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23 Oct 2006

new momma
i have 2 kids a 2 year and 7 month old both were c-sections. would crunches help me lose my lower stomach? if not what might help? i have been doing crunches for about 5 days straight now. i started off doing 50 a night and went up to 150 by day 5. what would be the best exercise though to target my lower stomach?
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi there

Crunches by themselves won't help too much, I'm afraid. It's a misconception that you can actually lose weight doing such a small muscle group exercise. You are not alone though, and it really difficult to combat, although you have already hopefully recognized that eating well and exercising correctly are the keys. The simple answer then, is to continue exercise and change your eating patterns. The exercise is cardio training - like running, walking, cycling, swimming, taebo, aerobics etc. Anything that is cardiovascular gets the heart pumping and energy burning is most effective. It is just a question of how you use these cardio sessions. I would suggest at least 4 days a week of cardio training, each session lasting about 30 to 45 minutes, AT LEAST. You have to build up this duration and then keep at it consistently in order to see change.

The specific exercises for the area in question have a relatively minor role, other than that they are responsible for developing the muscle in the area, which creates the appearance of being toned. That's obviously what you want, but you have to realise that you can't do the toning and specific work first and neglect the cardio - it has to work the other way around, cardio first, toning second. So focus on cardio, then on toning.

Diet is also very crucial, and if it's not 100% it will undermine any exercise benefits. So the best thing is to see a dietician or follow a very good diet plan. Just remember that low kilojoule is not necessarily better - too low causes problems as well, because it causes the body's metabolic rate to drop and that affects your ability to lose weight in the future. So don't try to starve yourself or go overboard, rather eat sensibly, cut out as much fat as you can, and listen to your body.

Good luck
Ross
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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