Articles on abdominal exercise

Reduce Belly Fat With This Exercise

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
You have to admit that belly fat hanging around your belly is the worst enemy of your figure and it is very very hard to get rid off.Here is an exercise that reduce the belly fat around your waist.One should be well prepared prior to this exercise i.e warm up,hydration.For quick result,this exercise should be done in conjugation with diet.About this Exercise:In this exercise, breathing activated and strengthen the deepest abdominal muscles by simply doing contraction.If you’re doing this exercise correctly, you will strengthen the entire central part of the body and stabilize the spine which will remove the pain from the lower back and improve your posture. This technique of deep breathing and ‘suction’ air from the stomach is part of the Pilates and yoga, but you can do apart from these types of exercises. As soon as you wake up (ideally on an empty stomach, and while you are still in bed) lie on your back with knees bent and feet laid on the mattress. Inhale, then deeply exhale and pull your stomach so hard as you want to ‘clung’ navel to the spine. The more you inhale your belly it will be stronger contractions and efficiency of movement. Hold pulled stomach 15 seconds to start, and as you progress to extend the grip of up to 60 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.When you are ready for a more difficult version of stomach vacuum exercise, you should do exercise kneeling on your knees and hands, sitting straight in a chair or on the ball for Pilates. After a certain time of exercise, you will be able to hold your stomach compressed while sitting or standing throughout the day.If you perform this easiest exercise for a flat stomach regularly, eat healthy food, you will see the results already for 2 weeks.

10 Abs Exercises Better Than Crunches

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
All want a toned, flat stomach. No surprise there. But since many of us are still relying on crunches to get it, we want to make one thing clear – Crunches are not the most effective abs workout. They only work a small set of abdominal muscles, so they burn fewer calories. To improve your ab definition, you need to perform exercises that move larger muscles, and thus burn more calories. Lowering your body fat, along with building muscle will help you show those abs.Here are 10 abs exercises, from simple to killer that will keep your daily core workouts interesting!SquatsSquat is a full body exercise. Squatting with proper posture strengthens the muscles surrounding your knees and lower back. This will make your knees and lower back stronger and healthier. You can perform squats by bending through your hips and knees, until hips come lower than your knees. You should perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions each.Push upPush-ups are one of those exercises that can be done anytime. If you can't do them, try half-pushups or knee pushups. They strengthen upper body muscles and make you versatile while improving your shoulder health. They should be performed correctly; otherwise they can cause lower back injuries.PlankPlank is an exercise for abdominal muscles. It is also called front hold or abdominal bridge. It is one of the best exercises because it tightens the deepest core muscles. You should hold this position for at least 30-40 seconds and perform 3 repetitions.Reverse plankThe reverse plank strengthens and stabilizes the abdominals, particularly the lower abs. It can be done for 15 to 30 seconds at a time to really focus on that core.Mountain climberMountain climber strengthens multiple groups of muscles in addition to the cardiovascular system. It improves heart rate and increases intensity of your cardio workouts. 3-4 sets of 15-20 repetitions should be done to get good results.Kneeling side kickKneeling sidekicks targets hip area maximum. It helps in toning of hips and strengthening of your lower back. You should perform 3-5 sets 10-15 repetitions each.Inch wormThe inchworm is an exercise that works on the whole upper body i.e. on arms, chest, abdomen, upper and lower back. It is performed by moving body in up-and-down motion like a worm moving across a flat surface.Bear crawlThe bear crawl is a great total body exercise for strength training and improving body control. It includes multi-joint movements that engage the entire body. It helps you in balancing, coordination, strength, and agility.Seal JumpsSeal Jumps are an excellent cardiovascular exercise. It increases your heart rate, and includes full body movement. Your legs, arms and core are all working during this movement (by tracy). You can perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions each.Jumping planksThe plank jack is a great cardio move. It raises the heart rate while working both your lower and upper body. You can perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions each.Try these exercise at home to show off your toned washboard abs. ;)

