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Question

03 Mar 2003

Spare tyre
Hi there

I would very much like to lose the extra weight around my waist and stomach, but I hate going to gym. Do you have any advice on exercises I can do at home?

Thanks very much
Answer 285 views
Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

The scientific truth is that one cannot "spot reduce" that is, try and reduce the fat around your stomach and abdominals by just doing abdominal exercises. This kind of exercise, using specific muscles only, actually burns fewer calories than exercising large muscles groups in dynamic exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling. In order to burn the fat, you need to do cardiovascular exercises as least 4 - 5 times a week for at least 30 - 45 minutes. This will help to increase the amount of calories that you use and help to decrease your body fat.

It is also important to do some strengthening and toning exercise and obviously to include exercises that make use of the muscle groups in your abdominal area. The exercises that you do will depend on whether you have access to a gym or you do body weight exercises at home.

For the abdominals, the following exercises will be helpful:

Crunches: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Rest your hands next to your ears. Slowly lift your shoulders off the ground, tightening your abdominal muscles. Hold the position for 3-5 seconds. Do 10 to 15 reps of this exercise.

Crossover crunches: Do abdominal crunches as above, but touch your opposite knee with your opposite elbow. Keep your upper body raised off the floor and keep the movement slow and controlled. Ensure your hips do not rock off the floor. Do 10 to 15 reps.

Combined crunches: Position: Lie on your back, with your hips and knees at right angles and your ankles crossed. Rest your hands next to your ears. Perform an abdominal crunch by moving your elbows and knees towards each other. Hold that contracted position for 3-5 seconds before releasing it back to the start position. Do 10 to 15 reps.

In terms of nutrition, you cannot really avoid eating certain foods to specifically avoid gaining fat in a certain area of your body. You can apply general guidelines in trying to eat low fat dairy and animal products in order to reduce the fat content of your diet. You may need to look at your current nutrition plan in terms of the types and quantity of food that you are eating. If you need assistance with a personalised plan, then I recommend that you consult a registered dietician. See www.dietetics.co.za for contact details.

Healthy eating and regular exercise are the key ingredients towards achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

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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