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Frequent asked question on fitness--

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Flat tummy myths 

How can I lose weight only on my abs?
The infomercials have convinced us that this is possible: to lose weight only in specific parts of our body and that we can select where we want to lose inches or pounds. This is simply not true. We cannot lose weight in certain spots. Spot reduction is a myth.
  

 

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Our bodies are genetically conditioned on how we lose or gain weight. Interestingly enough, the first place where we gain weight is the last place where we lose it. We cannot reduce only the part we do not like. Once we lose fat from our body, we lose inches everywhere even where we do not want to lose such as in the breasts.
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How many crunches (abdominals) do I need to do to reduce my tummy?

It is difficult to say; it depends on the size of your tummy and the way your body works. But crunches are not enough. As we have been saying all along on our website, there is no such thing as spot reduction. If you have a prominent tummy that has accumulated fat, then you need to lose that fat. 

To reduce fat in our bodies, we need to do cardio exercise and eat nutritious foods in reasonable amounts. In simple palabras "burn more calories than you consume." The cardio helps to burn that stored fat and the lower calorie diet forces the body to use the accumulated fat for energy. In addition, the crunches and a total body workout (with weight training) helps the body to increase muscle mass. Muscles burn fat; fat does not burn itself so, the more muscle we have, the more fat our body uses for energy, so we lose weigh faster.

If you only do crunches, you will develop your abdominal muscles and strengthen them. This will reflect in better posture and less back problems, but you will not be able to see your abdominal muscles because they will be covered with fat. 



A lot of women are not able to have a totally flat tummy. This is the way our bodies are designed, because we need some fat to protect our babies during pregnancy. The six pack abs is easier to get for men than women. However, we can accomplish a toned and almost flat tummy with a combination of diet and exercise. 

I see TV ads that advertise these great machines to have a flat tummy. Should I buy one?

Please read our previous answer. These machines usually advertise what is called in the fitness industry as "spot reduction". Spot reduction means to lose weight in only one part of the body. This is not possible, so do not think that by using any of these machines, you will get flat abs. 

Usually you can obtain the same results from regular crunches without any machines. In most health clubs, there are a few machines that use weights to increase the intensity of the crunches. The regular machine helps to work both upper and lower abs and it makes the crunch workout time shorter. 

Other simple machine is the incline bench. The traditional incline bench elevates the body so that the body weight itself, along with the action of gravity, acts as a weight increasing the intensity of the crunch effort. These are great machines: you work upper and side abs with ease and as Oprah's trainer said, "If well done, they also may help to …

The Roman chair helps work the lower body. There is also a side abs machine which many trainers do not like because of the risk of injury to the spine. 

If you do not have access to a gym, you can do all these exercises on the floor with the help of a good exercise video or DVD. Many online shopping websites sell these exercise videos and they are very easy to follow. Most of these websites also have excellent information on exercises. You do not need to spend a lot of money in a machine. And do not expect that just by having a machine at home, you will get flat abs.


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