5 Great Abs Exercises

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Abdominal exercises are those that affect the abdominal muscles (also known as the stomach muscles or "abs"). These exercises are useful for building the abdominal muscles. According to one of the study, abdominal muscle exercises are known to increase the strength and endurance of the abdominal muscles.Here are 5 great abs exercises -Elbow PlankPlanks are great for working the abs, and the elbow plank is harder on the abs than the traditional plank in push-up position.- Start face down on the floor resting on your forearms and knees. - Push off the floor, raising up off your knees onto your toes and resting mainly on your elbows. - Contract your abdominal to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up. - Keep your back flat - don't let it drop or you'll be defeating the purpose. Picture your body as a long straight board, or plank. - Hold as long as you can. Aim for 20-30 seconds in the beginning and work your way up to one minute, as you get stronger. - Repeat three times.Warrior 3Balancing on one leg challenges your core muscles. Here's how to do the Warrior 3 yoga pose.- Stand with your feet together. Inhale as you extend your arms out wide in T position or straight overhead for a more advanced variation. - Exhale as you bend forward at your hips, lifting your right leg straight behind you coming into Warrior 3. Draw your navel toward your spine and hold for five breaths. - Come to stand, lower your right leg, and repeat with the left leg lifted for another five.Scissor Abs- Lie flat on your back. Extend your arms so they're against the sides of your body with your palms pressing into the floor, or bend your elbows and place your palms under the back of your head. - Bend your knees and draw them into your ribs. This will make it easier to pull your navel in toward your spine and actively press your lower back flat on the ground. - Lift both legs straight up toward the ceiling, continuing to engage your abs and pressing your lower back into the ground. Keeping your core strong, slowly lower your right leg down toward the ground until it is a few inches above. Then slowly scissor your legs, lifting your right leg back up as you lower your left leg down toward the ground. - You may not feel this until you do it for a while, so repeat this move for a total of 20 to 30 times on each leg (or more if you're still not feeling it).Pilates Corkscrew- Lie on your back, and pull your knees into your chest. Reach your legs up to the ceiling, and tightly squeeze them together, focusing on connecting your inner thighs. - Reach the legs over to the right, allowing the hips to lift away from the floor. - Reach the legs back to center but still engaged, ensuring that the lower back remains on the floor. - Reach the legs over to the left, grounding the shoulders and allowing the hips to move first, the rib cage if possible next. Pull the legs back up in toward the body. This counts as one rep. - Repeat 10 times.Quadruped- Get on all fours, with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Remember to keep abs engaged and    keep your back flat. - Reach out with your right hand and extend your left leg out behind you. - Round your back and head to connect your right elbow with your left leg under your body. Extend right hand and left leg back    out. - Repeat for a total of 15 times, and then switch sides.

Exercise 101!

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
YES, the benefits of exercise are written on, heard about and perhaps all too overdone. Yet, here we are doing a quick and dirty summary for all you readers about 10 exercise basics.1. First things first, you need one! Yes, no matter your age, sex, geographical location, social status, body composition, we all need to workout. Exercise is an anti-ageing tool which means that it would make us look and feel younger. Now who doesn’t want that?2. It can be broken down into 3 components: endurance, flexibility and strength and a good workout would encompass all of these 3 componentsEndurance – In simple terms, how much your body can ‘ensure’ without reaching a point of fatigue. Examples include walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, tennis, squash to name a fewFlexibility- Flexibility training includes exercises for the purpose of increasing one’s range of motion and making the muscles more tensile. Excellent examples of activities that improve flexibility are yoga and stretching exercisesStrength- The maximum amount of force a muscle or muscle group can develop during a single contraction. Examples are lifting weights, using a resistance band, using your own body weight3. Pre-workout – Want to get the most out of your workout? Then you need to plan a healthy, nutritious pre-workout meal to better fuel your body for the exercise. Best to consume a fruit 30 minutes prior to working out. If working out post breakfast, lunch or a bigger meal, a gap of 90 minutes is recommended4. Post workout – Eating a meal after the workout is just as important as a pre-workout meal as it helps to replenish the glycogen stores that are used up during the workout. Also, a meal would help repair and recover our muscle tissues which have gone through damage during the workout. What you eat would largely depend on time of workout completion. If you workout in the mornings, then a breakfast immediately post workout would be a good idea. If evenings, then dinner5. Warming up – This is the first step to a successful exercise. It helps to raise the total body temperature and muscle temperature that is required for vigorous exercises and to prevent injuries6. A cool down – This allows for the gradual return of heart rate, respiratory rate and core body temperature back to pre-exercise levels. It also ensures that you don’t go through post-exercise stiffness thereby allowing for a more efficient exercise7. Consistency – 2 days a week for 3 months is better than 7 days a week for 1 month and 2 months of doing nothing and eating in front of the TV. No, we’re not telling you to workout less, we are asking you to be consistent with whatever it is that you commit to. This forms the basis of a healthy, lifelong exercise plan8. Drink up! Your body needs the good old H20 to refill back the fluid loss we experience due to sweating. So drink enough water during and after your workout9. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day, it counts. Some exercise is better than no exercise and 15 minutes spent on exercise would be 15 less minutes spent on your iPhone which is a complete win10. Baseline diet – So here’s where we actually come into the picture. A good baseline diet will serve many purposes (replenish glycogen stores, counter damage that body cells go through during workout). Below are a few elements that comprise of a good baseline diet:A fruit pre-workoutA wholesome meal within the first hour of finishing the workoutMinimal consumption of foods which are packaged, processed and deep-friedNo blanket bans on carbs and fatsSensible eating—no restriction, limitation, starvation.

