Lose Lower Abdominal Fat

You actually can have washboard abs, but it takes a lot of patience, time, hard work and dieting. However, if you’re willing to settle for a flat, lean tummy, it still takes a lot of patience, time, hard work and dieting…just not as much!

There are actually three sets of abdominal muscles, upper, lower and obliqes. It’s obvious what the upper and lower muscles are and where they are located, but the oblique muscles, are located on the sides of your abdomen. Called “nature’s girdle,” the oblique muscles are used when you bend sideways or forward from the waist.

There are four important things you should remember when exercising your abdominal muscles. The first is that all three sets of abdominal muscles work in conjunction with each other, so the best results for losing fat in your lower abdomen is to exercise all three sets of muscles. Vary your abdominal exercises and switch them around every week or so. After a while of doing the same abdominal exercises in the same order the body becomes accustomed to the routine, and starts to cut back on burning away abdominal fat. When doing your whole body exercise regimen, save doing abdominal exercises for last. Almost every exercise you do involves the abs in some way. When you work your abdominal exercises, you really work those abs hard and doing them first tires them out, making your other exercises less effective. The last thing to remember is that to have flat abs, you also need to get rid of visceral fat-fat stored around your internal organs.

To lose fat in any area, you must lose weight, and that starts with a low fat and low calorie diet. You can’t expect to lose body fat if you’re feeding it a lot of fatty foods. Avoid fried foods, and when you do eat them, be sure they are cooked in a light vegetable oil with no saturated fats. Drink at least 6 – 8 large glasses of water a day to flush toxins from your body keep you hydrated and keep you feeling full between meals. Avoid sugar; it packs on the pounds and has no nutritional value. If you have a sweet tooth, there are excellent sugar substitutes that can be used in baking, and sugar-free puddings and gelatins that are really quite tasty! Of course the best option for a sweet tooth is fresh fruit, but when you have to have chocolate or kill, sugar-free is the way to go!

Regular cardiovascular aerobics speed up your metabolism, which is an important factor in losing fat. Again, vary your regimen frequently, so your body doesn’t become accustomed to a set routine. There are enough different aerobic exercises that you don’t have to use the same ones every time. The same is true of anaerobic exercise for strengthening muscles. In fact, it’s the anaerobic exercises, such as swimming, walking, crunches, leg raises and resistance weight training that really firm up your abs. Sit and stand tall, and don’t slump! When your spine is straight and your shoulders are back, your abs automatically contract and if you’re a slumper, you’ll begin to feel the difference in just a couple of minutes!

Get Six Pack Abs

It is important to develop a routine that you will follow every day. Implementing your routine is more important, however having a well designed plan will ensure that you see results and that you are targeting your abs. A well designed abdominal workout routine will contain muscle building exercises, cardio exercises to burn fat, and diet rules that will ensure no further fat is gained. The muscle building exercises will help your body put on muscle in the abdominal region. Building muscle also increases the proportion of lean muscle mass to fat mass in your body. This creates a higher sitting calorie consumption. This means that your body will burn more calories naturally because muscle tissue uses more energy than fat tissue.

The cardio exercises that are part of your routine should be done every day. Cardio exercises can be running, jogging, swimming, biking or any activity that requires active moment. Cardio should be done no less than 15 minutes per day, every day. This is the most important aspect of your abdominal building routine. If you merely diet and build muscle, you will not see results as quickly as if you focused more on cardio work outs. The truth is that most people already have a six pack, the problem is that there is a layer of fat covering the muscle. Cut out the layer of fat and you will see the six pack that has always been there.

Exercise Myths

Lifting weights makes women bulky

Sadly, this myth keeps a lot of women out of the weight room. The truth of the matter is that men have more testosterone, which makes it easier for them to build muscle. Even female bodybuilders often are on steroids and are in the gym for long hours on most days to look the way they do. Even if you are one the women who do naturally put on muscle, you can always lose some of it if you want to. Remember that although cardio burns calories during exercise, weight training will contribute to increasing your metabolism and, therefore, you will burn more calories even when you are sleeping.

Spot reduction

One of the most common requests I get from my female clients is to reduce fat from their thighs and abdomen. Men usually want to reduce their “beer gut”. Fat is stored throughout the body and will be lost all over as well. We are all genetically predisposed to storing more fat in certain areas. You cannot change your genetics. What you can do is reduce your overall body fat by being consistent with your cardio and resistance (weight) training and limiting your caloric intake.

