Having beautiful sexy abs is not just for the underwear and swimsuit models, fitness competitors or for the very young. If you work hard, watch the quality and quantity of your food intake, and are truly dedicated and persistent, your flat abs can be eventually achieved.
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to whittling your waist or ways to drop pounds just around your middle. Plain and simple, attaining amazing abs is a winning combination of cardio + weight training + abdominal exercises + diet + genetics. Of course, being discipline about your regimen is a given as well as your time, commitment and patience. It can be a lot of work, but the effort is well worth it. When your body looks great, you feel great not to mention that endorphin high that kicks in.
Even if you might not care that you don’t have flat abs, the pitfalls and dangers of not having a lean middle are many. Belly fat (or visceral fat) is very unhealthy as it rests deep in your abdomen, surrounds your organs, and secretes toxic hormones. Study after study shows that extra weight around your middle increases your risk of heart disease, hypertension, cancer and dementia. Those at even higher risk are women with waists larger than 35 inches who are more than twice as likely to die of heart disease as women whose middles measure less than 28 inches. A waistline of 32 inches or more places you at higher risk of Type2 Diabetes.
So what about those nice set of abs? The key in the five-part equation to achieving amazing abs is figuring out the right combination that works best for you since it differsfor each of us. You might have to diet more, run further, lift longer and/or crunch harder to achieve your six-pack if you don’t have the God given genetics. If you do have the good genes, well you are one of the lucky ones and get to work a little less at it.
In Part 1 of this blog, I am going to discuss the first two parts of the winning combination, how your genetics play a role and why cardiovascular exercise is so important.
1) Genetics. When I say genetics play a role in this winning combination, I am referring to your natural body build and own metabolism. These are a factor of how hard you will have to work to achieve your amazing abs. Those with a heavier body frame and weight, by nature, are going to have to work harder than those who are naturally small and lean. But those who are larger, oftentimes have more muscle mass and therefore burn more calories quicker.
We also all know that metabolism is the process that your body burns calories and turns food into energy. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you will burn. If you feel your metabolism is too slow, the best way to increase it is with exercise as metabolism is primarily driven by your muscles. The best way to raise your natural metabolism is by eating small meals throughout the day, ideally six, to keep your body engine running and churning. It causes your metabolism to speed up and lose weight. If you skip meals thinking it will work quicker, your body’s metabolism will actually slow down as it tries to conserve fat and protect you against starvation.
2) Cardio. Your cardio workout is an extremely important step in achieving amazing abs. Have you ever seen a professional runner with a bulging belly? Need I say more? You can burn 100 to 500 calories depending on how hard you work, how long you exercise and how much you weigh. Exercises like running, swimming and spinning will help you shed the extra pounds. Since your abdominal muscles are very active during these workouts, it will help tone your abdominal muscles. A 30-45 minute cardio workout, at least 5 days a week, is best as it will make an impact on your abs when combined with a healthy balanced diet, abdominal exercises and strength training.
Be certain to check back next week when I discuss how weight training fits in, some of the best abdominal exercises for flat abs, an overview of what your diet should look like, and some final go get ’em tips!
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.