Sunday, August 25, 2013

Top 4 exercises to banish that belly fat



By Fiona Ho, starhealth@thestar.com.my, Sunday, Feb 10, 2013, The Star/Asia News Network

 

A bulging belly can be a source of chagrin for most mortals. Some basic and simple exercises to fight belly fat.
PHOTO: A bulging belly can be a source of chagrin for most mortals. Some basic and simple exercises to fight belly fat.
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http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/top-4-exercises-banish-belly-fat/page/0/0



A bulging belly can be a source of chagrin for most mortals. Here are some basic and simple exercises you can do to fight belly fat.

MALAYSIA - The most common question I get asked is: how to get a flat stomach?

A bulging belly can be a source of chagrin for most mortals. Even those who were naturally lean in their youth tend to develop a pouch as they enter their 30s.

The reasons for having a rotund middle can range from age and genetics, to plain abuse of food and drink, with little or no exercise.



Cardio Club - Lose weight, gain muscle, get in good shape and have some fun at the same time.
PHOTO: Cardio Club - Lose weight, gain muscle, get in good shape and have some fun at the same time.
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One thing is for certain - having a big gut is certainly a bad thing, however cute and cushy it may be. Excessive abdominal fat has been linked to serious health conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes and cancer.

Often, people take up a gym membership to banish the bulge, but have a rather vague or incorrect idea on how to actually do it.

Contrary to popular belief, no amount of sit-ups or crunches alone will actually give you the chiselled six-pack you so covet. And that fitness commercial that claims that doing a 10-minute abs routine will give you a sexy midsection? Yeaahh, good luck with that...



Rules to have a flat stomach

PHOTO: Rules to have a flat stomach - Contrary to popular belief, no amount of sit-ups or crunches alone will actually give you the chiselled six-pack you so covet.  
Posted by Libertatea.ro on 23 April 2012, 15:49
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And don't even think about sucking it in to fit into that little black dress. There are less painful and surer ways to getting that amazing body you've been dreaming about.

Here are a few things to consider when you embark on the quest to zap that jelly-belly, and to help strengthen and create lean abdominal muscles:


(http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/top-4-exercises-banish-belly-fat/page/0/1)
Cardio
Resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass, but if you are overweight and want to lose belly fat, cardiovascular exercises (cardio) is a good place to start because it burns more calories.

When transitioning from couch potato to workout newbie, the first thing to establish is the number of days per week cardio sessions should be performed.



Types of Cardiovascular Exercise
PHOTO: Types of Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardio (cardiovascular) exercise is anything that elevates or increases your heart rate. Cardio exercise increases your circulation and blood flow throughout your body.  Cardio exercise is an important component of any balanced exercise routine. There are so many benefits of doing cardio exercise.
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The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercises for at least five days a week, or vigorous cardio for 20 minutes a day, three times a week.

For those unacquainted with physical activity, it would be a good idea to start small. You can go for up to 15-20 minutes a day, three times a week, and build up your energy and stamina from there.



The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercises for at least five days a week, or vigorous cardio for 20 minutes a day, three times a week.
PHOTO: The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercises for at least five days a week, or vigorous cardio for 20 minutes a day, three times a week.
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The benefits of cardio are many. Moving around increases blood flow to our muscles and strengthens the heart and lungs. In doing so, it reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity, and also provides a temporary relief from depression and anxiety.

It also promotes better sleep and higher energy levels.

An added bonus is that you will definitely have more confidence about how you look and feel.

Popular cardio options include brisk walking, running, cycling, dance classes, skipping, swimming and what have you. Go ahead, knock yourself out. But do include at least one or two days of rest each week.


(http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/top-4-exercises-banish-belly-fat/page/0/2)
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High intensity, short duration cardio, popularly known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), has gained popularity in recent years, and has been proven to be an effective way to lose fat.

HIIT allows for very high intensities to be used and alternated with short periods of recuperation. There are no hard and fast rules to HIIT training, but a work:rest ratio of 1:3, 1:2 or 1:1 (eg going at your maximum effort for one minute, then resting for three - and repeating this for up to five or six bouts), are commonly used, depending on your fitness level.



High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
PHOTO: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Work:rest ratio of 1:3, 1:2 or 1:1, are commonly used, depending on your fitness level.
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The Tabata is one popular form of HIIT that is relatively easy to follow. The regimen was developed in the 1970s by Professor Izumi Tabata to help Olympic speed skaters improve their performance and fitness levels.

To do a Tabata, all you have to do is pick a cardio activity, such as running, biking or doing burpees, and go as hard as you can for 20 seconds. Follow that with 10 seconds of rest, then repeat seven more cycles (for a total duration of four minutes). And by "hard as you can", I mean you should be seeing stars or having a date with Pukey
(on the verge of vomiting) by the end of it.


Training series for triathlon bike
PHOTO: Training series for triathlon bike
Posted by Omar Q on April 18, 2013 Triathlon Bike, Personal Workouts
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Doing the Tabata is no walk in the park, but it's worth it, trust me on this. Believe it or not, four minutes of Tabata can actually give you better fitness gains than an entire hour spent dawdling on the treadmill.

Tabata can help increase aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, resting metabolic rate, and ultimately, help you burn more fat than a 60-minute jog can.



The high intensity also gives metabolism a cool boost, and this means that not only calories are burnt during training, but the body will be burning calories while resting afterwards too. And that translates to a nice, flat stomach!
PHOTO: The high intensity also gives metabolism a cool boost, and this means that not only calories are burnt during training, but the body will be burning calories while resting afterwards too. And that translates to a nice, flat stomach!
Posted by Hare and tortoise on 3 August 2013
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The high intensity also gives your metabolism a cool boost, and this means that you don't just torch calories during training, your body will be burning calories while you are resting afterwards too. And that translates to a nice, flat stomach!


