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Summer fitness: Firming up that tummy
Published in Almasry Alyoum on 18 - 07 - 2010

While sunbathing on the beach, it's hard to fight off that persistent body insecurity. Some people fear revealing their bodies, especially their mid-sections--an area where layers of fat like to congregate after a nice full meal.
But don't let these fears impede your ability to enjoy the sun and the sea. The mental aspect of these feelings has more to do with the body-image one has of oneself. The physical element, however, is easier dealt with.
Creating a healthy body-image relies deeply on your understanding of your body's limits and your acceptance of these limits--but feeling insecure about your looks isn't going to change unless you do something about it.
The following is a list of fitness advice on how to lose that tummy fat--or at least hide it for the summer season.
Keep your tummy in at all times:
This tip might sound unoriginal--even silly--but it really is one of the best tips on how to lose the fat layers around your tummy. Keep your tummy in while walking, working, talking and breathing. Pull all the muscles in your tummy inside and keep the area looking as flat as possible. This exercise will help you in two different ways: your tummy will look flatter than it actual is, and--although you might not feel it--by pulling your muscles in, you're actually performing an exercise for the transverse abs, which are the deepest layers of muscles in your abdominal area.
Early morning runs on the beach:
It's no secret that cardiovascular exercises are the best exercises to help you lose fat layers, especially from the abdominal area. The only problem is that running, jogging and cycling are not going to give you the desired results on the same day of your training. You can, however, take advantage of the immediate effects of these exercises while on the beach.
While on your vacation, try to wake up early, put on a cotton t-shirt and shorts and go for 30-45 minutes of running or even power-walking. The lovely morning energy combined with the fresh early sea breeze will make this exercise easier and more enjoyable--and the results are fascinating. Your whole body structure, including the tummy area, will remain tighter for the rest of the day if you begin your day with a running start.
Abdominal curls:
While liposuction and tummy tucks are the fastest way to lose tummy fat, they are extremely inadvisable techniques for looking better on the beach. Notice that the first advice a plastic surgeon will give you after you wake up from such an operation is to sustain a healthier diet and lifestyle. The pain of exercise and dieting you were hoping to avoid by using these techniques are simply going to follow you post-op. You will be forced to sustain gym visits so that your body maintains the new shape you forced upon it.
So unless you want to live your life going through a series of tummy tucks, 15-minutes of daily tummy curls can have the same effect. It is admittedly slower, but it is also healthier and less risky.
A nice, untiring routine is 16 straight-up curls, then 16 side-curls where you try to reach your chest to the upper side of your right bending knee, then repeat the to the left. Take a minute-long break while breathing heavily, then repeat the straight-up curls and the side-curls, but reach for the lower side of your bending knees this time. Don't forget to support your head with your hands by placing your palms on the lower side of the back of your neck. These exercises will amount to a 96 curls in less than 15 minutes.
Stress equals tummy fat:
Mental status is known to effect the physical appearance of a person. Many eating disorders are caused by physiological reasons, and so-called "emotional eating" is one of these disorders. The way to handle the problem of emotional eating is to simply de-stress yourself--and what better place to do so but on beautiful and sandy beaches?
Take a calm walk barefoot on the sand at a late hour with a family member or loved one. Sit on the beach and calm down to the sound of the waves and the gentle breeze. Take deep breaths to fill your lungs with fresh air and spend some time talking about simple and engaging topics with your companion. This calming exercise won't have an immediate effect on your tummy weight, but it will help you clear your mind and soul.

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