- Exercise & Fitness
Exercise for Tums
The stomach is possibly the area most directly affected by surplus fat in the diet. As with your thighs and bottom, the amount of fat in your diet is directly proportional to the state of your waistline. However, this problem is compounded by alcohol. Men are well aware of the fattening influences of lager and bitter, but women tend to underestimate the effects of spirits on their waistlines. That regular drink when you get home from work each evening could be creating hidden barriers to a diet which you have been trying. The best thing that you can do is try to cut down on your alcohol intake as it is bad for you in a multitude of ways. Not least it's diuretic qualities which can result in dehydration and the fact that it is ultimately addictive. The alcohol should be replaced with water if possible as the body requires plenty of water daily for all of it's cellular functions. If you can supplement this with fruit juice as well, so much the better as your body will be getting a regular intake of vitamins which are essential for good health.
Again, to decrease your waistline and shed those stubborn pounds you will need to increase your aerobic work frequency and decrease the rate at which you perform. Working at around 40% of your theoretical maximum heart rate will result in your body burning a higher percentage of fat when trying to produce energy. Also, the training effect resulting from this will mean than you have a leaner and more efficient musculature, which will burn fat at a higher rate for any given intensity. Try to aim for aerobic exercise at least 3 times per week to work towards significant training effects and eventual weight loss. A good exercise with which to start is rowing. This is a relatively low-impact action that gives an all over body workout, including the stomach, and can be performed aerobically.
There are a host of different exercises available for the stomach (Abdominal) area, as well as an abundance of training aids. Below is a selection of simple exercises to get you started on the road to a firmer tummy:
This exercise concentrates the focus on your upper abdominals. Lie on your back with your knees bent up and feet on the floor. Your feet and knees should be around fist width apart. Place your right arm down alongside your body and your left had behind your left ear. Try to concentrate on one point on the ceiling above your head and keep looking at that point throughout the exercise. Relax your neck and slowly lift your head and shoulders off the floor. When your shoulder blades have left the floor, hold for one second, then relax and return to the lying position. The most benefit is gained from this exercise if it is done in a slow and controlled action. This exercise should be repeated until you are happy that you have done as much as you can.
Curl-Up With Pelvic Tilt
This is the same exercise as before, but performed whilst doing a pelvic tilt. This helps to shift the focus of the exercise downwards towards your middle abdominal area. The tilt should be held throughout the exercise and effort should be made to keep your tummy as tight as possible throughout too.
Curl-Up With Raised Legs
This time, instead of having your feet on the floor, put them up against a wall so that your shins are horizontal and your thighs are vertical. If you are used to this exercise you can even do it without the wall and support your own legs (this uses your abdominals before the exercise has even started). This exercise shifts the focus of the work right down to the lower abdominal areas. Again the curl-up should be done in a slow and controlled manner.
Lateral Oblique Curl-Up
This exercise concentrates on the muscles running down the sides of your stomach, known as the Lateral Obliques. Start as with the first curl-up, with your feet on the floor and your knees bent up slightly. Then, without shifting your hips at all, lean your legs over to one side, keeping your upper body as square as possible. It is important not to shift your hips as this can throw your spine out of alignment. When swapping from one side to another it is also important to make sure that you are lying straight before leaning over to the other side.
Once you have done these exercises to strengthen and firm your tummy, it is important to work the opposite muscles, in this case, your lower back. Lie on your front with your legs together and your bottoms and legs tensed. Then, keeping your hips firmly pressed into the floor, gently lift your upper body until you can feel a stretch in your lower back. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, then relax. Repeat 5 times. You should then stretch your back out by moving back into a kneeling position and performing a cat curl.