When a person gains weight, fat accumulates all over the body, not just in one particular area. And when the weight is lost, fat is burned off from everywhere as well. But often that belly-area fat is the last to go, and it may take a little extra effort to be rid of it. Stubborn belly fat can be removed by a combination of healthy eating, core exercises and cardiovascular work.
Pay close attention to the foods you are eating. Foods that are high in fat, especially saturated fat, can hinder your efforts to get rid of belly fat. Read the nutrition label on the back of food packages, and see how much saturated fat and how many calories are in the food you're eating. And eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is never a bad idea.
Engage the lower abdominal muscles by performing exercises targeted for those muscles. Examples of lower abdominal exercises are lying leg lifts, lying leg scissor kicks and reverse crunches.
To perform lying leg lifts, lie down on your back. Straighten one leg out while keeping the other leg bent. Slowly lift the straight leg straight up until you reach a 45-degree angle at your hip. Hold this position for 2 or 3 seconds, then slowly lower the leg. Do 15 to 20 reps and then switch legs.
Lying scissor kicks are similar, but both of your legs are straight and held slightly above the floor. Raise one leg a few inches, then lower it back down. As you're lowering one leg, raise the other.
To perform reverse crunches, lie on your back with your knees bent. Raise your bent legs toward your chest, and lift your hips up off the ground. Then slowly lower your legs your feet are on the floor.
Engage the upper abdominal muscles by performing exercises targeted for this muscle group. Examples of upper abdominal exercises include full sit-ups, standard crunches (which are similar to sit-ups except that you raise your torso so that only your shoulders are off the floor) and bicycle crunches.
To perform a bicycle crunch, lie on your back with your hands behind your head and your knees bent. With your legs, go through a bicycle motion, bringing each knee up toward you chest, and while doing so twist your torso so that you touch your right elbow to your left knee and vice versa.
Engage the muscles in the oblique area of the abdominal region. The oblique muscles are found on either side of the entire abdominal core. Examples of oblique abdominal exercises include side crunches and bicycle crunches.
To perform a side crunch, lie on your back with your knees bent. Starting at your waist, turn your lower body to one side, keeping your knees bent and your torso facing the ceiling. Crunch up, bringing only your shoulder blades off the floor. Slowly lower back down. Repeat with your legs on the other side.
Perform some sort of cardiovascular activity, such as swimming, bicycling, running, fast-paced walking or jumping rope. Some belly fat is going to be removed through strength training, but it will burn off much quicker if your heart rate is up.
Tips & Warnings
- Discuss any change of diet or the addition of fitness routines with your doctor before beginning.
- Photo Credit Blaise Hayward/Photodisc/Getty Images water facts image by Kimberly Reinick from Fotolia.com
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