Many new year resolutions are built around exercise to flatten the belly. But it may not be all that feasible due to many factors. Our body type, genes, eating habits, metabolism, aging and life style can cause those undesirable “love handles”. Belly is the one of the easiest places where most weight tends to settle. A little bit of belly fat is actually good, because it protects your stomach, intestines, and other delicate organs. Excess fat is unhealthy. Extra fat cells deep in your abdomen (aka visceral fat) generate adipose hormones and adipokines—chemical troublemakers that travel to your blood vessels and organs, where they cause inflammation that can contribute to problems like heart disease and diabetes.
Research shows these reasons (besides diet choices and lack of exercise) for why people tend to put on belly fat
1) Genetic propensity to storing fat as “love handles”.
2) Food allergies and food sensitivities.
3) Gut related problems causing gas and bloating.
4) Hormonal imbalances leading to excess weight.
5) Slower metabolism due to Hypothyroidism.
6) Consuming steroids leads to weight gain.
7) Antidepressant and insulin can cause muscle loss and fat build up.
Although these factors contribute to weight gain, a wholesome well balanced diet and exercise will help take off fat unwanted fat. You can use own body weight and target those core muscles for a intense short workout. Make it an equipment free work session with these abdomen melting exercises.
1) Leg Planks: Begin in an elbow plank with both legs extended and abs engaged. Lift left leg, hold for a few breaths, bring down the left leg and repeat the same with right leg. Do 5 – 10 repetitions on each leg.
2) Free Style Swimming: Lie down on the stomach in full body extension. Raise your head and steady the torso on the ground. Lift the right leg and left hand to go with leg. Bring the leg and hand down. Repeat with left leg and right hand. Slowly increase the speed and do as many repetition as possible in 60-90 seconds.
3) Roll ups: Lie down flat on the back, legs straight and hand extended above the head. Keeping your torso, buttocks and legs firmly planted on the ground, lift the upper body and come up and forward. Bend as much as you can and rest your hands on the feet. Do 5 -10 repetitions.
4) Side Twists: Lie down flat on the back, hands to the side and legs extended. Slowly bend your knees and lift your hips and thigh until it is perpendicular to the torso and hold the position. Now lift the upper body as much as you can and twist side to side. Do 5 – 10 repetitions on each side.
5) Knee to Head Twist: Begin on all fours, keep your hands parallel to your knees. Lift both knees off the ground. Stay steady and bring the right knee towards the nose, rounding the spine. Return spine to neutral and extend left leg behind hip (right knee should still be lifted off the floor). Continue this movement for 30 seconds, and then repeat on opposite side. If it’s too tough to keep the supporting knee lifted, keep it on the floor instead.
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