“ABS”-OLUTELY Fabulous

Smart moves for a tauter tummy

Do your favorite old pair of jeans still fit—as long as you hold your breath? Many people tend to develop extra abdominal weight as they get older, which can set the stage for several serious conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. “The good news is that whittling your waist to a healthy size may help ward off these conditions and can ease or even prevent low back pain,” says Janis Coffin, M.D., a family medicine physician at Georgia Regents Medical Center who specializes in women’s health.

Consistent exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help you zip up those Levi’s without sacrificing any oxygen. Try targeting your core with these belly busters. To begin, aim for eight repetitions of each exercise. If you’re starting an exercise regimen, it’s a smart move to also check in with your doctor to assess any health concerns. To find a women’s health physician, call 706-721-4959.

Crunch With your back flat against the floor and your knees at about a 90-degree angle, slowly lift your upper body with your abdominal muscles, raising just the bottom of your shoulder blades off the floor.

 

 

Plank Hold your body in a straight line and off the floor, supporting yourself with your forearms and toes. Hold for 30 seconds with abs contracted.

 

Bicycle With your hands behind your head, legs bent and toes pointed, touch one elbow, then the other, to the opposite knee.

 

 

 

V-up To work your lower abdominals, lie on your back with your hands stretched behind your head and your bent legs at an angle of about 90 degrees. Bring your arms over your head, raise your upper body and reach your hands beyond your knees, parallel with your lower legs.