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healthy lifestyles

Second Abs: Exercises to Firm the Abs

The second abs come into discussions, heart rates climb. People get agitated. They get animated. They get emotional. Why do the abs command such drama?

Quite simply - firm abs are the biggest sign of fitness and the most obvious indicator to others that your body is a finely tuned machine.

Result 1: everyone wants to exercise abs.

Result 2: late night TV infomercials survive on revenues from selling abdominal training devices and courses.

Second abs are in!

But wait! There's more!

If you have ever read an exercise magazine...

If you have ever watched those TV ads about machines designed to "magically" exercise the abs...

If you have ever gone to a gymnasium and watched all those people lying on the floor doing second abs crunches....

Then beware - because chances are you are a victim of the two biggest exercise abs hoaxes!

Firm Abs Hoax # 1

Just doing some midsection workouts can get rid of your "love handles".

Fact:

You cannot remove fat from a particular part of your body just by using exercise alone. The abdominal area is no exception.

So, if you want a flat stomach to reveal your firm abs, you need to lose the fat covering them.

The only way to do that is to burn more calories than you consume. That way you lose fat proportionately from your entire body.

How? It's not rocket science. Just do these two things:

1) Eat a healthy and balanced diet. That means permanently add these foods to your meals: dark green vegetables, fresh fruits, whole wheat and whole grain products, fish, poultry breast, lean red meat, egg white and non-fat dairy products.

You should eliminate sugar, soda, non-whole grain products and saturated fats from your diet. If you must consume them, make it only as a reward for achieving a goal, not a habit!

2) Start exercising

Aerobic and weight training will raise your metabolic rate, which means your body will burn more calories, which in turn trims fat.

Aerobic Exercising - three times a week, do an exercise that keeps your heart rate elevated for at least 30-45 minutes (for example: walking, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, etc)

Weight Training - Alternate days of aerobics with weight training. That way you will build muscles that will burn more calories - even while you rest.

Second Ab - Hoax # 2

You have to do heaps and heaps of crunches.

Fact:

Excessive use of crunches will result in shortening the abs, pulling your head forward, and giving you bad posture. Do you really want to look like Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre-Dame?

Any standing exercise that tightens your abs will have a positive effect, but you should actually look elsewhere. For a powerful impact, target your lower back and strengthen the muscles that support your spine.

The easiest exercise to firm the abs is simply sucking your gut in. Here's how to do the "stomach vacuum":

  1. Exhale. Suck in your gut.

  2. Maintain the contraction for 10 to 20 seconds.

  3. Repeat 10 to 15 times, as often as you like throughout the day

The beauty of this ab exercise is that you can do it anywhere, anytime - in the shower, sitting at your desk, while driving, etc.

So there you go. Second abs, the abs, exercise abs, firm abs ... Time for you to take action!


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