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Can Cardio Help Slim Down Your Legs?

author image Nicole Waldo
Nicole Waldo has been working in the fitness industry since 2003. She is certified as a personal trainer through the International Sports Science Association. Waldo graduated from the University of Montana, earning a Bachelor of Science in health and human performance with a concentration on health promotion.
Can Cardio Help Slim Down Your Legs?
Engage in cardio routines to help melt excess fat. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, aids in weight loss and is important for your overall health. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. If you are carrying excess fat in your legs, engage in a cardio routine such as running or swimming. Any activity that gets your heart pumping and sweat dripping qualifies as a good cardiovascular exercise. Couple your cardio routines with a healthy diet to enhance your weight loss results.

Cardio Recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you engage in 150 minutes of moderately intense cardio exercise each week. To meet this guideline, you can mix up your cardio routines and perform them in short bursts, such as 10 minutes at a time.

Spot Reduction

Spot reduction refers to the erroneous idea that you can lose weight in a specific part of your body. If you are carrying excess fat in your legs, there is no specific cardio exercise you can do to make the fat disappear only from there. However, if you follow an effective weight loss regime that includes cardio, your body will lose fat everywhere, including your legs.

Cardio Routines

You can choose from many options when figuring out what cardiovascular exercise to do. Find a cardio routine that appeals to you; as the results can be motivating. If you are not enjoying it, you most likely will not stick with it. You can take up biking, running, swimming or hiking, or participate in an aerobics class at a gym. Classes can include indoor group cycling, step or dance. The stationary bike and treadmill are options if you prefer to exercise indoors.

Interval Training

To increase the amount of fat and calories you burn, do interval training. Alternate bouts of high intensity with bouts of low intensity. Try going as fast as you can for two minutes, then do light activity, such as walking or jogging, for one minute. Repeat this pattern for 30 to 60 minutes. Do this workout three time a week to increase your level of fat oxidation.

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