3 Exercises to Help Your Strengthen Your Core Muscles as You Age

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
Our core muscles help us maintain balance and stability. When we suddenly trip or someone pushes us, our core muscles help us hold our ground.The expression bracing yourself against a fall refers to the activation of these muscles, which counteract the momentum created by an external application of force and/or the pull of gravity. The core muscles criss-cross the torso and traverse the arms, sides, and back, as well as the buttocks and legs. These muscles are activated when pulling, pushing, and lifting objects.Strong core muscles can help prevent lower back pain and improve our posture. Better posture opens up the diaphragm, making it easier to breathe; and eliminating back pain is its own reward! As we age, these muscles experience the same wear and tear as the rest of the body. Here are some exercises to strengthen core muscles in the elderly. Floored! Lie flat on your stomach, on a mat or on your bed, with your arms by your side. Inhale deeply, and as you do so, tighten your pelvic and lower abdominal muscles, and stretch your arms out in front of you, as if you're Superman. Count to two as you hold this pose, and then slowly lower your body to the ground and your hands to your side. Repeat at least 5 times. This exercise will strengthen your pelvic and lower back muscles, and buttocks.The Leaning Tower of Your Torso! Sit on a chair, with your feet flat on the ground, or on the floor (if you're able to.) Raise your right hand and stretch it over your head and to the left, slowly bending your torso in the same direction. Make sure your right butt cheek is planted firmly on the chair's surface. You will feel a subtle stretch as you execute this move. Hold this position for 2 to 3 beats and return to your original position. You Put Your Right Leg InStand next to the backrest, and place your hand on it. Slowly raise your right leg, while pointing your foot to the ground. Hold for a few seconds and relax. Repeat with the other leg. Over time, try and use the chair's backrest less and less, till you're able to do this exercise on your own without support. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen your core abdominal and back muscles. Embrace the 'core value' of core exercises. Your back will thank you for it!

Superman Exercise for Back Strength

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
A healthy life starts with a strong body! And the route to a fit body is a strong core. Mostly people relate core to abs or abdominal. And yes, we all aspire to get a flat stomach and those washboard abs. Core represents all muscles on your trunk, including front and back muscles. Core exercises comprise of those exercises which help train the muscles of your pelvis, lower back & abdomen. In other words, all exercises which involve the use of your abdominal and back muscles in a coordinated fashion are taken as core exercises.A weak core limits your ability to push your body beyond a certain fitness level and makes you more susceptible to injuries. A strong core on the other hand helps improve your posture and increases body balance and stability. Superman is one of the best core exercises to help strengthen lower back muscles or improve a weak back condition. A stronger back is less prone to lower back pains due to lifting heavy weights, long driving hours or due to any pressure on the back muscles. It also facilitates normal spinal functions. The superman exercise also helps in building flexibility of the back muscles and with its various variations; one can include it as a part of daily exercise routine.How to PerformLie face down on the floor. Extend your arms out front, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Use your lower back muscles to lift your chest off the floor. Keep your neck and arms in line with your spine. Hold this exercise for one minute per set. Then, take one minute of rest. Repeat until you've completed 3 sets. Alternatively, you can hold only for a second, rest for a second, and repeat. If you prefer to do it this way, aim to do about 20 reps per set.Remember to exhale as you lift your arms and legs up off the ground and exhale as you come bring them back down.In order to start seeing/feeling results, aim to do 3 sets 3 days a week for 6 weeks. For Beginners, to make this exercise less challenging you can hold the pose for less time. You can also place a pillow or towel under your head to decrease the amount you must lift yourself. For faster results, increase the number of sets/times per week you do this exercise.Be CautiousBe especially careful with this exercise. Do not lift both your chest and legs at the same time - this places extreme strain on the disks in your back. Likewise, do not raise your head more than 8-12 inches. It takes time to build muscle strength and enjoy the benefits of a strong core, so always start with the beginner’s level under the supervision of an expert.

