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Running can help slim your hips.
If there was a magical exercise to target the stubborn fat on your hips it would undoubtedly be popular. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet in the form of exercise that can rid you of belly fat. But running, combined with diet and resistance training can help you build a slimmer body overall.
The Idea of Spot Reduction
Spot reduction is an idea that sounds reasonable, but is a farce. The theory is that by targeting certain muscles, you can lose fat in those areas. It would seem logical that an activity like running, which engages the hip flexors, extenders and rotators would burn fat from your hips. According to Yale Scientific, however, spot reduction is just a myth. When your body burns fat for energy, it can come from anywhere in the body, not just what you're exercising.
How Running Helps
While running won't specifically target fat loss on your hips, it can help you burn calories to lose fat throughout your body. This means that to trim fat from your hips, you need to trim fat from your body as a whole. According to Yale Scientific, running is an effective way to burn calories and shed fat. It's particularly effective if you engage in interval training, where you alternate between high- and low-intensity running. This is because interval training raises your metabolism, leading to an elevated calorie burn even after your workout.
Importance of Diet
You won't lose any weight if you don't watch what you eat. If you simply eat back the calories you burn with running, you'll maintain your weight. And if you increase your intake too much, you can actually gain weight despite a running routine. For safe weight loss you should create a daily calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories. This includes calories burned running and from other exercises, as well as calories that you cut from your diet. A deficit in this range will yield weight loss at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. The CDC also suggests including proteins that are low in saturated fat like lean meats, poultry, fish and beans.
Running can help build muscle in your lower body, which can give your lower body a more toned look. But for greater benefits you should perform a full body workout to maintain and build overall muscle mass. When you're losing weight you want to be sure that it's primarily fat you're losing, not muscle. Yale Scientific recommends regular resistance training to maintain muscle while losing weight. According to the CDC you should do two weekly workouts that work all major muscle groups. This can include weightlifting, body weight exercises, yoga and even physical chores like heavy gardening. If you increase your muscle mass it will also increase your calorie burn, making it easier to maintain a calorie deficit and burn fat.