Hourglass figures tend to have curves in all the right places evidenced by a voluptuous chest, curvy hips and a small waist. Hourglass women can lose excess weight from the body but still maintain a shapely figure by eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet and starting an exercise program that consists of running for cardio and strength-training for muscle toning. Running is a great weight-loss exercise because it uses the major muscle groups of the lower body and increases the heart rate to burn off hundreds, possibly thousands, of calories.
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Go The Distance
Running longer distances at lower-intensities will help you lose weight as you tap into fat stores for energy. The distance you can run will depend on your current fitness level and health status; aim to run 45 minutes to 60 minutes three times per week at a moderate intensity in which you can carry on a light conversation. Sports Nutrition writer Andrew Hamilton cites in High5 Sports Nutrition that the body will burn a lot of calories the longer you can exercise in total.
Rev Up The Intensity
High-intensity interval training, HIIT, is a vigorous workout in which you alternate hard efforts with lighter efforts. Short-volume but high-intensity workouts burn calories from carbs for energy initially, preventing fat storage. Furthermore, you will continue to burn calories hours after you have finished your workout. A running HIIT workout might be to run hard for 30 seconds followed by one to two minutes of easy jogging to let your heart and breathing rates come down in preparation for your next hard interval. Repeat intervals five to 10 times preceded and followed with a warm-up and cool-down respectively. Aim to do two HIIT workouts per week on non-consecutive days to allow for muscle recovery.
Run From The Core
Strong runners have strong, lean cores. The core consists of the abdominals, back, gluteals and hip flexors. Strengthening these areas of the body will improve your posture and running efficiency which enables you to run further and faster to burn more calories for weight-loss. Hourglass-shaped women with softer bellies and/or curvy bottoms will benefit will strengthening exercises to tone and tighten these areas while still maintaining a shapely figure. Aim to do a core circuit workout three times per week, doing five to eight exercises for one minute back to back before resting; repeat the circuit three times in total. Sample exercises include front planks, side planks, leg lifts, bridging and walking lunges.
Running is a great calorie-burner, but you won't lose much weight if you continue to eat an unhealthy diet. Curvy women should avoid strict dieting regimens that restrict too many foods or are too low in calories. These type of fad diets can lead to both fat and muscle loss and cause women to lose a healthy hourglass shape. Instead, stick to a well-balanced diet that consists of plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats in moderation.