Stair Climbing Exercise

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Running is a great exercise, but many people who don't like to run for multiple reasons: its too hot, its boring, don't have a good place to run, too polluted to run outside, running is not for me (even though they haven't tried it after they turned 8) and our favorite, 'I do not like to sweat'.So, try stair climbing as an exercise. Stairs are easy to access. Most of us live in cities with plenty of high rises around us. Even a 5-6 story building is a good place to start, or a stadium. Our homes, offices, malls all have stairs. So, there are plenty of opportunity to use them.Stair Climbing as an exercise: Walk up the stairs briskly. Take the elevator down and repeat. If you're in good physical shape, try running them. When you can't run anymore, keep a brisk pace walking up those stairs.  Its one of the best cardio exercises and its a great muscle builder. Running stairs or even climbing them briskly is a serious workout. Gets your heart pumping and builds those ignored leg muscles- the calves, quads, hamstrings and even the glutes. Stair climbing gives you great calves to show off your hot legs in shorts or a skirt and gives you a great butt. We all love a good butt :)Stair Climbing a complete fat scorching exercise and calorie burning exercise. Its short and intense- burns fat, builds muscle.Even if you enjoy running, try stair climbing for cross training. Since it really pushes you leg muscles, it helps to build them and improve speed.Stair climbing sounds daunting- try going up a couple of floors. Its not easy to start, but keep at it. When you see yourself getting hotter, you won't need motivation from anyone else!

Why Exercise Is Even More Important in Old Age

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Regular exercise can help boost energy, manage and prevent most ailments and even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. As you grow older, an active lifestyle is more important than ever. Exercise is good for your body, mind, mood, and memory.Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge as you get older. There are many reasons and excuses to slow down and take it easy as you age, such as: • There is no point in exercising. You are anyway getting old. • Older people should not exercise to save strength and energy. • Exercise puts the elderly at the risk of falling or injury. • It’s too late to start. • Disabled elderly cannot exercise sitting down.The above excuses and reasons are all untrue. No matter what your age is or your current physical condition, you can benefit from exercise. As you age, regular exercise is more important than ever to your body and mind. Exercising has many health benefits, such as the ones mentioned below:Physical Health benefits:• Exercise helps older adults maintain or lose weight: Due to the effect of aging, body metabolism slows down naturally, which may lead to weight gain. Exercising can help boost metabolism and maintain body weight.• Exercise reduces the impact of illnesses and chronic diseases: Regular exercise improves the body’s immune response, helping in keeping illnesses and chronic diseases at bay. Along with benefitting the immune system, exercise also aids in better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density,and better digestive functioning. Exercise even leads to a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.• Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in adults over 50. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.Mental Health Benefits:• Exercise improves your sleep: Poor sleep is one of the consequences of aging and quality sleep is important for your overall health. Exercise helps you fall asleep more quickly and a sound sleep.• Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence: Exercise leads to the production of a hormone called Endorphin which is also known as the happy hormone. This hormone can actually help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness or depression. Being active and feeling strong helps you feel more self-confident as you age.• Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active. Exercise may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.Here are some tips mentioned to get started safely:• Ask your doctor before starting an exercise program and identify what needs to be avoided, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.• Keep in mind how your ongoing health problems affect your workouts. For example, diabetics may need to adjust the timing of medication and meal plans when setting an exercise schedule.• Divide the workout into two 10 minute sessions separated by 8-10 hours.• Force yourself to stick to an exercise schedule.• Stay motivated by focusing on short-term goals, such as improving your mood and energy levels and reducing stress, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve.• Stop exercising immediately and call your doctor if you feel dizzy or short of breath, develop chest pain or pressure, break out a cold sweat, or experience pain.

