Tighten your tummy

Exercises to firm up your ab muscles

Man doing crunches with trainerStrong abdominal muscles signify a strong spine, better balance and stability. Your posture, power and agility depend on the muscles of the torso. If these muscles become poorly conditioned and weak, your shoulder joints, pelvis and back become easily susceptible to injuries. Poor lifestyle, and a lack of exercise and proper rest are common reasons for early back pains and flabby abs.

Most people often focus solely on the outer muscles or the visible six pack abs while the smaller and important muscles like the obliques are often ignored. Toned and strong abs help control back pain which could arise due to bad posture, ageing and poor conditioning of the core muscles. It also makes you look taller and trimmer.

Get your basics right:

  1. Make sensible food choices while eating out. Keep a check on portion size and remember salads in restaurants are often just an illusion of being healthy as they are topped with high fat dressings, cheese, cream and excess salt.
  2. Eat with awareness. Incorporate three to four portions of veggies and fruits per day. Ensure that your daily diet consists of whole grains, millets, pulses, veggies and fruits with lots of raw foods like salads and sprouts.
  3. Avoid using excess oil in cooking or deep frying foods often. Instead use nuts, seeds and cold pressed oils as these have many health benefits and can help enhance immunity.
  4. Avoid organ meats as they are high in saturated fats. Opt for lean, white meat or fish.
  5. Hydrate adequately with a minimum of 8 – 10 glasses a day.
  6. Begin your day with warm water, green tea and fruits. Fruits are ideal for the digestive system. Minimise salt intake and avoid all processed and preserved foods.
  7. Replace high fat dressings for salads with low fat, olive oil or lemon drizzles and use almonds, flax seed, peanut, sesame, garlic, pepper, hummus or low fat yoghurt. These are healthier and more delicious than high fat dressings.

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