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09 Feb 2004

Exercise & diet for tummy
What exercises and diet do I need to follow to get rid of a flabby tummy? Although I have been a mother for 9 years, I only devoped a flabby stomach about a year ago (along with a bit of bulk around the waist, thighs and hips). I am 30 years old.
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi Caty

What you are experiencing is that classic situation where weight and fat mass tends to accumulate in certain areas only. The solution to this is to try to reduce fat and weight overall, not just at these sites. In otherwords, you cannot "spot reduce". That is, you can't really try and reduce the fat around your stomach, thighs and abdominals by just doing exercises for those areas. This kind of exercise, using specific muscles only, actually burns fewer calories than exercising large muscles groups in dynamic cardiovascular exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling. In order to burn the fat, you need to do these types of 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.

Having said that, it is still 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. I would suggest you have a look at the 'Zone-in-on' section of the Health 24 website (www.health24.co.za). You can find this section under 'Fitness', and then just click on the image that shows the areas you want to work on, and you will be able to see the exercises relevant to you.

Lastly, keep in mind that this is a very common problem, and changes in certain areas can happen very slowly, because some people do just have a specific distribution of fat, and it can be hard to fight against this.

However, be patient and keep at it!

Good luck
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