Fat on your upper arms can be embarrassing and make finding the perfect-fitting outfit a challenge. But, as is the case with fat on any part of your body, it's possible to bid farewell to those extra pounds through a combination of the right kind of exercises and by being attentive to your diet. The changes won't be instant, but being dedicated to a healthy lifestyle will lead to results.
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Myth of Spot Reduction
Don't spend a second looking for an exercise that will solely burn your arm fat -- no such exercise exists. According to the American Council on Exercise, no exercise will burn fat in a chosen area. The belief you can do so is known as spot reduction, and the ACE stresses this theory is a myth. If you exercise regularly, however, you'll burn enough calories to lose fat from your arms and other areas of your body.
Losing the Fat
Regular cardio exercise is a suitable way to put your body in a calorie deficit, which transpires when you burn more calories than you consume. Losing a pound requires you to reach a deficit of 3,500 calories. Cardio exercises are ideal; in addition to their many health benefits, they often burn calories rapidly. Spending at least 300 minutes per week performing cardio exercises is an ideal goal for those who wish to lose weight. Activities that burn calories quickly, notes Harvard Medical School, include running, jumping rope and swimming.
Building Your Arms
Strength training -- ideally at least twice a week -- should be a part of everyone's workout routine. While it doesn't burn calories quickly, it has a number of other benefits, including strengthening your body and even raising your basal metabolic rate. Although your strength-training workout should always build your body equally, exercises that help you build muscle in your upper arms include barbell curls for your biceps and dumbbell extensions for your triceps. In general, up to three sets of 10 to 12 reps is a suitable starting point for strength training.
Adjusting Your Diet
Forget about trying to reach a calorie deficit by exercise alone -- if you reduce your caloric intake by adjusting your diet, you'll have a greater chance of reaching your goal of losing your upper-arm fat. You can reduce your caloric intake a virtually endless number of ways but, in general, remove high-calorie foods from your diet. Other strategies include getting rid of all the unhealthy snacks in your home, cutting down on your meal sizes and eating small, healthy snacks to avoid being hungry and overeating at meal time.
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- WeightLossResources.co.uk: Calories to Lose a Pound of Body Fat
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- WeightLossResources.co.uk: How to Make Your Body Burn More Calories
- ExRx.net: Barbell Curl
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Triceps Extension
- USA Today: Weight-Loss Tips: 25 Ways to Lose Weight, Keep it Off