Posts Tagged ‘woman fitness’

Struggling to lose the wobble??

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

By, Scott Williams

Most people have issues with their jelly belly. No matter how hard they try to get rid of it, that fat pouch around their lower stomach stubbornly stays put. So how can you get it to budge, minus the gruelling, celebrity-worthy, work-out regime? With a little bit of exercise, a simple food plan and lots of clever tips, you’ll have a flatter stomach in no time.

Beating the bulge

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that as we age, we get thicker around the middle. This is partly due to changes in weight distribution, but it’s also because a certain type of fat — visceral fat — becomes more prominent as we get older and collects around our organs. This fat is potentially dangerous if it gets out of control and can cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

So why is it so hard to get rid of? It’s very difficult to spot reduce certain parts of our body. This means that while you may be able to lose weight overall, targeting certain areas like your tummy is tricky. Our abdomen is also where we store a lot of the ‘the baddies’ when it comes to weight loss — stress, bacteria, bloating and inflammation can all add to the fat concentration around our middle. Women’s menstrual cycles and food allergies also contribute unnecessarily to rounded stomachs, so if you are experiencing severe stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhea in conjunction with either of these, see your doctor.

The other reason jelly bellies are so hard to ditch is because there are a lot of misconceptions about how to lose excess stomach weight. Contrary to popular belief, sit-ups and abdominal work-outs are not the answer. While they will add to the overall tone and shape of the area, the only way to get rid of the bulge is with cardio exercise. So to set you on the right track, we’ve put together a general program to help you target your jelly belly. Try and stick to it for at least eight weeks and then reassess your goals.

What exercise should I do?

Cardio: Ideally three cardio work-outs a week for 40 minutes each is the way to go. Whether you choose to hit the treadmill, swim, walk, do an aerobics class or jump on a bike is up to you. Try and mix up your work-out routine though, so you don’t get bored.

Strength: This is where the abs workout comes in. While sit-ups are great, there’s no point in doing 30 of them a day for six weeks because your muscles need to be challenged. We suggest doing two of the below exercises after your cardio workout and alternating them weekly.

Basic crunch: Lie flat on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Put your hands behind your head for support only, not to take any weight. Using your stomach muscles only, raise a few inches off the ground, hold for three seconds and return to your starting position. Do three sets of 15.

Standing twist: Stand tall and hold a towel or resistance band high above your head so your arms are straight. Slowly draw a large, wide circle over your head using your stomach muscles to move only the upper half of your body. Do three sets of 15. To make it harder, use a weight instead of a towel.

Feet lift: Lie flat on the ground and keeping your feet together and legs straight; raise your legs three inches off the ground. Hold for five seconds, lower them an inch and hold for five again. Don’t let your feet touch the ground at any time. Do three sets of 15.

Hanging knee raises: Hang from a high bar, like a chin-up bar. Bring your knees up to your chest, hold for three seconds, and then bring your legs back down. Only use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs, keep your body still and use controlled, slow movements.

Slow bicycles: Lie on your back with your left knee bent towards your chest and your right leg extended a few inches off the ground. Place your hands behind your head and lift your shoulders slightly. Swap your legs slowly, keeping your feet and shoulders off the ground. Do three set of 15.

Other options: The rowing machines at the gym, sit-ups on exercise balls, belly dancing, Pilates and yoga are all great for toning and reducing your stomach. Mix up your workout routine by replacing one of the staples with one of these each week.

What should I eat?

Follow a normal healthy eating plan, keep these food tips in mind and you should notice a difference around your middle within a fortnight.

The yes list:

Water and green tea, creates lipogenisis

Vegetables.

Rice, corn, gluten-free products and potato.

Protein. Go for organic chicken and meat because they have less hormones and bacteria.

Low-GI foods. Look for the label on foods in supermarkets.

Fibre. It regulates your bowel movements so include wholegrain bread, cereal and nuts in your diet.

The no list:

Too much fruit, wheat and dairy can cause bloating. Don’t cut these out of your diet altogether, just reduce your servings to two a day.

Alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks.

Salt makes you retain water unnecessarily so stay away from processed (takeaway, packet) foods which are high in sodium.

Sugar.

Chillies and spices. While they can kick-start your metabolism, they can also upset your stomach, so just monitor your body’s reaction to spicy foods.

Tricky tips to a flatter tummy

As well as exercise and healthy eating, there are a few small things you can do to reduce your jelly belly…

Stand up straight: be conscious of your posture and pull your stomach in, it’ll force your middle muscles to work 24/7, hence burning around an extra 33,000 calories per year.

Breathe: it’s perhaps the most important, yet most neglected, aspect of ab-training. Deeply exhale through your mouth and inhale through your nose as often as possible.

Laugh: having a good giggle works all the muscles in your stomach.

Get a good night’s sleep: lack of snooze time will lead to poor digestion and weight gain.

Eat early: the later you eat dinner, the harder it is for your body to digest so the food just sits around your stomach.

Colonic irrigation: some people swear by the process of flushing bacteria out of your stomach with pressurised water. It will flatten your belly, however, it’s a tad uncomfortable and not for everyone so do some research.

