Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Healthy Living - Slim Your Waist!

Well, we all know this is the time of the year when resolutions are made to lose that extra baggage we call weight gain. If you are like me, this time of year is when you eat the most and really find the need to up your aerobic activity. My problem area is my middle (tummy) and I have to work extra hard to keep it in check. Below are some ideas I found on that will help if your middle is your problem area too. I left out the one about doing back bends because I am too old to even try those anymore so I could not even suggest them with a straight face. If you are not as vertically challenged as I am, then by all means be my guest and add those to your list of to-dos.

Another benefit to slimming your waistline is the fact that you are cutting down your chances of developing diabetes, which is a silent killer among African-American women.

You will also look fabulous in your clothing!

Step 1 - Burn fat!
The benefits of exercise aerobically are the most important. Good exercises for the waist are walking, swimming and rowing. But anything exercise that burns fat is beneficial.

Step 2 - Do abdominal exercises!
Perform exercises like crunches, but do them with a twist. Lay down on your back with your knees bent and slightly apart. Cross your arms at your chest. Lift your head and upper shoulders off the ground, moving your right elbow to your left knee. Move back to center, and then move your left elbow to your right knee. This is much better for your back and neck than regular crunches. But remember, you must lose some weight first or you will only build up the muscle underneath the fat. This will cause your midsection to appear even bigger.

Step 3 - Lift your legs!
Lie on one side, supporting your head with your hand. Raise the upper leg slowly, keeping it straight. Hold, and then slowly lower it to the ground. Repeat on the other side. When this move becomes easy, try lifting both legs up together.

Step 4 - Twist your torso!
Stand with feet apart and clasp your hands behind your head. Twist at the waist to the left, and then back to center. Twist to the right and back to center. Each time, twist a little farther. Another method is to place a broom handle behind your neck and drape your wrists over the stick. Twist from left to right, concentrating on each movement.

Step 6 - Bend to the side!
Standing straight with your feet apart, hold a three- to five-pound dumbbell in one hand while bending your waist in the opposite direction. Repeat on other side. (This really works)

Step 7 - Touch your toes!
Stand in a wide stance. Reach one hand toward the opposite foot, keeping legs straight.

Step 8 - Change your diet for the better! Try to rid your routine of processed and fast foods and incorporate more fresh produce in your diet. Eat only one serving of meat a day and fill the rest of your meals with whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Cut out soda and high fructose juices. Drink more water - at least 64 ounces daily.

Also, as you get older, you should actually limit the amount of dairy you consume. It is o.k. to continue eating it, but your body does not need it as much as it did when you were younger and for some, it causes bloating. If you must have dairy, incorporate organic choices instead of regular store brands. (No hormones)

By following these simple steps, you will not only slim your waistline but you will slim your entire body.

Next time I will discuss weight training to strengthen muscles and core.

Keep Moving & Happy Healthy Living!

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