Workin’ the Abs

abdomen exercise - silhouette

Working abdominal muscles can be a helpful component of a comprehensive fitness plan, which, in turn, will also contribute to weight loss and weight maintenance benefits. As always, consult your physician, use moderation, common sense and ease into any routine if you are out of practice to keep the motivation growing and see the results accumulating over time.

Belly fat types:

  • Subcutaneous – the ‘pinchable’ variety we’re all familiar with … this is the fat between muscles and skin. Unless excessive, small amounts of this type of fat aren’t usually a dramatic disease risk
  • Visceral – this fat variety is “linked to metabolic syndrome and health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease”

So why focus on abdominal muscles? This article suggests that “Abdominal muscles help stabilize your core. They also assist your breathing, allow movement, protect your internal organs and are in charge of postural support and balance.” It also reminds us that healthy, toned ab muscles can reduce back pain and increase flexibility. Aside from the obvious comfort and productivity benefits, it just makes good sense that you will feel like getting other exercise if you’re limber and not in pain. The same article – in case additional motivation is needed – notes that “excess abdominal … (belly) fat, is associated with a higher risk of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Enough said!

Needless to say, if one were to just emphasize this one group of muscles, it would be a ‘necessary but not sufficient’ aspect of a larger, more inclusive regimen. Besides, if – on the way to feeling outstanding – you happen to see your abs get closer to ‘six pack’ status (minimal subcutaneous fat), that’s fine, but if you are already vibrantly healthy (or even just a lot closer to that status) the cliché condition should become a “don’t care” fringe benefit.

Go for it!

Ready to try some good ab exercises – at a gentle pace, of course? Here is a simple ab workout routine video that you can do in 20 minutes with only a bit of space and perhaps a mat. … Here’s another series of super quick videos starting with ‘side plank-up’ that might be helpful.

Here’s to your abs…olutely positive success! 🙂




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