“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” – Plato
Who does not want a healthy life and a healthy body? Health is a dynamic process because it is always changing. We all have times of good health, times of sickness, and maybe even times of serious illness. As our lifestyles change, so does our level of health. With the growing love for junk food, more and more people are gaining belly fat. Belly fat has become a serious problem especially among the youth. More and more young men and women are running to gyms to stay fit and to reduce belly fat. But the real problem behind belly fat is junk food.
Here are five simple exercises to reduce belly fat and stay fit:
1 Bicycle Exercise
This exercise is one of the simplest and the most effective exercise to reduce belly fat. Instructions to do this exercise are :
- Begin by lying on your back, placing your hands behind your ears. Do not put your hands clasped behind your head. Lift your legs in the air and bend your knees so that your legs form a 90 degree angle.
- Move your legs in a bicycle motion. When your left knee is closer to your body, reach your right elbow to it. When your right knee is closer to your body, reach your left elbow to it. Try performing the exercise for 60 seconds in 2 sets.
Crunches chiefly serve to tone, define and strengthen the abdominal or “core” muscles. As a core-training exercise, crunches help improve your balance by strengthening your abdominal muscles. Instructions:
- Begin by laying on your back over a mat or other comfortable material/floor. Bend knees to 90 degrees. Place feet flat on ground. Legs should be bent in straight line (no flaring out). Cross arms across chest.
- Begin by contracting your abdominals first before any movement occurs. Do this by imagining sucking your belly button to your spine. This will engage all abdominals including transverse. Keeping your head and neck tall and in line with your body, “curl” as you trunk up. Be sure to rise until your lower back just begins to come off the ground.Do not recklessly thow your body up, use a slow controlled motion.
3. Lunge Twist
The lunge is a great lower body exercise, it strengthens the glutes and legs and it improves the flexibility of the hips. Adding the twist to the movement forces you to engage your core and work on your abs and obliques at the same time. Instructions to perform :
- Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold a medicine ball (optional) in front of you with elbows bent about 90 degrees. You may want to begin this exercise with no weight and build up your strength over time. Step forward with your left foot into a lunge position. Be sure to keep your knee over your left foot; don’t twist at the knee.
- From your torso, twist your upper body to the left. Then, reach across your left side with your arms outstretched. (Think of pointing to the left from your belly button). Maintain a slow and controlled movement throughout the exercise. Slowly move your arms to center and step forward with the opposite foot and twist to the other side. Continue the movement for about ten steps. Complete 2 sets.
4. Rolling Plank Exercise
The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance. Instructions to perform:
- Get down on all fours with your palms flat, and hands directly under your shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) just like doing a push-up.
- Contract your abs, squeeze your glutes to keep your body up and prevent your lower body from dipping and sticking up. Keep your belly button pulled in.
- Now from this position, bend your elbows and lower yourself down until you can shift your weight from your hands to your forearms. Your body should form a straight line. Brace your core, squeeze those glutes. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Rest and repeat the prescribed number of sets.
5. Captain’s Chair
The captain’s chair looks like a large chair with no seat. It has a padded backrest, padded horizontal supports for the arms and supports for your feet. Instructions to perform :
- Stand on the captain’s chair to place your back flat on the pad, your forearms and elbows on the pads, and your hands lightly around the gripping handles. Once in position, lift your feet off of the stand and bring your legs together in front of you, keeping abs engaged.
- EXHALE: Focus on engaging the abs as you bring your straight legs up in line with the hips. INHALE: Slowly lower both legs back down to complete one rep.
- Keep your lower back flat–make sure it does not arch. Keep your head and neck relaxed into the support. Focus on using the abs, not just the upper body, to lift.