3 Easy Daily Exercise Tips

Not having enough time is probably the biggest contention about getting daily exercise. Obviously getting some exercise each day is better than getting none at all.

Here are some quick and easy ways to add more physical activity to your daily routine.

Jump Start Your Motor in the Morning

As soon as you get out of bed, begin your day with 10 to 15 minutes of some form of exercise. This could include push ups, squats, yoga, leg lifts, etc. Add a brief stretching session as well.

If you get into the habit of starting your day with this routine, you will feel more refreshed and alert. You will also get some much needed exercise in your life.

In addition, try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. When you get into this routine, your body will naturally fall asleep faster and wake up easier. You will get more rest this way which is important for your overall health.

Park and Walk

Instead of wedging your car into parking spaces that are closest to the front door, use the empty spaces that are further away. It doesn’t take that much more time to walk to the store or building from the edge of the parking lot.

Walking is a good form of exercise and getting a few hundred more steps each day can do a lot of good for your health. As long as you’re walking, be sure to use the stairs instead of elevators or escalators. You would be amazed at the amount of exercise you can get during a shopping trip.

If you use an exercise machine like a treadmill or elliptical trainer at home, try to use those only when it is not possible to exercise outside.  Always try to get fresh air when exercising.

Do Your Chores

Doing chores around the house both inside and outside is a great way to keep active. If you set one day aside to do all of your cleaning or yard work chores, try spacing them out throughout the week.

Most household chores require a lot of moving, bending, and lifting. Try doing one or two chores each day making sure that each day’s chore requires a significant amount of movement.

Assess your errands and determine which places are close enough for you to walk. If you need to make a quick trip to the store for a few things, walk instead of drive. This way you get some exercise and refrain from purchasing more than you need because you are walking and won’t want to carry a lot of bags.

Getting some daily exercise is easy. With a little planning and effort, you can get some exercise just doing things that you normally do each day anyway. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.

You will begin to recognize numerous health benefits when you get in the habit of incorporating some form of physical activity into each day.

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How to Tone Abs with Diet and Exercise

Despite the fact that everyone has different body styles, shapes, and sizes, the most common location where fat tends to settle is around the waistline.

Unfortunately, the tummy is one of the most challenging areas to tone because there are a variety of reasons why people accumulate fat in that region. You can blame genetics for about 30 to 60 percent of your body shape as well as why you have tummy fat.

This is one heirloom that you would rather not have passed to you. But the good news is whether your bulging belly is inherited or not, you can trim your midsection and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

You need both diet and exercise in order to effectively tone your abs and lower your risk for life-threatening diseases. However, while diet and exercise will help you lose the pounds and tone your abs, you need to make some lifestyle changes to maintain your desired look and feel.

Primarily, you need to lower your levels of testosterone. This is commonly thought of as a male hormone, but both genders do produce certain levels of testosterone. Women who produce higher than normal levels of this hormone tend to gain weight around their midsection.

Get Moving

One of best and fastest ways to reduce belly fat is to boost the intensity and duration of your cardio exercise. The minimum recommended amount of cardio exercise equals around 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week.

If you follow this type or regimen, keep it up. However, add 20 minutes or longer to each cardio workout. It is recommended that you do strength training 2 days a week.

When you do this exercise, use lighter weights and complete more reps at a faster cadence. This will boost your heart rate and further reduce your testosterone production.

Eat Smaller Meals More Often Throughout the Day

You can regulate your appetite and avoid overeating when you consume several (up to 6) small meals during the day. This will also keep your metabolism high and steady which aids in the weight loss process.

Always include a small amount of protein with each meal. For example, instead of having toast with jam, eat toast with peanut butter. The protein will sustain you between meals better than if you have a meal consisting of only carbs.

Also, when you shop for groceries, stay with the foods that are located around the perimeter of the store. This is where you find the fresh produce, lean meats, and dairy. Avoid the sugary and processed carbs (white bread, snack crackers, sugary treats, and pre-packaged meals).

Forget about Losing Weight

When you obsess over losing weight, you can actually slow your progress. You can also become frustrated at your slow progress and lose your motivation.

