Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Flattening Your Stomach in Four Easy Steps


You look at it every day and wish it would just go away; that little pouch below your belly button that keeps staring back at you. You do crunches, sit ups, the works, and yet there it is just "hanging around." There are all sorts of cute names for it: snack pouch, spare tire, love handles, and the list goes on. All you know is that you want it gone.

The American Council on Exercise calls the bicycle one of the most effective ab exercises out there. This exercise is one of many that should be completed as part of a lifestyle change which includes both diet and exercise. Just doing ab exercises all day will not get rid of the excess fat that you have around your waistline.

The following four areas of diet and exercise will help you gain the toned, flat stomach that you are craving.

1. Fat Intake

How much fat is in your diet? The American Food Pyramid says that a healthy diet is one that "Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts, and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

Following the food pyramid will help you find the fats you need in good foods like nuts and plant oils as opposed to potato chips and ice cream. You should be taking in less than 30% of your caloric intake from fat so check your labels when you're purchasing packaged products. Many products now have the trans fats listed as well, so you can see which percentage of fat belongs to which group; saturated, non-saturated, trans, etc.

2. Carbohydrate Intake

Maybe your friends were on lo-carb diets and were amazed at the weight they lost. Maybe you tried one too? Carbohydrates are amazing in that each molecule attracts four water molecules to it and they hang out together inside your muscles. When you start decreasing the amount of carbohydrates you take in, you start to see weight loss in the form of fat loss. Oops, I mean WATER loss. No more carbs means no more four molecules of water hanging on, means lower numbers on the scale. Carbohydrate intake is essential for brain activity as well as muscle function. Our bodies feed off of glucose and glycogen which is supplied directly by carbohydrates. Eating whole wheat and whole grain is the way to go- stay away from white products; rice, pasta, bread, etc. Brown is best. Carbohydrate intake should be no more than 65% of your diet.

3. Cardiovascular Exercise

Running, cycling, swimming, aerobics; they are all using oxygen and so the prime energy source comes from muscle glycogen and fatty acids. The furnace is on and it's burning fat. You may have heard that cardio is good for burning fat, and that is true. Cardio exercise should be done for a minimum of 20 minutes and hopefully for longer and should be done at least three times per week, hopefully more. According to the American Council of Sport Medicine, "If weight loss is your major goal, participate in your aerobic activity at least 30 minutes, for five days each week."

You can't melt fat off of one area specifically, but it will come off over the whole body in time. We all lose fat from different places first. Just remember that cardio is a complement to the diet and the floor work that will also do.

4. Floor Work

Abdominal exercises were once believed to be something we could do everyday. We now know that the abdominals are like any other muscle and they need time to recover and rest.

Floor work is an essential component in getting a toned tummy. There are four main abdominal muscles that we can work: the rectus abdominus, which runs from the sternum to the pubic bone, the transverse abdominus which runs horizontal all around the torso connecting near the spine, and there are the obliques- internal and external which run alongside our ribs in opposite directions.

Exercises:

Hip lifts:

Lye on your back with your legs straight up in the air. Keep your back pressing into the floor and think about tightening a belt around your waist. Slowly pull your belly button to the floor and as you do so, feel your hips lifting gently off the floor as your legs are lifted. Do not lift with the legs, but instead with the abdominals. Repeat 10-15 times.

The Plank:

Facing the floor, get on your hands and knees, keeping your shoulders over your hands. Straighten out your body and keep your toes on the floor. You should be straight like a board with your abs pulling in tight. Breathe in and out naturally. Hold for up to one minute. Repeat 4-5 times.

The Bicycle:

Lye on your back with you knees bent. Slowly pull your upper body off the floor and support your head with your hands. Activate your abs by pulling your belly button to the floor and release any pelvic tilt. Take one shoulder and turn your torso to face your opposite knee. Go to the other side. Think of riding a bicycle as you turn slowly from side to side. Repeat for 20 repetitions.

Double Leg Drop:

Lye on your back with your legs straight up in the air. Keep your back pressing into the floor and think about tightening a belt around your waist. Keeping your abs pulled in at all times, slowly drop your legs toward the floor, keeping them pressing together. If you feel your back begin to arch, pull your legs back to the starting point. Inhale on the way down, exhale on the way up. Only go as far as you are comfortable with and go slowly. Repeat 10 times.