(http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/top-4-exercises-banish-belly-fat/page/0/3)
Push-ups
I am a big believer in functional exercises that can help develop a strong overall support system, rather than spot-reduction exercises that focus mainly on building muscles on the facade.

I don't want a set of beautiful abs just for show, I want them to have a function for movement too.



Articles published within the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research revealed that men lifted about 66.4% of their body weight with each rep when they did a push-up on their toes. On their knees, they lifted about 52.9% of their body weight.
PHOTO: Articles published within the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research revealed that men lifted about 66.4% of their body weight with each rep when they did a push-up on their toes. On their knees, they lifted about 52.9% of their body weight.
Posted by theREMIX on May 26, 2013
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Push-ups are an excellent exercise that will help you do just that. They not only help you get a stronger upper body, but also help to strengthen the core muscles as well.

A basic push-up does not require any equipment other than your own body. But here's the beauty of it - every repetition of a push-up incorporates the stabilisation of your core muscles, combining an upper-body pushing movement with a plank. What this means is that if you disengage your core muscles, you neglect the main source of power for your exercise.



Push-ups are an excellent exercise that will help you do just that. They not only help you get a stronger upper body, but also help to strengthen the core muscles as well.
PHOTO: Push-ups are an excellent exercise that will help you do just that. They not only help you get a stronger upper body, but also help to strengthen the core muscles as well.
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In doing so, the push-up doesn't just strengthen your chest, shoulders and triceps; it is in fact, also one of the best exercises for your midsection - as long as you're doing it correctly.

A regular push-up is done with the hands directly under the shoulders with straight legs. However, you can start off by doing push-ups on your knees if you can't do them with straight legs yet.



Muscles Worked by Push-ups
PHOTO: Muscles Worked by Push-ups

Push-ups are one of the most traditional and basic of all exercises. It not just builds upper body muscles, but also an individual's strength and stamina. The body parts that benefit the most by a regular routine of push-ups include the chest, shoulders, forearms and wrist area. Push-ups also help in developing a proper posture and a good torso.

Push-ups are not just a part of every fitness freak's exercise regimen, but are also popular with beginners. As an exercise regimen, a push-up routine is religiously followed by athletes and military personnel too. The primary reason behind push-ups gaining such popularity is the fact that it does not require any exercise equipment! Push-ups target six important muscles in the body - the pectoralis, triceps, deltoid, serratus anterior, abdominal and coracobrachialis.

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Some points to consider when doing push-ups is that you should always keep your body in a straight line from head to toe, without sagging in the middle or arching your back. Also, don't lock out the elbows - keep them slightly bent.


(http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/top-4-exercises-banish-belly-fat/page/0/4)
Squats
Squats, one of my all-time favourite exercises, are another great option to help build a rock-solid midsection.

While they are more commonly known as a lower body workout, squats are actually a fantastic core exercise as well. This is because your abdominal and back muscles are required to do a significant amount of work to maintain good posture when performing this movement.

When you squat, your midline has to be kept stable to keep your spine safe, especially if you are doing it with a heavy load.



Squats
PHOTO: Squats 
Posted by Fitnessista on Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
The pros:
  • Noticeably taller posture
  • Stronger core a.k.a. amazing abs!
  • Long, lean muscles
  • Overall toned dancer-like look
  • You can do it at home with little to no equipment!
  • Cute fitness clothes ;)
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http://fitnessista.com/2011/07/focus-on-pilates/



The result is a tighter, more defined abdominal area and a stronger lower back. Make a conscious effort to hold in your abdominal muscles while squatting to enhance this effect.

Squats are also an effective exercise to work the posterior chain - mainly the major muscle groups on your butt, hips and glutes
(the muscles of the buttocks).


Squats are also an effective exercise to work the posterior chain - mainly the major muscle groups on your butt, hips and glutes (the muscles of the buttocks).
PHOTO: Squats are also an effective exercise to work the posterior chain - mainly the major muscle groups on your butt, hips and glutes (the muscles of the buttocks).
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When performing air squats, slowing down the motion will make the movement more intense.

Squats can be done almost anywhere and at any time, with or without the use of weights or equipment (I like the barbell), according to your fitness levels and goals.


Healthy lifestyle food
One important aspect people often overlook when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is food. We are what we eat, so the kind of food you put in your body will certainly make a difference between losing your belly or gaining one.

It is common knowledge that natural foods like fruits, vegetables and lean protein should replace processed foods that are full of sugar. And this means you'll have to refrain from digging into those tasty CNY treats!

To minimise water retention, lower your sodium intake.



Healthy Living Pyramid
PHOTO: Healthy Living Pyramid

One important aspect people often overlook when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is food. We are what we eat, so the kind of food you put in your body will certainly make a difference between losing your belly or gaining one.
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I know how hard it is to stick to a clean diet and maintain a consistent fitness regimen, but believe me, your perseverance will be worth it.

After all, whether you like it or not, this body is the only one you will ever have your whole life, and there is no better time to take care of it than now.



Be consistent and persistent, and shed those extra inches and pounds, banish the flood, and emerge a beautiful swan in those gorgeous skinny jeans!
PHOTO: Be consistent and persistent, and shed those extra inches and pounds, banish the flood, and emerge a beautiful swan in those gorgeous skinny jeans!
Posted  by Fiona Ho, Sunday December 16, 2012
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Be consistent and persistent, and you will soon shed those extra inches and pounds, banish the flood, and emerge a beautiful swan in those gorgeous skinny jeans!

Fiona Ho is a certified personal trainer and a CrossFit enthusiast who is trying her darndest to keep her hands off the cookie jar this CNY! For more information, email starhealth@thestar.com.my.



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