Instead of following a low-calorie diet for weight loss, have your doctor set you up with a diet that is designed for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. When you focus your attention on disease prevention instead of just losing weight, it’s easier to sustain the lifestyle changes you make. You will lose weight faster when you focus your attention on something besides losing weight.

Give Yourself a Timeout

When you are stressed out, your body produces more testosterone which counters all of your efforts to lose inches from around your waist. If you’re on the go all the time, you could be preventing your body’s ability to rid itself of calories and fat pounds.

Allow yourself some time each day to calm down and refocus by taking a slow walk, doing breathing exercises, or practicing yoga. This kind of daily respite can alleviate a myriad of physical and mental health issues.

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What is a Good Pregnancy Exercise and Diet Plan?

Obviously, your body experiences a lot of changes during pregnancy. Nevertheless, for the sake of both your body and your unborn child, it’s important that you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Exercise promotes muscle tone, strength, endurance, and a positive mood. It also alleviates fatigue, swelling, and backache. A healthy diet is beneficial to the health and growth of your unborn child. It also helps you prevent gaining excessive weight during pregnancy and makes it easier to return to your pre-pregnancy weight.

Exercise During Pregnancy

If you didn’t exercise regularly before your pregnancy, you can still exercise while you’re pregnant, just don’t launch into an intense training program. You need to ease into it. Also, make sure your doctor monitors your level of activity.

Find exercises that you are comfortable doing such as running, walking, swimming, or using a stationary bike. Yoga and pilates are popular exercises during pregnancy.

However, just make sure that the routine you follow caters to pregnant women because some of the poses and positions can be harmful to your unborn child. For example, during the latter part of your pregnancy, it’s not safe to lie flat on your back.

Avoid exercises that have a high risk of falling or causing injury. These include cycling, skating, waterskiing, horseback riding, squash, racquetball, and tennis.

Also, you need to modify your exercise routine as your pregnancy progresses. Scale your routine down as your body grows. Never exercise to exhaustion and drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. Dehydration raises your body temperature which can have a harmful affect on your unborn child.

A Proper Pregnancy Diet

A healthy diet (vegetables, fruits, grains, and lean proteins) is always important, but it’s vital during your pregnancy for both you and your unborn child. You should follow a healthy diet plan to ensure that your baby is properly nourished and that your body can accommodate the additional demands that being pregnant puts on it.

You don’t need to increase your caloric intake during your first trimester. However, during your second and third trimester, your diet should include an additional 300 calories per day bringing your total caloric intake to about 1,900 to 2,500 calories a day from nutritious, high protein foods.

You also need to boost your consumption of folate, calcium, and iron. In addition to vitamin supplements, you can get a significant amount of these nutrients from the following food items:

  • Orange juice
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Healthy breads and cereals

While it’s important to consume healthy foods, during your pregnancy, you should avoid foods that can have an adverse affect on your unborn child.

These foods include alcohol, fish with high levels of methylmercury, soft cheeses and deli meats, raw meats or poultry, and caffeine. Small amounts of these items would probably cause little or no harm to your unborn child. But it’s best to just avoid them altogether.

If you are a vegetarian or have some food allergies, work out a diet plan with your doctor to ensure that you and your baby are getting the proper nutrients.

You always need to consider the health of your baby as well as your ability to recover quickly. Having a baby taxes your body and your mental acuity. You can counter these affects by maintaining a healthy exercise and diet program.

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What to Look Out for in a Weight Loss Diet Plan

It seems like there are as many different weight loss methods as there are people trying to lose weight. When you decide that you are serious about weight loss, you might wonder how and where to start. The first thing you want to decide is what you hope achieve from your efforts.

There are a number of reasons for wanting to lose weight not the least being to look and feel good about yourself. For example, you might be under your doctor’s orders to drop weight for health reasons. Or you may be interested in shaping your body and having more energy.

Keep in mind that not all fat is bad—it’s the excess fat that you want to focus your attention on.

As you begin your weight loss program, you might feel a sense of urgency and be tempted by one of those lose-weight-over-night-so-you-can-look-good-at-the-beach gimmicks.

Avoid these quick results programs; the only thing you will lose is your money.

