One of the most common fitness goals anywhere is to achieve and maintain a flat, beach-ready stomach. But hundreds of crunches alone aren’t going to get you there – so you can stop that now. Did you know that one of the biggest challenges you’ll face might actually be overcoming bloating?
Before you start to think about exercise, chances are you will need to take a good look at your diet and lifestyle habits and make some changes.
Here’s our top tips to beat the bulge and say hello to the abs you’ve always dreamed of…
- First things first – make sure you’re staying hydrated. We recommend drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, more if you are very active. Also, cut down on dehydrating drinks such as sugary soft drinks and alcohol.
- Next step is to look at how you approach food and your overall diet. There are a few simple rules that will keep your insides happy as well as aid the smooth digestion of the fuel you’re putting into your body.
- Watch your portion size and don’t overeat – never eat and eat until you are full!
- Focus on eating a variety of unprocessed and nutrient-dense foods such as fruits & vegetables, whole grains, seafood, lean meats and unsalted nuts.
- Keep away from excess salt, found in many packaged foods, sauces and additives.
- Deep-fried foods should also be kept to a minimum or cut from your diet altogether.
- Include some fermented foods or a probiotic to your day to encourage good gut bacteria.
- Don’t forget fibre! Without enough fibre in your diet you will not be able to break down and digest foods properly, leading to bloating.
- Lastly, take time daily to relax. This might sound counter-productive but relaxation actually aids digestion and helps regulate your cortisol levels. When you don’t get enough rest or are suffering from long-term stress, high cortisol levels signal your body to store fat, which usually ends up around our mid-section – and we’re aiming for the opposite of a gut. Taking time out for yourself will also improve your mood and your overall outlook, helping you to maintain focus, drive and determination towards your goals.
Once you’ve made these changes, it’s time for some real work to begin. Discussing some specific goals with your Anarchy trainer will help them tailor your workout to help you achieve them.
Anarchy Training Centre co-owner Renae Wauhop says, “For a flat stomach, we want to make sure your core muscles are really working and love push-ups and working with instability – when your body is not fully stable while exercising your core muscles fire up. Working with a trainer will ensure this is achieved without injury.”
One last hurdle many face is the drive to keep working to achieve and then maintain results. Making yourself more accountable is often a good way to combat this. Working out with a friend, keeping a regular schedule of PT sessions with your Anarchy trainer or making some of Anarchy’s group fitness classes a part of your weekly routine are all great ways to start.
Pic credits: huffingtonpost.com