De-stress: we hold stress in our tummies so find an outlet for your worries like meditating, boxing, reading, swimming, or writing.

Moisturize: supple, tanned skin gives the illusion of a tighter tummy so invest in a good moisturiser and fake tan.

Dress right: certain fabrics cling to our skin more than others so if you want to play down a jelly belly, opt for softer, more flexible fabrics like cotton, silk and chiffon.

Post Baby Training

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Simple Strategies for New Moms

by: Scott Williams

A healthy pregnancy almost always involves weight gain. But now that baby’s here, you’re probably wishing those extra kilo’s would hurry up and disappear! While it won’t happen overnight, these six tips can help you lose that extra weight in a healthy way.

1) Get moderate exercise on a regular basis. Of course, you should get the go ahead from your doctor first, and you will likely need to wait longer if you’ve had a caesarean birth, but most new moms can begin a gentle fitness program very soon after their baby is born.

Exercise is definitely one of those things that most of us feel obligated to do, yet few of us seem to enjoy. In fact, for many moms, having a new baby seems to be a great excuse not to exercise. After all, you’re legitimately busy, sleep-deprived, and probably a bit nervous about leaving your precious bundle with someone else while you head to the gym. But wait! Who ever said you had to pump iron, punch a bag or jump around in a fitness class for an hour to get your exercise?

The whole key to sticking with a fitness program is to choose an activity you enjoy. If you enjoy hiking outdoors, why not invest in a baby carrier so you and your baby can do this together? There are all kinds on the market now so your baby can join you on a bike ride or even a hill walk. If swimming is fun for you, why not offer to take a friend’s teenager to the pool. She can sit close by with your baby on the pool deck while you do a few laps, and then you and your baby can enjoy a leisurely lunch or cup of tea while the teen gets a chance to play in the pool in return for helping you out.

Yoga classes for moms and babies are also popular now, and this can be a very enjoyable and relaxing way to spend time with your baby while you exercise.

For the new mom who wasn’t active before pregnancy, gentle forms of exercise such as taking a walk are an ideal way to start. If you can find another new mom close by to share this time with, your walks will become a pleasant activity that you look forward to, instead of part of your dreaded post-natal fitness program. If your health unit or community nursing program offers a drop in program for new moms you will be able to connect with other moms there. Or perhaps you’ve stayed in touch with a mom you met in your pre-natal classes. As you start to feel more energetic you can increase the length and the intensity of your walks. And if the weather is bad you can always walk around the mall and enjoy the sights.

Look for a gym or club that either has a crèche, or even better a facility that allows you to keep your baby close by (most CrossFit boxes run classed for Mum’s these days).

Remember though that moderation in your exercise program is the key. Even if you bounce back quickly from your baby’s birth and are feeling very energetic, be sure to start slowly and increase your exercise level gradually. Too much too soon can set you back by causing you to feel exhausted later on in the day. This can lead to you being cranky or a bout of the baby blues, neither of which will motivate you to continue exercising!

Remember the old adage, “always leave ‘em wanting more.” This should be your fitness mantra in the first few postpartum months.

In other words, stop before you’ve had enough and you’ll be more likely to continue with your fitness program the next day.

2) Wear your baby often. Using a sling or carrier to keep baby close during the day will make your baby happier, plus it will give you a little extra weight to pack around as you do your daily chores and activities. It may not seem like much, but as your baby grows you’ll be increasing the amount of weight you’re carrying while you go about your daily routines. And that adds up to extra weight loss for you.

Instead of using a stroller when you take a walk, put baby in the carrier. Instead of putting her in a swing or rocking seat, rock her to sleep in your arms or in your baby carrier while you stand and gently bounce to and fro. When you go to the grocery store, carry her in a sling instead of putting her in the shopping cart. In fact, if you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of your grocery store, you can even make this a daily outing to pick up a few items each time. Your baby will enjoy the extra closeness of being in a sling or carrier as you do laundry, tend the garden, or even take some time out for a hobby like bird watching. Babies in our society seem to spend so much time strapped into various pieces of equipment. Most will love the opportunity to be closer to the person they most adore—you!

The bonus for mom is that extra weight to carry equals extra calories burned. Over the course of a year this can add up to significant weight loss, in a very healthy way for all concerned. Depending on how often you carry your baby, and how much she weighs, you can easily burn an extra 100-200 calories a day just by carrying her along for part of your day. Anytime you’re on the go, try to carry your baby with you and you’ll be getting the benefit of the increased calorie burn that comes with packing around an extra 10, 15, or 20 kilo’s.

And there you have it, two painless ways to lose those extra pregnancy kilo’s effortlessly and without stress. Remember, your baby won’t be small for long so try not to get too preoccupied with weight loss. If you eat well most of the time, get some moderate exercise on a regular basis, and follow the rest of the tips in this article series, you’ll get back in shape with hardly a second thought.

By, Scott Williams

Co Founder and Director,

Succeed Personal Development

Succeed Overhaul