Starting a weight loss plan needs to be a deliberate and long-term endeavor. This is because weight loss is not an action/results kind of process. You need to make some lifestyle changes that will help you lose the weight and prevent it from returning. Here are a few things to look for in a weight loss program:

  • Make sure it’s safe. This is critical because although you are working to lose fat, you still need to ensure that your body still gets the recommended amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and calories.For most women, a diet consisting of 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day is sufficient. For men, a diet of between 1,200 and 1,600 calories per day should work. Be sure to keep your doctor in the loop with your weight loss program.
  • Keep it slow and steady. The battle of the bulge is won over time with hard work, a positive mind set, and patience. Expect to lose only a pound a week after the first week or two. This might seem minimal, but it’s weight that you are losing from changing your eating habits.If you attempt to lose weight faster, you are more likely to regain what you lose. Plan to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds each week throughout your program. Over time you will notice some amazing results and you will remain healthy.

 

  • Add exercise to your program. You can accelerate your weight loss through regular exercise. Standard weight loss requires that you burn more calories than you consume.If you engage in an intense exercise program such as training for a marathon or triathlon, you need to compensate by adding more calories to your diet. Here again, consult with your doctor to make sure you are maintaining a proper diet/weight loss balance.

 

  • Know the difference between weight loss and fat loss. The point of losing weight is not to lose pounds on the scale, it’s about losing fat—especially that bulgy stuff that gathers around your waistline. Put the thought of losing weight out of your mind.Focus on losing fat but gaining muscle.

    You do this through eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. In fact, during your weight loss program, hide the scale because muscle weighs more than fat. Base your progress by how your clothes fit, how you look, and how you feel.

An effective weight loss plan doesn’t need to be complicated. With a successful weight loss plan, expect to replace high-fat and sugary foods with more vegetables, fruits, grains, and lean proteins. Also expect to participate in a dedicated program of physical activity.

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3 Exercises to Help with Bone Health

When you think about exercise for helping with bone health, the term Osteoporosis often comes to mind. Osteoporosis is when you progressively lose bone density making your bones more susceptible to fractures.

Regular exercise and vitamin and mineral supplements can reduce and even reverse loss of bone density. You might not have Osteoporosis, but that’s not the only reason why you should consider bone health in your exercise program.

Gradual bone loss begins in both men and women between the ages of 30 and 50. Body shaping exercise stimulates the bone tissue and causes stress and tension on your bone structure. This triggers small electrical currents that tell the bone to repair and regenerate.

The best exercises for building and strengthening bonds are the ones that work against gravity. These exercises might include weight training, hiking, and stair climbing.

Weight Training

Weight training is especially beneficial to bone strength and density. Strength training stimulates and strengthens the bone tissue. This prolongs the potential for bone degradation. Make sure you include all your muscle groups in your strength training routine. This improves individual bone density as well as your overall posture.

When weight training, you can use free weights such as dumbbells or a full weight system like a Bowflex home gym.

Hiking

Hiking can be a lot of fun and an excellent way to burn calories. In fact, you burn far more calories by hiking than by walking. Activities such as moving through uneven terrain and climbing hills require more energy. Add a weighted backpack to the mix and you increase your fat-burning rate even more.

Stair Climbing

Stair climbing might be one of the more difficult exercises, but it is one of the best for overall fitness and bone health. If you don’t have access to a stair climber machine, you can engage in this exercise on the stairs in your office building, some other multi-story building, or the bleachers at the ball park.  If you are concerned about the impact on your joints, try an elliptical machine instead.

If you are new to stair climbing, there are some things to know before you embark on this routine. You need to pace yourself so your heart and muscles adjust safely to this new workout. If you find yourself out of breath and your thigh muscles are burning after climbing one or two flights of stairs, walk around for awhile before scaling another flight.

Whether you are walking actual stairs or a stair climber machine, wear good supportive shoes. These should be cross-trainer or aerobic shoes. Your joints really get a workout with this type of exercise.

Running shoes don’t give your feet enough lateral support. Also, employ a proper climbing posture. Keep your back straight, lean forward slightly from your hips, and avoid looking down. To prevent injury, always keep your knees slightly bent.

