It’s time for Operation Flat Abs
How are your fitness goals going so far? One goal it seems nearly everyone strives for is flat abs. Moms like me often suffer from a stubborn belly pooch after having children. There are many things you can do to help reclaim the flat abs you had when you were younger.
There are many excellent exercises to try. Some of my favorite ab routines can be found on YouTube for free. One channel I really like is Fitness Blender.
TONE UP ALL OVER
This is the key to letting strong abs shine through. A cardio program is great for this, but keep in mind that a 30-minute run or a single sweat session at the gym won’t make up for a day of being sedentary.
It’s easier than you might think. You can add in more total-body movement during times when you already do routine things like using the restroom, brushing your teeth or doing the dishes. The benefits include a revved up metabolism, and more toned muscles without ever going to the gym.
- Brushing teeth – 30 squats
- Using bathroom (at home) – 20 tricep dips – use the toilet or side of tub for support
- Doing the dishes – steps side to side or march in place
- Watching TV – do 10 pushups during commercial breaks
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
During the school year, you’re likely spending some time accommodating early wake up times and after school activities. But remember to fit YOURSELF and YOUR NEEDS into the schedule as well! While you’re in “schedule mode,” spend some time figuring out ways for you to prioritize sleep.
Lack of sleep can add bulk to your middle in two ways. First, when you’re sleep deprived you lack the energy and stamina required for maintaining a solid fitness program. Secondly, lack of sleep is a stressor to the body. The stress hormone cortisol climbs, which — when prolonged — can mess with appetite regulation blood sugar control. Hormones that stimulate appetite increase (ghrelin), while hormones that blunt appetite drop (leptin). So sleep your way trim!
Constipation is incredibly common, and not only is it uncomfortable, it can also lead to serious health issues. I’ve experienced this myself. No matter how many ab-blasting exercises you do, you will not have a flat tummy until you’re able to eliminate on a regular basis. Please don’t feel embarrassed thinking about (and addressing, if needed) your bowel movements! I addressed my own constipation problem by uncovering specific food sensitivities and changing my diet.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT DIET FOR YOU
Everyone has different needs when it comes to diet. What works for me may be different than you. For me, what works best is a gluten free and dairy free diet that’s high in fiber (for regularity), and plenty of protein and healthy fats to keep me satisfied longer after each meal.
I recommend speaking with your doctor or working with a nutritionist to find healthy diet options that will work for you. We’ve got plenty of ideas for healthy recipes ideas. Here are a few of my favorites.