Two questions I’m always asked are “I do endless floor crunches but still can’t seem to see my abdominals” or “I’m doing endless floor crunches, so why isn’t my stomach tight, toned and terrific?”
The myth that doing hundreds of crunches everyday will flatten your midsection has been around longer than I’ve been exercising.
It’s important to realize that your abdominals are a muscle and require specific exercises that will tone and strengthen the area along with adequate rest between exercise sessions so as not to over-train.
A flat stomach begins in the kitchen, because an exercise programme without a healthy eating plan will only slow your progress to achieve your desired health and fitness goals. If you are carrying excess body fat around your stomach region, endless crunches will only strengthen and tone the muscle underneath the layer of fat.
Through the combination of a low-fat and low-salt healthy eating plan, combined with aerobic training and abdominal exercises, you can achieve a toned and flat midsection where you can finally see your abdominal muscles.
This 10-minute abdominal circuit workout can be performed three times a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Eating Your Way to a Flat Stomach
From the internet to nutritional apps on your smart phone there are plenty of ways these days to find out information about which foods are good for you and those that are not. Low-fat, salt and calorie-reduced products are also now widely available in most supermarkets. Yet, despite this, obesity has become a major problem in western society and even in Vietnam, caused by a combination of inactive lifestyles and fast food.
It’s important to understand that gaining weight isn’t just caused by overeating, you also need to take into account your lifestyle, your cultural background and the reasons behind why you eat the food that you do.
Also think of the language that you use around weight control and food. Simply think of the way you eat as a “healthy eating plan” rather than a “diet”, which conjures up the image of severe regimens and eating habits that don’t control or maintain your weight.
Research suggests that the location of body fat is an important factor in health risks for children and adults. Excess fat around the stomach area is a greater health risk than excess fat on the hips or thighs. Abdominal fat also includes visceral fat, which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs. Having a high percentage of belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, type two diabetes, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer. Smoking and too much alcohol both increase abdominal fat as well.
A Balanced Daily Eating Plan Guideline
— Carbohydrates: 45-65 % of your daily intake
— Proteins: 20-35 % of your daily intake
— Fat: No more than 10% of your daily intake
— Vitamins and minerals: From a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
— Water: At least two litres of water a day — more when exercising and in hot weather
Amazin is a Prana Samyana meditation Yin Yoga teacher and performance coach having trained Olympic athletes to special forces. She is also a former natural competitive bodybuilder and the first Vietnamese internationally published health and fitness author and DNA fitness trainer. For more info click on amazinlethi.com