As with any exercise routine, pay attention to your body. It’s normal to experience some muscle soreness. But it usually lasts only 48 hours. If you feel dizzy, dehydrated, over exhaustion, or experience chest pains, end your workout and seek medical attention.

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How to Motivate Kids to Exercise

Kids inherently have a short attention span. The high intensity and sound-bite length format of today’s entertainment contributes to keeping their attention spans short.

Consequently, encouraging kids to follow a long-term fitness program is challenging when the only physical activity they get is advancing to the next level of a video game or sending a handful of text messages.

The overall benefit of regular fitness and exercise is likely not the most critical thing on kids’ minds these days.

Nevertheless, it’s important to not only get kids involved in a regular exercise program, but to keep them motivated to stay with it throughout their lives. Regular exercise boosts self-confidence and better prepares kids to perform well in all aspects of their lives.

Kids seem to like variety and enjoy the novelty of trying something different. This is where you can get creative in helping your kids stay motivated to exercise daily.

1.  All Together Now…

One way to get kids motivated to exercise is to find fun activities to do as a family. Activities such as going on walks or bike rides, playing tag, playing basketball, kicking a soccer ball, or throwing a Frisbee at the park are ways that kids get exercise and enjoy themselves in the process.

Swimming is another popular activity for kids. They love to play in water and as long as they keep moving they’re getting a good full-body workout.

2.  Use What You Got!

If you – the parent- already have exercise machines at home, such as a Bowflex home gym (read our PR3000 review here) which can work all parts of the body, consider using them with the child.   Working out can help a child build confidence and improve their self image.

Remember, proper supervision is incredibly important.  Never let a child use the equipment alone unless they are of proper age and properly trained.

3.  Squeeze it In to Work it Off

If school is in session, time is limited due to homework, dinner, and bed time. However, it’s possible for kids to get a good 30-minute exercise session each day.

For example, you can go on a bike ride, play chase in the park, or walk the dog before settling in to do homework. If you limit their TV time, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get daily exercise.

Regular fitness is important for the adequate development of strong bodies and motor skills. Motor skills are the foundation of every movement we make.

Nearly all of the physical skills that we possess throughout our lives are acquired during childhood and early adolescence.  Many adults and seniors are sedentary and struggle with a myriad of health problems because they didn’t establish and maintain the necessary motor skills earlier in life.

Getting kids involved in an exercise program and keeping them motivated doesn’t need to be hard or unpleasant if you make it fun.

Exercise for kids doesn’t need to feel like exercise if you choose activities that are both fun and get them moving—most of the time they won’t even know that they’re getting exercise.

The most important thing is to participate in the exercise activities with your children as well as follow your own fitness program. When kids see how important regular exercise is to you, they will be more compelled to join in.

If you establish an overall enthusiasm in your family for fitness and staying healthy, you will have much more success in keeping your kids motivated to be active.

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What to Look for When Joining a Gym

Perhaps you’re thinking that you want to take your workout to the next level by joining a gym.

The gym has numerous options for adding variety and intensifying your workout, but there are some things you need to consider before you join.

Location

If you have been working out at home or running in your neighborhood, you’re accustomed to having control over where and when you workout. It takes more dedication to get in your car and drive somewhere, complete your workout, and then drive home. Having to drive a long distance to get to your gym might become frustrating causing you to lose enthusiasm for exercising.

Operating Hours

If you’re like most people, you have a busy schedule and working out is another item on your “To Do” list. The bulk of your waking hours are likely spent at work, school, or with your family.

This means that you might need to exercise early in the morning or late at night. Make sure the gym’s operating hours accommodate your schedule. Some gyms open around 4 am and remain open until 9 or 10 pm. Others are open 24 hours a day.

Features and Classes

The gym is a great place to get additional instruction from fitness experts in the form of classes and personal instruction. You will want to learn about the gym’s instructional benefits. Are the trainers certified? Are the classes included in your membership fee?

Also, make sure the gym has the necessary equipment and facilities for the type of workout you want. Does the gym have amenities such as a track, a pool, a sauna, and all of the pieces of exercise equipment that you like to use?

