Suddenly, Indian cinema is abuzz with 40-plus, even 50-plus film stars gearing up for those six-pack abs. While some results have looked better than others, there is little doubt that abs have become the talk of the town. Here's a low-down on how you can work your way to an uninhibited "shirt-less" lifestyle like the stars.
Not just abs, baby!
Few things are important to keep in mind when targeting an area of workout. Most physiotherapists and physical trainers are of the belief that it is not possible to work only one particular area and ignore others. In fact, it is virtually impossible to work on only one aspect of the body or lose weight in that area alone. Instead, to build strength and flexibility in that core area of the abdomen, it is necessary to take the entire body fitness into consideration. Exercise for the overall wellbeing of the body is a must, in order to build great abs. In other words, you can't have great abs without a great body.
Advertisements selling abs crunchers may seem rather compelling, but spot reduction of the abs alone will not achieve the goal. Entire body-mind work-out is important to ensure that the body is built to give shape and strength to the core region — the midsection of your body. Instead, incorporating exercises that include the back and the sides will go a long way in helping you achieve your goal of a perfect six-pack abs faster. Pilates is one way to go about it. The combination of exercises that fitness experts will suggest for your particular body type and goal will determine the quickest route to looking good.
Your abs are what you eat
Just exercising will not do the trick. Often, exercising to lose weight or tone up the muscles loses its magic when not accompanied with a steady diet regime. The process is defeated when the excess fat - in this case around the abdominal muscles - keeps accumulating, and hence, doubling the time of exercise. This leaves you weary, exhausted and worse still, frustrated to the point of giving up.
Follow up the exercises with a dedicated diet programme that does not work contrary to your goals. Muscle fat, around the abdominal area, usually defeats most well-laid attempts to build great-looking upper body. Without employing crazy crash diets that will only see you put on the pounds in no time, follow a healthy diet plan that calls for smaller meals, at fixed intervals, to aid in boosting energy levels, while not adding excess weight.
Doing the basics right
Few would realise that the perfect upper body can be achieved simply by setting one's posture right. Slouching bodies and droopy shoulders will hide what little beauty there is. Your energy and body image drastically improve when shoulders are pulled back, chest up. Simply by pulling the navel to the spine, the body gets a tremendous uplift - it improves one's breathing and awareness, and the body's shape looks a lot better than what the ill-formed posture previously suggested.
Getting down to the bare essentials
You need not have the latest of expensive gym gadgets and equipment to take you to your goals. While they are only additional aids that you can use to mix up your routine, by no means are they essential. Developing a perfectly-toned body can be achieved in the park or even at home, with a few core body-stretching exercises.
Remember, the hare and the tortoise
Taking on too much, too soon, will only backfire. Instead, account for frustrating days, days on which motivation needs a lending hand. More often than not, there will be fluctuations in workouts, body tension and achieving the ultimate goal. But, rather than looking for fast tricks, patience and perseverance will pay dividends.
After the initial spurt of enthusiasm, setbacks may set in with a minor, undesirable fluctuation in habits or results. Frustration and apathy may set in, after the established routine gets boring. Constant monitoring, consultation with a nutritionist and trainer, observing changes in the body and mental thought process will provide the guide to staying on course.
Entire body-mind work-out is important to ensure that the body is built to give shape and strength.
Look at the larger picture
Fitness experts suggest a three-dimensional, two-way approach. Look at the three-dimensional individual body, and work in a whole-body workout system. Also, look at the three D's - discipline, determination and dedication - that will decide when and how you get to your goal.
Age can be a factor that dictates what the fitness routine employed or not employed, and the lifestyle habits that hamper progression. It may mean having to give up a bad habit or two, if speed and consistency of result, are to be attained. Exercise will have to be planned taking into account all these factors and the results will naturally vary depending on how many aspects of life need to be transformed, and understanding what could trigger an undesirable spiral. It is also prudent not be defeated by pursuing goals that are not aligned with one's body and genetic disposition. It is not possible for everyone to achieve the so-called "perfect" six-pack abs and it is not necessary that it looks good or suits every body type. Trying to fit perfect abs on a thin frame is not appropriate. However, the attempt to look good never fails. The end result will ensure a better body, notwithstanding one's body structure.
Rome was not built in a day. Neither can your body be made the temple of Greek Gods overnight. The attempt to transform your body - or one aspect of it - is not an isolated process. It is about bringing your mind and body in harmony with the goal.
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