Waist circumference is an important indicator of overall health. Doing the proper exercises and eating healthy foods are essential for reducing waist size. A waist circumference of under 36 inches is considered optimal for fit, healthy women.
- Participate in an athletic pursuit you enjoy
Choose an activity that provides a moderate-intensity aerobic workout, such as biking, brisk walking, swimming, jogging or cross-country skiing. Participate in the activity for at least 150 minutes each week.
- Strength train at least twice a week
Lift weights and perform exercises like sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups. These exercises build muscle and help the body burn more calories, which helps minimize the waistline.
- Perform core-strengthening exercises
Spot-reducing is not effective in decreasing waist circumference. However, toning the abdominal muscles creates a flatter stomach, which slims the waist. Abdominal crunches, bicycle crunches, pelvic tilts and hip lifts are exercises that tone the abdomen without putting strain on the back.
- Jump rope
Jumping rope is a high-intensity workout that burns fat while simultaneously strengthening the abdomen. Try this interval workout to burn more fat: Jump rope as fast as possible for 40 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds. Repeat the cycle five times, then rest for one minute. Repeat the entire sequence again. Continue the intervals as tolerated, working up to a total of six complete cycles or about 30 minutes of jumping, every day.
- Eat healthy foods
Trimming calories is an effective way to lose abdominal fat. Replace fatty, processed foods with whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Stick to low-fat foods, such as skinless chicken breasts and beef, with a fat content of 15 percent or less. Read food labels carefully. Many canned foods are high in salt, which can cause fluid retention and abdominal bloating.