Ab workouts are everywhere. The pursuit to achieve a flat belly has become a prerogative throughout the health and fitness community. An overall healthy lifestyle is what will help you meet your goals in a beneficial way. For a flat belly you must eat, sleep, breathe, and exercise in a health-focused lifestyle.
Exercises that focus on core strengthening
- Yoga and breathing. Breathing itself is considered an abdominal exercise, as mentioned by trainer Mandy Ingber in her video "Abs: 8 moves for flat yoga abs." Breathe slowly and deeply from the belly while participating in yoga.
- Pilates abdominal workouts get your heart pumping and can be a quick way to get in your abdominal exercise for the day. Because Pilates usually consists of a fast-paced routine, it takes up much less time in your day.
- Lifting. While many full-body lifts are not directly associated with the abs, they are fabulous for core strengthening.
- For favorable results, do both weighted and unweighted workouts.
Nutrition that helps to build muscle and burn fat
- Eat snacks to fuel your active lifestyle. The last thing you want while leading an active healthy lifestyle is to feel hunger and fatigue. You should snack often. A rule of thumb to go by is to eat snacks that are packed with nutrients. Snacking is not just ingesting food to cure hunger pains; it fuels your body to replenish the natural stores that your body relies on to get through the day. To get you thinking about your next grocery visit, an article in Women's Health magazine, "Get a Flat Stomach: Secret Weapons of Weight Loss," lists super-fueled foods that aid in muscle building: nuts, beans and legumes, green vegetables, dairy products (fat-free/low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese), instant oatmeal, eggs, turkey and other lean meat, peanut butter, olive oil, whole grain bread and cereal, (whey) protein powder, and berries. These are leading examples of foods to choose when fueling your body.
- Stay hydrated! Water plays a crucial role in metabolism. Water also flushes out unwanted toxins that can build up in your body. Try fruit-infused vitamin water. Recipes for infused water are all over the internet. It will make your water taste great and will likely give you an extra boost in antioxidants.
- Portions. You never need to eat until you are full. Eat until you are satisfied. Keep in mind you can always have a healthy snack when you get hungry again.
- Eat clean. The cleaner you eat, the better. Overprocessed foods are packed with chemicals that are used for flavor and color and to keep food fresh. This is something your body doesn't want or need. Stick to fresh foods, and freeze everything you can to keep it fresh.
For an overall healthy lifestyle, get enough sleep, keep mental and emotional health in balance, and value a well-rounded quality of life. Ignoring your sleep and mental/emotional health can lead to stress, which can create havoc in your body in many ways. Maintain health in mind, body and soul. Happy life-styling!