For many people, the stomach is the biggest problem area and our modern lifestyles do not help this. Increased stress, genetics disposition and posture changes mean that for a lot of people there is extra fat around their middle which is very tricky to shift…and no, 1000 stomach crunches a day will not fix this!
We can’t do much about our genetics but we can help ourselves and make the most of what we have. Increasing exercise, sleeping more and eating regularly can regulate our hormone levels: this gives the body opportunity for change. Less stress reduces the likelihood of storing excess weight around your stomach.
Yoga is great for balancing these hormones too (check out our Yoga classes here). If your hormones are balanced and you are happy, you are likely to be a lot more successful in terms of diet choices and portion control too.
What else can we change?
Changing your posture can dramatically alter how you look. Modern life means that a lot of people have a pelvis that tilts forward- this anterior tilt means that the lower stomach muscles sleep the days away whilst the lower back is put under increasing amounts of stress. Sitting at desks often means – tight quads and hip flexors coupled with weak hamstrings and glutes. This results in the pelvis tilt and a “switching off” of your core muscles.
Stretching this front chain of muscles and increasing postural awareness can reverse the above: you can activate your stomach muscles again! Whilst you may still need to lose body fat, you will hold yourself better and look more toned. Someone can look half a stone lighter without changing a pound!
Here are three stretches to get you started 🙂
- Pelvis tilts and bridges x 10
- Modified runners lunge x 1 min each side
- Low lunge with pelvis tucked under (reduce arch in lower back) x 1 min each side
Try to do these stretches daily or 4 to 5 times a week at first. When they start to feel less intense then you can do them every time you exercise or 3 times per week.