Working out takes too much time

Most people simply do not have the time to spend two hours at the gym, five days a week. The good news is that you don’t have to. If your exercise sessions are well structured and intense, chances are you will be better off then the person next to you who is watching television or reading the newspaper during their two-hour workout.

Lots of crunches=Great Abs

You could have the best “6-pack” in the world, but if it is covered by a layer of fat, it won’t do you much good. This brings us back to regular exercise and a sensible nutrition plan. There is no getting around this unless you are one of those lucky people who are naturally skinny (ectomorphs). Don’t forget, however, that skinny does not equal healthy.

Posture Correcting Exercises

I regularly hear from patients that they wanted to work on their posture, so they started exercising? Which exercises did they choose as posture correcting exercises? They did whatever felt comfortable, which usually didn’t involve working their postural muscles.

Usually they can’t tell which exercise they thought they were doing that was going to make the greatest change. They just went to the gym and started exercising. If their posture happened to improve, it was by sheer luck.

Exercise is good for you and you will certainly feel and look better when you do it regularly, it just might not change your posture. Isn’t that what you’re really after? Wouldn’t it make more sense to spend time on the back muscles even if the exercises aren’t as glamorous as other muscles?

There are plenty of people at the gym that are in good shape, but still have horrible posture. How can this be? They regularly perform exercises that do the opposite of improving their posture.

In changing your posture, it is vitally important that you spend time stretching the front muscles (not doing push-ups or bench presses) and strengthening the back muscles.

Learning to Run

It is a popular comment that running is bad for the joints. This is not the case if your body is working efficiently. However, if your muscles are not activating as they should or you perform to much running for the health of your body it can indeed be detrimental for your joints and body.

To avoid the negative effects of running you need to ensure you have addressed your posture and muscle strengths across the body so you can handle running. To this you should use very gradual increases within your training program.

The key though is listening to your body. Joggers are perhaps the most stubborn of all sportsmen, up there with racket sports players for ignoring all their aches and pains and causing more significant damage as a result.

Many people want to run yet find this mode of exercise difficult to conquer. The key is to start off easy and slowly progress it:

E.g. to build to 3km jogging.

  • Week 1: 500m (Yes, just 500m)
  • Week 2: 750m
  • Week 3: 1000m
  • Week 4: 1500m
  • Week 5: 2000m
  • Week 6: 2500m
  • Week 7: 3000m
  • Week 8: 3000m

Please note the distance increases are examples and you should tune into your body to tell you whether you can increase the distance and by how much from week to week if at all. If you have any undue pain e.g. shin, calf, foot etc you will need to halt the increases in distance until the pain has passed

Another way to begin running is to introduce periods of slow jogging and walking. This method assumes you have the aerobic fitness to achieve your goal session time walking at a good speed and that your posture and muscles are in a state to support jogging injury free and without pain. If not focus on the other areas until your body can handle jogging.

The first goal is to set out a maximum time period or distance to cover you can realistically perform a few times per week, maybe in your lunch hour, before or after work etc. Then build towards it

e.g. to build to 30 minutes jogging.

  • Week 1: 26 minutes walking 4 minutes jogging
  • Week 2: 24 minutes walking 6 minutes jogging
  • Week 3: 20 minutes walking 10 minutes jogging
  • Week 4: 15 minutes walking 15 minutes jogging
  • Week 5: 10 minutes walking 20 minutes jogging
  • Week 6: 5 minutes walking 25 minutes jogging
  • Week 7: 0 minutes walking 30 minutes jogging
  • Week 8: 0 minutes walking 30 minutes jogging

Secrets of Stamina-Building

If you’re not a morning person, then you suddenly become one! Most people hate getting up in the morning because they feel exhausted, tired, and still want to remain in bed. Imagine yourself feeling great, the complete opposite of that, each and every morning your feet hit the floor… You have the stamina to last throughout the day without needing to take a quick nap. Your increased energy levels reflect on your productiveness at work and people start to see the difference in you. You get more attention from the opposite sex and/or your significant other. You feel great and the people around you start to take notice as you impress them with the¬†new you.

Great image, huh? You bet! And the best part is, that mental picture that I just gave you can become your reality when you: 1) Change your mindset and 2) Increase your energy levels. And the way to do this is to start building your stamina.

