If I got 5 cents for every time someone asked me how to get rid of the tire around the belly, or the cottage cheese on the thigh, or the turkey skin under the arm, I would be rich. My response to these inquiries, "there is no such thing as spot reduction". A full body workout, complete with aerobic and strength training, with emphasis on the aerobic, is what will work to eliminate your problem areas.
As adults, women carry extra weight in the lower abdominal area and thighs, men carry it in the belly. This excess weight is due to fat. Period. The only way to reduce extra fat on the body is to start an aerobic exercise program. Whether it's walking, running, biking, exercise classes, etc. Why? When you do aerobic exercise, your body is using oxygen as fuel and oxygen helps burn fat.
To put it another way, the more oxygen used during exercise, the more fat you burn and the more calories you expend. Doing exercises like leg lifts, squats, tricep kickbacks, rows, crunches, etc. will help firm, tone and strengthen the muscles, which is also very important. They will not however, burn off the fat that covers them. Keep this in mind the next time you want to torture yourself with hundreds of crunches and leg lifts. Aim for a total body workout with all the components.