Been dreaming of having washboard abs but don’t know when to start? Unfortunately, people don’t just wake up to abs of steel. There are a number of things that could lead to a bloated stomach, including not getting enough exercise, excessive love for beer, or even the lack of sleep. So how do you achieve amazing abs without spending weeks pumping iron in the gym? Consider these tips:
Get Your Biorhythm on Track
Getting the right amount of sleep each day has dramatic effects on your beer belly. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your biorhythm is out of whack. This will result in disruption of hormone production as well as a spiked level of cortisol in your system. This is the prime reason people develop a bloated belly.
Lack of sleep will also lead overeating, triggering sugar cravings and other calorie-laden treats. On the other hand, if you get around 7 hours of sleep each night, your hormones will normalize so you won’t have strong sugary cravings!
Do Short Bursts of Exercises
You don’t need to do 2,000 crunches each day to tone your belly. In fact, crunches are discouraged because it adds unnecessary strain on the spine. Most fitness experts recommend doing bursts of exercises that engages the core. You also want to do cardio exercises to keep the heart rate up so you burn more calories. This is a great ab-toning combination that engages more major muscle groups.
Avoid Sugary Treats
It’s not rocket science — a bloated belly is caused by a combination of poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. You don’t need to punish yourself by spending weeks in the gym and sweating everything off. You can reduce the size of your belly by watching what you eat and avoiding sugary treats. Rather than eating junk food, fill yourself up with vegetables, lean proteins, and fruits. Watch out for hidden sugar in your favorite drinks too. Some types of designer coffees contain shockingly high amounts of sugar.
Boost Your Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C is perhaps one of the most versatile vitamins there is. Apart from acting like an antioxidant that prevents cancers and repairs cell damage, it can also help burn fat. Under extreme stress, the body will secrete more cortisol hormone. Cortisol will trigger sugar cravings. On the other hand, vitamin C is essential in developing a compound called carnitine. Carnitine is a fat-burner that promotes efficient metabolic rate and counteracts cortisol. You are essentially speeding up your metabolism if you take more vitamin C.
Add More Essential Fatty Acids to Your Diet
Oily fishes like mackerel, herring, and wild Salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, an essential fatty acid that improves cognitive and brain functions, as well as uplifts the mood. Adding more omega-3 rich food to your diet helps stabilize your mood, prevents depression, as well as keeps you feeling full longer. This prevents overeating, one of the major causes of bloated belly.
Do Strength Exercises
It’s important to add strength training to your normal workout regimen to achieve leaner, toned abs. Ideally, you want to target several muscle groups by doing squats, presses, and deadlifts. For men, it’s important to stimulate the release of testosterone to achieve more defined abs. This can be done through heavy strength training. Clinical tests show a strong link between lower testosterone in men and prominent belly fat.
Did you know breathing exercises could also lead to a leaner stomach? The great thing about breathing exercises is you can do them without disrupting normal, day-to-day tasks. Try alternating your breathing when you’re stressed out. Take either shorter breaths or rapid shallow breathes for several minutes. Focus on your breathing, relax your beer belly, and slow down your breathing. This exercise helps tone the abdominal muscle gently.
Do Your Cardio
You can’t have tighter abdominal muscles if you don’t get moving. If you’re tempted to run, don’t. If you’re shooting for leaner abdominal muscles, walking is the better choice. Running will burn more calories. But it will also tire your muscle fibers that will reduce your power output. This means the added strain on your muscles requires more time to recover before your next workout.
On the other hand, walking helps tone your body. This allows you to fight a bloated belly without straining your muscle fibers. Brisk walking is kinder to the muscles so you don’t waste more time recovering from the pain of exercising. Ideally, do brisk walking on an incline at around 3 mph. This will train your leg muscles to resist fatigue, keep your heart rate up and achieve a flatter stomach!