Clever marketers would like you to believe that spot reduction in the abdominal area can be achieved with mysterious machines and ingenious gadgets that rid your waistline of fat quickly and easily, leaving you with lean, flat abs. However, I know you are smart and won’t be surprised when I tell you those gizmos simply don’t work.
‘Clean’ Eating is Best for Your Abs
Last week, Kathy Wise, Mercy’s health and wellness director, wrote about the ‘no-magic’ diet plan for reducing belly fat. This week, I will echo some of her advice: the best way to spot reduce unwanted fat and get the firm, slender abdominal muscles you want is to do aerobic exercise and eat a healthy diet. No surprise, right?
Kathy provided a number of helpful diet tips in her post. I’d like to add that “clean” eating works best. I am talking about consuming foods that are low in calories, sugar and fat, which can help reduce extra fat in our abdominal area.
Commit to Exercise for the Long-term
So, let’s talk about what type of exercise does work on abs. Research confirms that if you complete 200-300 minutes of moderate-to-intense, aerobic-type exercises each week in short periods of time (for example, circuit training and interval workout programs), you can achieve the aerobic level your body needs to burn excess calories and begin melting the waistline away.
Often, people want the fast solution to flabby abs when the only effective way to spot reduce is a long-term commitment to regular aerobic exercise and diet. The answer is simple but challenging.
Focus on Core Exercises for Faster Results with Abs
To move forward a little more quickly in your journey toward tighter abs, I do recommend adding a few tried-and-true core exercises to aerobic activities. Do them with correct form 3-4 times a week.
Two great options are the plank and the hollow-body hold. These photos demonstrate correct form:
Pilates, a class available at Mercy’s North Canton health center, can also spot reduce the abdominal area and teach you how to flatten it while working out. Consistently combine aerobics, core strengthening and clean eating, and you will see excellent results with your abdominal muscles. No surprises!
Do you live in Canton, North Canton, Massillon or elsewhere in Stark County and want to workout in a stress-free environment designed especially for non-traditional exercisers? Contact Mercy Health & Fitness Center. Our certified exercise physiologists and personal trainers can help you create a custom plan that fits your personal health needs.