Why you ask? Well two reasons:

  • When you start to see progress in your attempt to build your stamina, your belief system changes. Going from an out-of-shape person to a well-build, high energy being in only a matter of weeks can and will have a very positive effect on your mindset. To sum it all up: you’ll believe more is possible and you’ll start to achieve more. It doesn’t matter how impossible your goals may seem, anything that you want to achieve can be achieved with a simple change in your mindset.
  • Building your stamina by following a training regimen each day keeps you active. Here’s a fact: when your body is inactive for a long period of time, your body gets used to it and you become lethargic. Doing the complete opposite by constantly being active will allow you to become more energetic and your daily energy levels will start to increase.

So when you start to increase your stamina, you start to increase yourself as a person and get more quality out of life. You’ll have the energy to do more.

Facilitated Stretching

Facilitated stretching is also known as “active assisted stretching,” or “PNF” (Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), and is similar to “active isolated-stretching.” Facilitated stretching utilizes active motion and measured bodywork to enhance motor skills and increase flexibility. Involving the work of one muscle at a time, facilitated stretching is administered by gentle stretches that release the muscle before it has a chance to protectively contract.

Originally developed for patients suffering from paralysis, facilitated stretching is more than just a typical exercise. With the stretcher’s aid, this therapy helps to lengthen and contract specific muscles, relaxing and allowing movement around joint areas. Improving the body’s potential to heal itself, this beneficial exercise enhances overall performance.

In a typical session, the limbs of the client are gently stretched by a partner, practitioner or trainer. Facilitated stretching is often administered by a certified personal fitness trainer, physical therapist or experienced massage therapist, and is known to improve flexibility, range of motion, and to relieve muscle stiffness. As a general rule, stretches should not be painful, so this is a relatively non-invasive and therapeutic exercise.

For the novice or the expert athlete, facilitated stretching is beneficial in improving strength, and can be learned through a continuing education class or PNF seminar/workshop. However, there are a number of educational programs that incorporate this discipline as part of the overall curriculum. For example, there are personal fitness training courses and advanced massage programs that integrate facilitated stretching as part of an extended training course.

Eight Pack Abs

The identical method that you would go about getting six pack abs, naturally. The only distinction here is that you are now aware of the prospect of getting eight pack abs, and that you can work your way towards this objective. Without this information of course you might never be able to define that added abs pack, but now that you know, well, the rest as they say, is history, true?

But if you’ve never had a six pack, let alone contemplated having eight pack abs, how would you go about getting them? Yes, the same way as for a six pack, but what can you do to first start the process then to make sure that you keep the momentum going and get to your aim without becoming excessively side tracked.

Well, first of all, you should preferably take a good long hard look at your diet and cut out those foods and things which are not only bad for you, but which you know are certainly harmful to you! Starting here, is the best idea and you could do no better than to go out and get yourself a healthy eating book to help you out in your activities aimed at getting eight pack abs.

After checking your diet, you can then progress onto the next step of discovering the right fitness program for yourself. You can do this on your own, or you can consult with a personal fitness trainer or some such professional to help you out. This is probably more efficient than trying to go it alone and you will find that you are getting a superior overall fitness plan than if you were to do it without professional help.

Lastly, when everything else is organized and you know that you have everything in place, and that you are physically fit and able to carry through with your plans, you have only to begin on your course of exercise to get eight pack abs. It’s as simple and as complex that.

Lose Chin Fat

Many experts say the only way to lose chin fat is through weight loss or through surgical or other medical procedures, because it’s nearly impossible to exercise the chin area. They’re right about losing chin fat via these methods, but wrong about exercising the chin and adjacent areas of the face. In fact, if you want to get both the chin fat and tighten up the sags left behind, you need to lose weight and exercise the muscles around your chin.

Odds are if you have a double chin, you have excess weight on the rest of your body that you need to take off. Start with a healthy diet low in calories and fat, and an aerobic exercise program designed to burn calories and fat. Getting down to your recommended weight will get rid of the fat that fills out your double chin, but, especially in middle-aged and older people, the double chin isn’t completely gone because the area under the chin is left “holding the bag,” so to speak. Short of having a chin lift, you may not be able to get rid of the sagging skin, but by toning the muscles in the area, you can tighten the area under your chin.

It’s not been medically or scientifically proven that chin and jaw exercises help eliminate fat from the targeted areas, but neither has it been disproved. If you go to almost any of the weight loss forums, you’ll find many posts about losing a double chin and tightening the area with simple exercises. All these testimonies of positive results must count for something.

