There is only one day of the year fit for sporting bat wings, and that's Halloween. If it's not the last day of October, and you find yourself with the dreaded fleshy folds hanging from your upper arms, don't get spooked. Staying away from the leftover trick-or-treat candy, eating a healthy diet and engaging in high-intensity cardio and strength training will help you shed -- not spread -- your wings and reveal toned, youthful upper arms.
Do High-Intensity Cardio
Your bat wings appeared most likely from a surplus of calories in your diet, a lack of exercise or a combination of both. To burn away the fat hanging from your upper arms, you have to burn total body fat. High-intensity cardio, combined with a low-calorie diet, is the best way to do that. High-intensity exercise such as running or even sprinting elicits the biggest calorie burn in the shortest amount of time. If you're currently walking for exercise, pick up the pace to torch more calories and see those wings disappear faster. The same goes for other types of cardio -- bike faster, dance harder.
High-Intensity Interval Training
Aside from elite athletes, not many people are able to sprint for sustained periods of time — but you don't have to to get great results. Even picking up the pace to sprint for one minute every few minutes during your workout can significantly increase your calorie burn over steady-state cardio. And, due to something called post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, high-intensity interval training can increase the amount of calories your body burns for up to 24 hours following your workout.
Strength Train to Tone Your Arms
A lack of muscle tone in your arms can also cause your skin and fat to hang loosely under the effects of gravity. Building muscle in your upper arms, even without weight loss, can improve the firmness and lifted appearance of your arms. Building muscle also helps you burn calories. The more muscle you have on your body, the higher your resting metabolic rate -- the speed at which your body burns calories when you're doing absolutely nothing.
Read more: The Ultimate Workout for Sexy, Sculpted Arms
Push-ups, pull-ups, biceps curls, triceps push-downs, lat pull-downs, dips, chest presses and rows are all excellent exercises for toning the arms, as well as the back, chest and shoulders. Do two to four sets of 10 to 15 reps of a few of these exercises twice a week. And don't forget to work out the rest of your body, including your core muscles and legs.
Eat a Healthy Diet
No amount of cardio and strength training can make up for a bad diet. Taking in too many calories, especially those from fatty, sugary and processed foods, will lead to excess fat in your arms and other areas of your body. Figure out how many calories you need to eat daily to lose weight or maintain your weight and don't go over that.
Eating a whole foods diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, low-fat dairy and nuts and seeds, and keeping sweets and other snacks to occasional treats can help you curb calories and banish bat wings for good.
Read more: A Sample Day for a Whole Food Diet