One of the best ways to slim down your abdomen is to do plenty of cardiovascular exercise. Some good examples of this are walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, bicycling and high-activity sports like racquetball, tennis and basketball. Anything that brings your heart rate up and keeps it there for at least twenty minutes conditions your heart and burns fat. As you continue to burn more calories through being physically active you will not only notice a difference in your abdominal fat but you will also feel better and healthier. The number one thing you need to think about is the cardio. Five times a week.
Be More Effective at Burning Fat
Toning along with cardiovascular work will speed up and improve the process, but don’t think that you only need to work on your abs. This is another grave misconception.
The truth is that when you work all the larger muscle groups, adding more mass to your muscles, you rev up your metabolism to heights it has never before reached. Your muscles need extra calories to maintain themselves, so more of the food you eat will be feeding your muscles instead of your trouble spots. Your conditioned heart (from the cardiovascular stuff) is more effective at burning calories as well, so you have the golden combination, there.
As the fat comes off your body, it will come off your belly. Your body fat is like one organ, located throughout your body, and you can’t take it off of just one spot unless you have liposuction done.
The large muscles that you should concentrate on are (in this order) front and back of thighs, buttocks, back, chest, triceps and biceps. Then, you can throw in calves, hips, forearms and shoulders.
Always work your abs at the end of your workout. There’s a good reason for this. You are indirectly using them for all the other exercises you do. The abs are important stabilizer muscles that keep your form in check. If you do abs first, you will tire them out, and your whole workout will be less than optimal. Work down from the largest to the smallest muscles.
Working those Abs
Crunches and sit-ups primarily work the largest abdominal muscle, the rectus abdominis, which flexes the spine. This muscle compresses the abdomen to a point, but there are other muscles that you need to pay attention to, as well.
The internal and external obliques, which I like to call ‘nature’s girdle’, are located at the sides of the rectus abdominis. They are the muscles you use when you bend sideways at the spine or twist at the waist. They also contract to compress the abdomen, so you should work them just as hard as you work the rectus abdominis. Adding a twist to crunches works, as well as ’side bends’ with dumbbells, but be careful not to use any jerky motions, especially if you’ve had back problems.
The transversus abdominis is located at your sides, below the obliques. Often called ‘lower abs’, this is the muscle that women who are trying to lose the belly after pregnancy should concentrate on. Exercises that call for raising the legs instead of the upper body are very effective at strengthening the transversus. METHODS (please note links to articles that contain more information):
Walking puts all of the abdominal muscles to work. Make sure you swing your arms and contract your midsection while you walk, and maintain a brisk pace. Once you get your body accustomed to a daily walk, you’ll hate to go a day without it. Walk for at least thirty minutes each time to achieve the aerobic effect, and be sure to drink plenty of water.
Weight training not only helps the metabolism, but it also strengthens the bones. Women who work out with weights are much less likely to develop osteoporosis in later years than their counterparts. Adding muscle also does wonders for the energy level and self-esteem. Contrary to a popular myth, lifting weights will not bulk you up with muscles that will eventually turn to more fat. They will give you a more feminine and symmetrical shape. If you enjoy weight training, do it.
Yoga is equally effective at strengthening the body, especially the abs and back. It improves the posture tremendously, to create a taller, leaner appearance. Pilates and many mat-based exercises are also great alternatives.
The important thing is that you find an activity that you like to do. This will greatly improve the odds of you sticking to it.
Certain supplements can be dangerous. Make sure to look into what kind of supplement you are getting. Don’t just buy some cheap internet drug that promises you everything. Try and find a supplement that contains patented ingredients and has a good customer standing. Talk with your doctor about what might be helpful. Find a supplement that works as an appetite suppressant to help keep you form giving into certain temptations. Be careful not to overdue it though. Some supplements can cause unpleasant side effects.
You don’t need a scale to measure your weight loss. If you are working and using weights your weight might increase at first making you feel like you are getting nowhere. Try using a tight pare of jeans to help you notice when they get loser. Measuring your waist line will be the best indicator for you to find out of you are losing weight or not. Also, don’t get down on yourself if you don’t seem to be trimming down. It takes time and in the end if you continue working out and trying to eat right your will overall be healthier.
I hate to say it. We’ve all seen people with ‘good genes’ and wondered if they had any idea how lucky they are. They probably don’t, but that’s okay. Consider it a character-building experience. If you blame your ancestors for excess flesh in the middle, don’t feel helpless. You just have to work a little harder than some others. You can still sculpt out a slimmer silhouette with cardiovascular exercise, a healthy, balanced, low fat diet and whatever bonus activities you throw in. This may not be a novel approach, but it really works.