Here are some simple exercises that you can use to dispose of chin fat and tone the muscles of your jaw and upper throat.

Open your mouth, gently tilt your head backwards and move your bottom lip over your top lip; hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times. Without moving your head backwards take your lower lip of and try to touch your nose with it, repeatedly sticking your tongue to the strengthen mouth and facial muscles. To tighten up a double chin: press your hand to your forehead while resisting with your head and neck. Hold for five seconds, relax and repeat 10 times.

It’s true that liposuction removes chin fat, but it is an invasive surgery. There is the risk of being left with physical damage or an uneven or lumpy appearance under the chin, because liposuction is not a precise art. Before undergoing liposuction, you should also consider the cost and the fact that although some of the fat is gone, without a weight loss or maintenance diet and sufficient exercise, your body will still store fat under your chin, and you’ll end up with a new double chin.

Treadmill or Elliptical Trainer

These are 2 of the most popular home fitness machines on the market right now. They’re both easy to use, flexible and you can burn a lot of calories on them.

So which is best? Well, the answer may surprise you: neither.

Let’s put this a different way:

  • It depends on how you’re planning to use these machines and
  • There are new hybrid types of treadmills and ellipticals that burn more calories than either (we’ll get to those at the end).

Let’s focus on the first part: Whether a treadmill or elliptical burns more calories really depends on you.

Both machines have the capability to burn around the same amount of calories in general. But if you’re planning on walking at a high incline on your treadmill for example – you’ll burn more calories than a regular workout on your elliptical.

Or if you’re planning on using the upper body arm bars and building high resistance intervals into your elliptical workout, you’ll burn more calories on your elliptical than walking on a non-incline treadmill.

If you buy a treadmill with a desk or TV – then you may lose track of time and end up burning more calories because you work out longer than on a standard crosstrainer.

Ellipticals do have a slight advantage with upper body arms bars. If you’re planning to use these, it can help you work your upper body at the same time as your lower body.

This gives what experts call a “lower perceived rate of exertion”, meaning it doesn’t feel like you worked out (and burned as many calories) as you actually did. So you may feel less tired and actually go longer on your elliptical workout than on a treadmill (thus burning more calories).

But again, this depends on if you’re actually planning to use your arm bars (as many people don’t).

The better option for which burns more calories – a treadmill or elliptical – might be to go with a machine that you actually enjoy using every day. Because if you enjoy using it, then you’ll end up working out more frequently and burning more calories.

There are actually new machines on the market that can help you burn more calories than a treadmill or elliptical. Here are some options:

  • Incline Trainer

This is basically a treadmill that has added on a super-high incline to it. Whereas a normal treadmill usually gives you inclines of up to 10 or 15%, an incline trainer comes with incline of up to 40%!

Incline walking incinerates calories because it recruits more muscles in the legs – and this requires a lot of calories. In fact, you can burn up to 5 times the calories on one of these babies as you can on a regular treadmill.

Plus, on those days you don’t feel like working out very hard, you can lower the incline and just use this as a regular treadmill.

  • Treadclimber

The Treadclimber is another take on the traditional treadmill that lets you burn more calories – up to 3.5 times more than a regular treadmill.

It has two smaller treadbelts that rise to meet your feet as you walk. This uses a similar calorie-burning mechanism as the incline trainer above. You’re basically walking on an incline – so you burn more calories.

Plus, because the treadbelts rise to meet your feet (instead of you pounding down on them like a treadmill), you have a much lower impact than a treadmill (which is healthier for people with joint or knee issues).

  • Max Trainer Elliptical

The Max Trainer is a hybrid elliptical trainer – stair stepper with upper body arm bars that can burn up to 2.5 times the calories as a treadmill or standard elliptical.

In fact, according to the manufacturer, trial users burned up to 600 calories in 30 minutes! The Max trainer also comes with a 14 minute high intensity interval program you can use to burn maximum calories in only 14 minutes.

And, because it’s high intensity interval program, you’ll be raising your metabolic rate and burning calories for hours AFTER your workout.

So those are some things you should consider when asking the question “Which burns more calories – a treadmill or elliptical trainer?” It really comes down to how you’re planning to use the machine (incline or no incline, resistance or no resistance, arm bars or no arm bars, etc.)