Love handles: one of the more affectionate terms used to describe those unwanted rolls of fat around the hips.

With Valentines Day approaching, follow these tips to help you lose those unwanted pounds, and trim the waistline.

One of the great exercise myths is that certain exercises will magically ‘zap’ fat from particular areas of the body. Sorry. That’s a big fat fib. To lose fat from any area of the body, we need to exercise at a high enough intensity to burn the fat for energy.

One of the most effective forms of fat burning exercise is interval training (and I’ll be talking more about this in a week or two) because it raises the heart rate higher than normal steady-state exercise and utilizes more energy.

And one of the most effective forms of goal-orientated interval training is boxing training. This is because boxing is a high-intensity activity which generally burns over 400 calories every 30 minutes. More specifically, the muscles involved with boxing movements, are located around the waist, namely the obliques. These muscles are constantly contracted when throwing punches, thus developing and ‘sculpting’ the waist area.

It is true, that after losing the fat from this problem area, you can also begin to develop the tone of the oblique muscles.

Oblique curls are a great for this. So: lay on your back with your knees bent to 90 degrees, so that your shins are parallel to the ground. Place your hands behind your head to support your neck, and keep your elbows wide. Straighten your left leg forward until it’s almost straight, and simultaneously curl your head and shoulders up and rotate your left armpit to the right hip. Return to your start position, and repeat on the other leg. Aim for 30 each side, daily.

Of course, no matter how much exercise you do, or how many oblique curls, that simple calories in vs. calories out equation always wins. So whilst Valentines is the prefect time to indulge in a few guilty pleasures, maybe sticky toffee pudding shouldn’t be one of them.

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