breast. Drink water instead of sugary sodas. If you have a sweet tooth, satisfy the craving with a small piece of candy like Hershey's kisses. Share a dessert to avoid overeating.
Tips and warnings
- Change your workout each week to avoid weight-loss plateaus.
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