Biking is an efficient weight-loss exercise.
Different people accumulate fat in different body areas based on gender and genetics, but the thighs and abdomen are two common regions where many store excess fat. To get rid of extra pounds in your thighs and legs, your first thought may be to exercise the specific areas where the fat has settled. But you can't spot-reduce fat, so you need a general calorie-reduction program to trim fat from across your body.
Estimate Your Calorie Needs
To lose fat, you must establish a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you ingest. Therefore, the first thing to do to trim fat -- including leg and abdominal fat -- is to determine how many calories you currently burn each day. Use an online calculator, such as one provided by the American Council on Exercise, or ACE. Enter your age, weight, gender and height into the calculator and then select your typical activity level -- which can range from вЂњlittle or no exerciseвЂќ to вЂњhard exercise or sports 6-7 days a week.вЂќ The calculator then displays an estimate of the number of calories you burn each day.
Improve Your Diet
Establish a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories, increasing your activity level or both. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods and seeds, plus low-fat dairy and protein sources such as lean meat, beans and nuts. Consume some protein with every meal, too. Try to consume about 500 fewer calories than you burn per day to lose about 1 pound each week. Use the estimated daily calorie burn you previously calculated to set your target.
Exercise the Pounds Away
When it comes to the exercise portion of your diet and exercise plan, you can increase your calorie burn in several ways. To be the most efficient, do exercises that burn the maximum number of calories per minute. According to Harvard Health Publications, running and bicycling are the premier calorie-burning activities. Cycling at more than 20 mph or running at 10 mph will both burn about 614 calories in 30 minutes if you weigh 155 pounds. If you can't move that fast, running at 6 mph or cycling at 14 to 15.9 mph will still burn 372 calories in a half hour. You'll burn even more calories if you include higher-intensity intervals within your workouts.
Strengthen Your Muscles
Targeted abs and thigh exercises won't spot-reduce fat, but they'll give you well-defined muscles to display when the fat recedes. The captain's chair exercise is the best activity for the oblique area, according to ACE. Place your forearms on the chair's arms and grip the handles. Let your legs hang straight down. Raise your knees slowly toward your chest and then return under control to the starting position. To work your thighs, вЂњMuscle & StrengthвЂќ recommends stiff-leg deadlifts and step-ups. To do deadlifts, stand on a small platform with a barbell on the floor and hold the bar with an overhand grip. Keep your legs, arms and back straight as you stand up straight and then return slowly to the starting position. Perform step-ups by placing a barbell across your shoulders and then stepping up and down on a bench or a similar raised platform.