Many people around the world are trying to lose weight by adopting either a low-carb or low-fat diet. In the short term, either method may help you drop a few pounds – whether or not they’re healthy – but most sustainable weight loss methods is another tale. As the old saying goes, ‘No Pain, No Gain’, losing weight is a gradual process. Despite late social nights and our packed schedules, one should adopt healthy eating habits, exercise regularly and lead a healthy lifestyle.
There is no denying the fact that nutrition and exercise go hand-in-hand, especially if you want to lose weight and keep it off. And if you think that you could get fine abs and a drop-dead flat stomach for your sari with just dieting, you are wrong. If you’re really serious about shedding those unwanted pounds, you need to include an hour of exercise in your daily routine for targeting and reducing that belly fat, besides eating a balanced diet. Fitness expert Shivani Patel, Founder of Sculptasse, reveals some of the best exercises to help you lose weight and get fabulous abs. Let us hear it from her.
For all you gym goers, this one is an old timer. It helps strengthens the rectus abdominis muscles in the midsection of your body.
To do crunches –
• Lie on your back with your knees bent, put your hands behind your head.
• Now lift your shoulders and raise your upper body off the floor. Slowly, return to starting position.
• Repeat this at least 20 times.
You can do as many reps depending on your strength and stamina. Crunches can also be done with variations like side crunches, twist crunches, and reverse crunch.
A plank is a great form of exercise that not only works for flat abs but also helps strengthen the core of your body. It also improves your posture.
To do a plank –
• Lie down facing your stomach towards the floor.
• Now place your hands on the floor at shoulder length and raise your body, only on the support of your palms and toes.
Plank holds are not only challenging but also helps in increasing your endurance in the abs and stability. Again there are variations that can be done like elbow planks, adding weights, rolling planks, side planks etc.
One of the best abs exercises that you can do it from a comfort of your home. It is also an excellent workout for toning your thighs.
To do the bicycle –
• Lie flat on the back.
• Stretch your legs out straight.
• Keeping your arms interlocked behind your head, raise your shoulder off the ground.
• Raise your legs.
• To begin the exercise start with the bicycle-pedalling motion – one leg goes in as the other goes out. Simultaneously rotate your upper body while trying to reach your knee with the opposite elbow.
Vertical leg raises
Leg raises work your abs and the obliques. It also helps build stronger abs, increase stability, strength, and tone your body. Leg raises done properly completely isolates the rectus abdominis muscle which is responsible for adding tone to your tummy.
To do leg this exercise –
• Lie down on your back.
• With palms placed below your hips, slowly lift your legs to a 90-degree angle keeping knee straight and feet pointing the roof.
• Pause for a moment, and then lower your legs back down while exhaling out.
• Once you are comfortable with the basic variants, go ahead with hanging leg raise.
This is one exercise that will surely give you great abs. It strengthens all of your abdominal and the lower back muscles.
To do spiderman abs –
• Get into a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor.
• Keeping your hips parallel to the floor, lift your left leg and bring it toward your left elbow.
• Return to the original position and repeat with the other leg.
Besides practicing these exercises, one should also take care of what they eat and have plenty of water throughout the day.
Note: Although regular exercise can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of diseases, it’s best to check with your doctor before you start any fitness programme.