Diet and exercise are the only ways to get to your goals and they need to become part of a new lifestyle if you're going to maintain the body you want. Quick fixes, pills, drinks, diets, etc are only good for short term and could have long term effects that don't equate to your ultimate goals.

Nicole Palacios BSc, has been an integral part of the fitness industry for the past 11 years, working first as a group fitness instructor, and more recently as a personal trainer. She is certified through ACE and the BCRPA as a personal trainer, and is also a supervisor of fitness leaders. Her passions include fitness writing, weight training, and helping her clients pursue their fitness dreams. She has also started a Stroller Fit walking and toning group for moms in Vancouver, Canada.

Check out her website at http://www.perfectfit.ws, or contact by email at Nicole@perfectfit.ws


MORE RESOURCES:

Healthy Oshkosh: Water exercise not just limited to swimming
The Oshkosh Northwestern
According to the American Council on Exercise, exercising in water makes you feel about 90 percent lighter, therefore your body does not experience the same impact in water as it does on land. Also, the Aquatic Exercise Association says that water ...



SFGate

Dubuque-area companies exercise wellness plans
SFGate
"I wanted to have a beautiful building, but I also wanted to give our employees an opportunity to get out, get fresh air and exercise during the day," Poppe told the Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/1AD2KTl ). This emphasis on employee wellness ...

and more »


Wall Street Journal

Exercise Helps Children With ADHD in Study
Wall Street Journal
Researchers seeking alternatives to the use of drugs to treat ADHD in children are taking a closer look at exercise as a prescription. A recent study found regular, half-hour sessions of aerobic activity before school helped young children with ...
Exercise before school may reduce ADHD symptoms in kidsMSUToday
Exercise May Help Kids FocusdailyRx
Exercise before school has calming effect on kids with ADHD symptomsTech Times
Nature World News -Angle Chronicle -WTHR
all 54 news articles »


Exercise, weight loss help Sioux City woman battle third form of cancer
Sioux City Journal
"A lot of it's just been through eating healthy and exercise, just like doctors tell you to do," she chuckled, as she sat cross-legged on a sofa in her north side home, wiggling her foot. Schriner doesn't stay seated for long. When she's not doing ...

and more »


Daily Mail

Dover port warns public to expect safety exercise 'gunfire'
Kent Online
Gunfire and explosions at the Port of Dover later are part of a major drill designed to test the reactions of the emergency services. The exercise will force the port to shut from midnight tonight until 5am on Sunday. The major live multi-agency ...
Port of Dover closed for huge armed police exercise to simulate terror attackDaily Mail
Port of Dover emergency exercise includes mock explosionsBBC News
Port of Dover mock exercise goes with a bangITV News

all 7 news articles »


Preventing childhood obesity with a healthy diet and exercise
WTHI
A healthy diet and regular exercise is essential to stay fit, even for children, but when should you monitor what your child eats? Sharayah Targett spends a crisp Saturday afternoon at the park with her two children. “We definitely try to get outside ...



CTV News

Exercise before school may reduce ADHD sympton in some kids
Michigan Radio
They found children at-risk for developing ADHD were more attentive in class after exercising. Alan Smith is the chairperson of MSU's Department of Kinesiology. He says the study suggests including more physical activity in schools could lessen the ...
Studies hone in on need for gym class, preferably in the morningCTV News
Morning gym class gives kids needed boostThe Malay Mail Online
Going outside makes you healthierRichmond Register

all 8 news articles »


Outside Magazine

Athletes Don't Exercise, They Train
Outside Magazine
Athletes who exercise to lose weight, for example, don't always drop the pounds, leading them to give up. "I also wonder how beneficial it can be to exercise in such a negative way, where you're constantly thinking, 'I'm not good enough, and I don't ...



Belt holds mass casualty training exercise
KXLH Helena News
BELT -- Belt Ambulance held their first-ever Mass Casualty Exercise at Belt High School on Sunday. Training Director for Belt Ambulance Gene Cantley helped organize this exercise. Cantley explained what "mass casualty" means, "By definition is any time ...



Telegraph.co.uk

Transform your body with just 10 minutes' exercise a day
Telegraph.co.uk
Often, I'm told by my clients or readers that they simply do not have enough time to train. While I concede that finding an hour a day three or four times a week for exercise when we have so many more constraints on our time can be difficult, I still ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.