Ah flat abs, we all want a nice tight tummy all year round, especially when the summer rolls around and the weather starts heating up.
That's when we think beach, and reach for our favorite swimsuits.
-Unfortunately it's also when we notice that our 6-pack abs may look a little more like 12-packs. That flabby stomach is not exactly in the shape we want the world to see.
-Obviously, the best time for this realization would be in the winter, when you have a little more time to work on it, and get ready.
But winter or summer, here are some great tips to get you started toward good health, and help you firm up that flabby tummy too!
-It's important to note that there are no shortcuts for trading in a flabby stomach for those firm flat abs.
You do have to put in the time and do some pretty hard work.
Although most of us will never attain the washboard abs that all the models in the ads have, there really are quite a few things we can do to firm up what we do have and reduce that flabby stomach.
-It will take some time and effort, but when you start to see the results and the looks you get, it will spur you on to even higher exercise goals.
1. Plan healthy eating . Evaluate your daily eating habits. The biggest obstacle to a tight tummy and flat abs is having too much fat in the diet.
-What often happens is that after you've gone through all the workouts to get the abdominals in shape to attain flat abs, no one can see them because a layer of fatty tissue covers them.
2. Get your nutrients. Eating a well balanced diet is best by far, but taking a vitamin supplement if needed, helps to ensure that your body gets the proper nutrition; if you don't always eat right.
3. Drink plenty of water. Keep hydrated, it helps the body get rid of fat instead of storing it, and it's great for the liver and muscles. If we all drink what we should, (see benefits of water) we'd feel fuller and eat less!
-If you start drinking a lot more water, you may think you'll be running all day, but your body will normalize after a time and the potty trips will stop. If you're not a fan of water - add limes or lemon, but drink that water!
4. Eat plenty of proteins. Legumes, milk, meat, eggs etc. As you work the stomach and other muscles, they'll need time to recover. Protein is the building block of muscle tissue, and essential for flat abs.
5. Get involved in aerobics; nothing burns excess fat like aerobics. Choosing an activity you like helps: stepping, spinning, dance, biking or running. -Anything to get the heart and lungs pumping strong!
6. Incorporate strength training into your routine. If you need to lose weight, starting with the aerobics activity will definitely help trim the fat, and that's important before adding strength training.
7. Gradually change your meal frequency. We were always taught that eating three square meals a day was healthy.
New evidence shows that eating 5 to 6 smaller meals (and especially a good breakfast) daily keeps the metabolism high so that your body becomes a fat-burning machine twenty-four hours a day!
8. Get to work on those abs. You can't work the abs and instantly burn the fat over the top of them. The body will burn the fat cells in the areas that it chooses, why not the abs first? You can point the burn in the right direction and whip them into shape with targeted abdominal exercises.
9. Work all areas of your stomach. The 6-pack abs are only seen from the front but the entire abdominal region plays into their development.
-Besides the rectus abdominus, (the muscles you can see) you also have the transverse abdominus and the internal and external obliques.
Work the entire body as well as the abdominals -the stomach muscles are always helping, whatever the exercise may be.
10. Don't give up too easily. For some reason, men lose weight (and fat) faster than women. If you're a woman, your significant other may get a tight tummy before you do, no worries - you'll get there!
11. Set Goals. It's a known fact -setting realistic goals for yourself, and then reaching them -works wonders for just about anything! -2 miles on the bike-20 reps today, 3 miles-30 reps next week ...try it - it works!
12. Be consistent. Work out every day. Aerobic exercises every day, strength training for the stomach muscles every other day with some light crunches on the off days. (minimum 30 minutes/day to start)
-But take it slow at the beginning. Too much too soon can cause sore muscles and discourage even the most enthusiastic among us.
Some trainers suggest training the abs every day, with the stress on the repetitions the first day, and the amount of weight used the next session.
-This may be fine for those who are maintaining their 6-pack abs, but for most of us just trying to find our abs, every other day is the more reliable and safer way to go.
Do you want to lose that flabby stomach? These 12 tips will get you started in the right direction for firm flat abs, or at least a healthier body and a trimmer waistline ...the rest is up to you!
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