Regular Exercise Benefits Your Skin

Dr. Madhavi Pudi, Dermatologist
Regular exercises or physical activities keep our heart and lungs in good condition and help t,o reduce weight ; you & we; both will unanimously agree to that. But do you know it is highly beneficial for our skin too? Yeah, that's true. Exercise can make your skin glow, look young and healthy, but how? Let's get a broader picture;Benefits:1. Exercises increase the blood flow to your skin and helps in providing more oxygen and nutrients to the cells through out the body including the skin.2. Increased blood flow also helps to remove the waste products and cellular debris out of the system (Flushed out).3. Exercise reduces stress and in turn helps to improve those skin condition ( acne,psoriasis etc..) which are aggravated by stress.4. Muscle tone is improved with exercise which in turn gives a fimer and overall better looking skin.5. Exercise also promates blood circulation to the hair roots and scalpe, keeping them healthy .6. Exercise increases collagen production which is a protein involved in giving support and suppleness to our skinAre there any risks?1. certain skin conditions can be worsened by physical activity , examples being rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. Rosacea isaggravated by increase in body temperature and the skin flushing. The salt from perspiration can causes flare -ups of eczema and psoriasis.2.Ther is an increased risk of photosensitivity due to excessive sweating which may lead to sunburn and UV related skin damage when you do exercise in the sun. This may increase the risk of skin cancer.3. Tight fitting clothes & perspiration may irritate the skin and produce acne (pimples) which is called acne mechanica.But These are no valid reasons to stop exercise as the benfits outweigh any adverse effects it can cause. Besides , you could always go for some precautions ;1.Exercise in a cool environment (air conditioned room) . If you get over heated ,apply cool compresses to the problem areas soon after the workout . If you have to work out outdoor , use sunscreens liberally and avoid exercising between 10 am-3pm.Also protect the skin by proper clothing & hat.2.Apply moisturizers before workout to protect your skin from the ill effects of sweat . Dont' forget to apply them on the groin and underams.3. Take shower after exercise, but excessive washing need to be avoided. After showering apply a soothing moisturizer to prevent skin irritation .4. Wear loose fitting clothes which can absorb moisture.

How Much Exercise You Need to Lose Weight?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Many of us like to look at the number of pages a book contains before we start reading it. We guess the same psychology plays out when we want to lose weight. We want to know how much and for how long do we need to work for before we get the final results.As we all know there are no shortcuts in life but who’s to say there aren’t more efficient ways to reach the finish line? And that’s exactly what we are providing you with! Super effective and efficient exercise information which will make those extra kilos melt away.WHO says that a routine exercise involving 45 minutes or more can lead to proper weight loss, while we agree with that statement we also know that different exercises have different burn rates and help reduce different amounts of calories. So it’s time to concentrate on the most productive answers to the What, When, and How of exercise!We have prepared an abridged version of what it takes to lose weight and get that dream body. Below is a list of popular and common exercises which can be done by absolutely anyone in order to indulge in focussing weight loss.Brisk Walking: It is a low impact exercise, which does not cause any sort of stress injury. For people with obesity or heart issues, walking is an easy and effective way to start exercising. Walking will help you get fitter and help with reducing the symptoms of your health issues. It also helps in refreshing the mind. Brisk walking for 45- 60 minutes can help you lose up to 225- 360 calories depending on your weight. If you can continue this routine of daily brisk walking for 45- 60 minutes, you can lose considerable weight in a week.Swimming: It is another low impact exercise which has high output in terms of calorie burning. A one-hour swimming session can help you burn around 400 to 700 calories. It helps not only in weight loss but also helps in toning the body. It actually works on the whole of your body and helps you condition and strengthen the body. It is very useful for people suffering from arthritis, obesity, and other musculoskeletal conditions. An interesting fact about swimming is that when your body is immersed in water, your body is only bearing 10% of its weight, but the water provides 12 times the resistance of air, making it the best condition for strengthening and toning your muscles.Cycling: Another fun low impact exercises with high output for losing weight. When you cycle for one hour you can burn 372 to 1100 calories depending upon your weight, speed and the path you choose for cycling. When cycling you end up getting a full workout which involves strengthening your lower body and getting a good cardiovascular workout. It also helps in speeding up your metabolism.Running/ Jogging: It is a high impact exercise where you can burn up to 600 calories in one hour depending on your weight and speed. It helps in strengthening the bones and connective tissues. It also helps your heart beat at a healthy rate which in turn prevents heart diseases, strokes,and certain cancers. Just remember to wear a good pair of shoes in order to save your joints from unnecessary strain. Jumping rope: It is another high impact exercise which can help you burn around 800 calories in one hour. It strengthens and tones your arms, legs and core. It also strengthens the bones and joints. It also helps in enhancing coordination, agility and stamina.Step Aerobics: It is a super effective low impact workout where you are indulging into a good cardio session. A 45 minutes session can help you burn around 550 calories. It helps you tone the muscles of the legs and hips. Even your core gets a good workout and it helps in improving coordination. Step aerobics involves cardio routines that take the aid of an elevated platform.