Lose weight, raise heat with sexy exercises

By Darlene Jeter, Contributing writer
Published On: Feb 07 2012 01:27:16 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 13 2012 02:00:00 AM EST

iStock/Thomas_EyeDesign

Ladies, forget about the treadmill or going for a jog to work up a sweat.

It's time for you to sweat and build confidence all at the same time. It's time to bring sexy back -- into your workout.

The secret to any good workout is not making it feel like a workout. And if you dread exercising, that is even more of a reason to try something that will burn a few calories, tone your body and make you feel really good.

Your size does not matter. Women of all sizes participate and end up walking away looking good and feeling even better.

So if you are up to the challenge, grab your high heels and prepare to get sexy and sweaty as you twirl on a pole ...

No. 5: Pole dancing

While most people may think of exotic dancers at a poorly lit club and men gawking at body parts, pole dancing is actually a good workout. It requires a great amount of upper body strength and provides a workout to muscles not customarily used.

Usually exotic dancers make pole dancing look easy, but it is not. In pole dancing, all major muscle groups are used such as the upper and lower back,
shoulders, abdomen, hamstrings, quads, inner and outer thighs and calves.

If you were thinking, "Wow!" -- Yes, wow! After twirling or attempting to twirl on a pole, just about every muscle in your body will tell you that you used something you have not used before. It is a serious workout.

And if pole dancing is something you think you will enjoy, you will definitely enjoy a workout while stripteasing ...

No. 4: Stripteasing

Stripping has been around for decades, but striptease aerobics was introduced in 2002 and has experienced a tremendous growth in popularity.

Carmen Electra is one of the celebrities who made stripteasing appealing to more women as a sexy way to work out. The workout is not only undressing slowing in a burlesque-show manner.

She has a set of aerobic striptease DVDs. In the five-disc set, Electra targets your abdomen, thighs, buttocks and hips and teaches the technique of lap dancing.

The goal of working out may be to lose weight, but Electra touts that the workout aims to encourage women to feel good about their bodies, no matter what the size.

And don't worry, you will not actually have to take your clothes off unless you choose to.

If you can't imagine yourself stripteasing, maybe our next selection -- a different form of dancing -- is a better choice for you ...

No. 3: Belly dancing

Belly dancing is a Middle Eastern dance that many refer to as body dancing. It is also found to be quite alluring.

Although the mere name of the dance may make you think that you will only exercise your belly, you will not. You will exercise all of your muscle groups.

Depending on the amount of time spent dancing, you can burn as many calories as you would walking, swimming or riding a bike.

And not only will you get a good workout in if you continuously move, you will also get a chance to participate with the costuming, drama and self-expression.

If shaking and shimming your hips sounds fun, you will definitely enjoy taking a stroll down memory lane to exercise with a childhood toy ...

No. 2: Hooping

You may remember calling it hula hooping, but hooping is all grown up. Hooping provides an exciting way to burn calories while moving your hips.

Like most exercises, what you put in is what you get out. So if a lot of energy is exerted in hooping with a weighted hoop, a lot of calories can be burned.

In the beginning, it may be difficult to spend an hour hooping, but the more you hoop, the more calories will be burned.

Grownups can forget about using those hoops that were used during childhood. They will not work quite as well. Weighted hoops provide the best workout and also help to keep the hoop up around the hips.

But if strolling down memory lane to your childhood seems a bit silly, maybe you can get more in touch with your body and spirit with our last selection ...

No. 1: Yoga

There are many yoga moves that people find sensual and erotic because often body parts are pointed in the air.

The downward dog may be one of the easiest moves for beginners. But the move, which involves spreading your hands in front of you on the floor with your feet slightly separated and your buttocks in the air, will make you break out into a serious sweat if the instructor continually uses it.

The move will also increase blood circulation and stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands while also strengthening the arms and legs.

And if stretching and bending doesn't sound sexy enough for you, don't forget there is hot yoga and naked yoga.

But no matter how you choose to work up a sweat, incorporating a workout that will help you get in touch with your inner sexy is sure to not only make you look better but feel better too.

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