We are getting to warm weather and vacation season, which is just the best time of year, BUT we start to hear the phrase “Summer body” or “bikini body” way too much!! We immediately start looking in the mirror to find our “problem areas” and point them out. It’s way too easy to find a specific area of your body you are not happy with, whether it’s your tummy, axillary fat, thighs, or anywhere else on your body that you think has excessive fat.
Next comes the question that I’ve heard from a large portion of my patients… “How do I get rid of the fat on *insert area of body in concern*?”
Now I introduce the theory of spot reduction, and when I say theory, I really mean myth. This is an outdated theory that many people outside of the fitness realm still believe. Example, if I do only ab exercises, I will have flat abs in no time. Now, don’t get me wrong, you will be strengthening your abs, and that’s great, but you will not be solely burning fat from your stomach. When your body reaches the calorie deficit needed to start burning fat, it pulls energy from the fat all over the body, NOT just in the area that is under stress.
You will have more success and be safer if you do take a more comprehensive approach to your workout. If you are wanting to lose fat, start with your diet. If you’re eating excess calories and fat, they are getting stored and that’s where a majority of the problem will be. Next, focus on working your overall body. Compound exercises are exercises that involve more than one muscle group or area of your body. Engaging multiple muscle groups will help you burn more calories and burn more fat. Another approach is leaning more towards aerobic activities that burn more calories; examples, walking, running, biking, and swimming. The last, and I believe, most important approach is consistency with your exercise. This is the only way to really tell what your body needs. If one approach you are being dedicated to, isn’t working, then change it up.
And if you ever need help coming up with good compound exercises, that’s what your exercise oncology trainers are here for!