As a woman, you may be concerned with having excess fat on your upper body, especially on the chest, back, arms or stomach. Too much fat in these areas can make your clothes fit poorly, cause body rolls or make you generally self-conscious. Abdominal fat can predispose you to heart disease and metabolic disorders. However, with the proper exercise regimen, you can lose weight on your upper body and the rest of your frame to be healthier and look great.
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Cardiovascular exercise is essential if you want to lose weight on any part of your body, regardless of your gender or your specific problem areas. Cardio burns calories and you must create a caloric deficit to lose weight and fat. While you can't spot train for upper body for fat loss, you can perform exercises that elevate your heart rate and use large muscle groups to burn fat from your entire frame. Popular choices include jogging, running, cycling and swimming. Commit to a routine of at least 30 minutes, five times a week to see results quickly, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cardio exercises that recruit the muscles in your upper body can tone the muscles underlying your fat, giving you shapely contours. They will also increase circulation to your upper body, bringing oxygen to your muscles which is necessary for fat metabolism. For slimming down your upper body and giving your chest, arms and back some definition, you can use the elliptical and rowing machines. Swimming and even power walking while holding weights can give your upper body an extra workout.
To burn fat faster from your entire body, you can incorporate interval training into your normal cardio routine. This is done by switching up the pace of your chosen workout. So, if you're using the elliptical machine, you may want to work out at a moderate pace for five minutes, then kick it into high gear for a minute or two. Then switch back to the moderate pace. Repeat this cycle multiple times throughout your workout. This increases your metabolism and helps you burn fat from your body, including the upper portion, faster.
Strength training is one of the quickest ways to burn fat, according to exercise scientist Len Kravitz, PhD. Lifting weights promotes the release of specific hormones, particularly epinephrine, norepinephrine and growth hormone, that stimulate your metabolism and increase your caloric burn. Weight training increases your lean muscle mass, improving your body fat percentage, and it is an important component of women's health because it stimulates an increase in bone mineral density. According to Kravitz, your metabolism stays elevated for several hours after a resistance training session, increasing your total caloric burn and reducing your body fat.