Cost

The cost of using a gym can be a big factor in whether you join or not. Of course when you pay to use the gym, you tend to be more motivated to use it regularly. But what fees are required? Some gyms like to commit you to an annual or 2-year membership.

This means that you are either paying for several months in advance or making monthly payments for your membership. Are you prepared for that kind of commitment? You will also want to see if the gym has a trial membership.

Demographics

Women commonly prefer to attend a ladies’ only gym. There are a number of those gyms, but you might have to travel further to attend one. Many gyms have a ladies’ only workout room that contains a wide variety of equipment and fitness instructors.

If you are apprehensive about working out in crowded or coed gyms, this might be an option to consider.

Childcare

Some gyms provide a child care facility right on the premises. If this is a feature that you are interested in, be sure to do your research about this service.

Is the childcare service state certified and is their certification current? Do they have safe and secure premises? What is the staff-to-child ratio? Do they provide snacks and/or can you send food with your child?

As with any major purchase, you want to do your homework before you commit. This is why it’s important that membership-based gyms offer a trial membership. This gives you an opportunity to try a few different facilities before you make a decision. You make a substantial time and financial investment with a gym membership so make sure it meets your expectations.

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Protein and Exercises – What is the Connection?

There is a lot of debate about protein as a component of an exercise program, including how much is needed.

Why is protein important?

Protein is a necessary part of any exercise—especially with strength training. It is the building block of muscle tissue because it supplies the muscles with amino acids. These components are necessary to develop and maintain muscle.

Amino acids cannot be made or synthesized by your body. Therefore, you need to consume a sufficient amount of protein when you engage in any kind of exercise program.

The Life Cycle of Protein

Protein is broken down into amino acids and then turned back into protein in order to repair your muscles following a workout.

During exercise (especially aerobic exercise) you burn amino acids. Protein restores these amino acids which enables you to achieve your desired body building results. Protein also helps you lose fat without losing muscle.

Protein Creates Antibodies

In addition to repairing and maintaining muscles, protein creates antibodies to aid in preventing infections and diseases. It also makes hemoglobin which carries oxygen to the muscles and produces enzymes and hormones that regulate body processes.

Should I take lots of protein?

Some body builders subscribe to the theory that if some protein is good, more is better. In addition to a protein rich diet, they feel the need to take protein supplements.

Besides being expensive, protein supplements are not necessary and can actually have an adverse effect on your body.

You can get a sufficient amount of protein from lean meats, milk, yogurt, eggs, salmon, nuts, and soy. You don’t need to supplement your protein intake because it produces amino acids that you don’t need.

Your body still stores these amino acids but they’re stored as fat. Excessive amino acids will also increase your risk of dehydration.

But don’t carbs make a person fat?

It’s a common misconception that carbohydrates are what make you fat. An excessive amount of the wrong carbohydrates (sugars, sweets, soda pop) contributes to weight gain.

You still need carbohydrates so it’s better to consume complex carbohydrates (whole wheat pastas, wheat bread, cereals, and rice). These carbs are necessary to give you a proper energy source.

When your body doesn’t have a sufficient amount of complex carbs, it starts using protein as a source of energy. This is not an efficient metabolic process because your body is using the protein as energy instead of to recover and rebuild muscle tissue.

Some nutritional experts recommend that about 15% of your daily calories come from the protein in foods. When you are active, you might not think this is very much.

If you consume a healthy amount of complex carbohydrates along with the recommended amount of proteins, your body will have sufficient nutrients to sustain your exercise program.

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Is anyone fat anymore?

In this world of being so politically correct, I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years the word, “fat” will be banned from the dictionary.

I heard on the news how one school in Virginia is no longer giving “F’s” as grades.  Instead the child gets an “incomplete”.   Awww…. I’m sure the child now is safe from any lifelong emotional distress now that they are free from the trauma of getting an “F”.

The fact remains, the child did not pass. Does not pass Go, does not move forward to a new school level.   To put it bluntly – he/she failed.

But, I digress here.  Back to my point of being fat.   Overweight does not mean fat all the time.  In fact, my dear lovable husband is overweight – but not fat.  He’s just got a little belly fat that puts him over where he is supposed to be by a few pounds – okay 20 pounds.  Is that fat?

