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06/05/15

Flat chance: Do stomach exercises really matter?

Ask any would be exerciser about what their goal is as far as pumping iron, running or eating right, and they'll tell you most of the time the same answer.
Flat stomach.
A lot of what the media or fitness in general tells us is that a flat stomach is the first sign indicator that you're healthy. Any doctor will tell you that in order to combat everything from diabetes to cancer, you need to lose the fat around your midsection.
And with that, the masses begin to hit the gym or find a suitable DVD to use that focus on sit ups and stomach exercises to the point that laughing the next day would be painful. Those who take that route realize very quickly that their stomach isn't moving at all and certainly not in the right direction.
Does that mean stomach exercises are a moot point?

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Well, not exactly. While the masses fixate on sit ups and other stomach related exercises, you need to understand that having a flat, muscular stomach starts in the kitchen and on the treadmill and not so much on your Ab Lounge or other machines or moves of that ilk.
Certain foods, particularly ones low in fat, will help you fight off belly fat. You see, we all have stomach muscles and doing a billion sit ups will get those muscles shaped and defined but in order to see them you have to whittle away those layers of fat first for the real gratification to start.
The first place fat typically begins to form is in and around your stomach, which leads to digestive issues, weight gain and even back problems to some degree.
In addition to implementing the right diet, you also have to not only count calories but also shed them via exercise. Weight training is a great way to tone and lose weight at the same time, but you also need to do plenty of walking or running, as either means you're expelling calories while not taking in as many.
The sit ups will help, undoubtedly. They build muscles in your stomach, no different than lifting weights so that your biceps get bigger. But your think about those same biceps; they can get bigger and puffier, but will you will actually be able to see the muscle definition. If you're not eating right, drinking water and doing some sort of aerobic exercise, you'll have bigger arms with no signs of muscle popping out.
The abs and flat stomach work the same way, so following the principles of clean eating and cardio can't miss.

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