Hips don’t lie, sang Shakira, and they really never do! If they’ve become a repository of fat, you need to get moving.
Across the world, women are more afflicted by the problem of weight gain on the hips. The reason is simple. Women have double the amount of body fat as men, mainly to be able to carry and nourish babies. We have no control over where the fat cells decide to swell and shrink.
But studies have shown that fat cells in the lower body, the hips and thighs where women tend to put on inches, are more prone to fat storage.
Weight gain mounts as we age and it isn’t easy to lose the kilos when you are older. If you are consistently gaining weight on the hips, it is important to identify the underlying factor(s) causing the gain. For some, it could simply be lack of exercise or excess calories in the diet. But those are the easy cases. Umpteen women gain weight due to factors such as low thyroid functioning, stress, excess estrogen and other hormonal issues.
To get the weight off, you will need to try a combination of diet, cardiovascular and strengthening exercises. Special efforts will be needed to lose weight after menopause. Cut down on sugars/salt, refined flours or grains, oily and deep fried foods, packaged /processed foods and instant mixes. Include fresh fruits and vegetables 3-4 servings in your diet. Take the stairs and keep yourself active and walking throughout the day. Include uphill walking or trek once a month.
Try these exercises to get those handles off your hips and keep them off:
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These exercises can help you work on balancing the muscular effort between your pelvic floor and your inner and outer thighs.
Single leg glute bridge:
This one exercise can help sculpt and tone your butt, abs and hamstrings.
Side step-ups activate the glutes, improve balance and total body movement.
This compound exercise targets the quads, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, lower back, traps and forearms.
Side lunges with weight:
Regularly pairing side lunges with weights can strengthen and tone muscles in your glutes, thighs and hips.
A variation of the side-step, the side-stepping curtsey is a great way to tone your glutes and legs.