On the other hand, I’m in the grocery store and see an obese person who is so big I can’t tell where his stomach ends and legs begin.   That is fat.

But fat is not always obese either.   My father is fat (I know he doesn’t read this so I’m safe).   He’s not obese, but he’s far overweight to where he is simply FAT.

Why this rant?   Because it bothers me.  And it’s so hard not to get fat in this society.

Just look at the TV ads.  Look at the store ads and sales.

Do you ever see the organic, non chemically enhanced, non brain altering, non fat incurring food item advertised on the front pages of the weekly ads?  Mind you at an affordable price?

My beef is not with fat people.   Whatever you decide to call them – they know they are fat.

If you call anyone fat – they just might feel bad about themselves.   This means they might change the way they eat – or buy groceries, or they might decide to take daily walks.

But tell them, “No you’re just overweight – lots of people are… don’t feel bad…” doesn’t make them any less at risk for heart disease, diabetes, joint pains, or cancer – yes cancer.

And what does the food industry do about it?   Nothing.   What does the health care system do about – not much but treat the symptoms.    You’re obese?  No problem, let me cut out half your stomach to make you smaller.

I’m not a fanatic.  Nor do I think there is a one size fit all solution, and extreme cases demand extreme actions.  But that is not for everyone!

Well, that’s my tyraid.  I guess in some off way that’s why I chose this topic for this site.  I’m not a fitness pro.  Not an exercise fanatic.   But I try.

For me joining a gym is out.  But getting on an exercise machine at home like an elliptical trainer or recumbent bike (which I want to buy for my father) while I catch up on the news – yeah, that’s more my style.    I guess that’s why I write reviews on these types of machines.

Just like AA says, the first step is admitting you have a problem.   Being fat is not good for anyone’s health – even my husband’s.  So in this case, admitting that fat is fat – and most fat (not all) is bad, no matter if you are obese or just have belly fat.

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3 exercises that help you lose belly fat

When it comes to weight loss and body sculpting, you are not alone if you rank your stomach region as the number one trouble spot. This is primarily because there are so many different reasons why you have belly fat.

Whether it’s genetics, hormones, or an unhealthy diet, the belly is the focal point of nearly every diet and fitness program.

 

Cardio: Cardio exercises help you boost your metabolism so you burn more calories and reduce your appetite.

Strength:  Most people associate strength training with the use of special equipment or machines such as home gyms or even simply adjustable dumbbells.  However this article addresses some methods which do not require any exercise machines.

The following are a few of the more popular and successful abdominal exercises.

1.  Leg lifts

Lie flat on your back on a smooth, level surface. Out stretch your arms at the sides of your body with your palms facing down.

Keep both your legs straight with your toes pointed at the ceiling. Place a pillow or rolled up towel under the back of your neck. This keeps your neck muscles in line with your spine while you do the exercise.

Slightly bend both knees and elevate your legs until your tailbone lifts off the floor. This contracts both your upper and lower abdominal muscles.

Hold this position for 30 seconds then gradually lower your legs, but only half way (not back to the floor). Repeat this motion two or three more times.

You must keep your back flat on the floor during this exercise. If you have any lower back issues, do not perform this exercise.

2.  Side Crunches

Lie down on one side. Bend your knees about half way. Place your hands behind your head to support your neck only, do not tug on the back of your head during the exercise.

The tension and the stress should be in the belly region and not in the neck. Rest one hand near your exposed hip in the side.

Point your head toward your hip. Imagine a line from your chin to your exposed hip and squeeze the abdominal muscles and slowly elevate your body and leg as much as you can. Slowly lower your body and then repeat the movements.

When finished on one side slowly roll both of your knees to the opposite side and repeat the work out process on the other side.

During this work out session, your oblique muscles on the sides of the abdomen are stressed to expend energy. It also facilitates metabolic process to burn the belly fats.

3.  Front Squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Point your arms out straight. If you have a Pilates Ball, you can hold that out in front of you.

Keep your back straight and slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Slowly stand back up and repeat this motion for a set of 15 to 20 reps.

The best way to lose belly fat is to commit to a long-term diet and exercise program that includes calorie-burning and strength training workouts along with your ab tightening exercises.

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