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Fit Friday: Abdominal health; what foods to eat and best ab exercises

2:54 PM, Jan 22, 2010   |    comments
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Whether you call them sit ups or crunches, most people have other choice words when in the middle of an AB workout. That's because our core is one of the toughest, but most important muscle groups to master.

"So, I think targeting head to toe, shoulders to back, tall back, strong core is very important," says Tonya Banzhaf, the group fitness director at Fitworks. 

Tonya teaches a 15 minute abdominal class focusing on full body poses that work much more than the average crunch.

"I think plank and using more of your body weight when you're stabilizing head to toe is more effective than just doing a hundred crunches... So, your body is in a straight line, imagine you have a string attached from your belly button to your spine. Somebody is pulling on that string."

Adding balance and stabilization will also be more effective than sit ups.

"When you're doing core exercises, like in my weight training, I lift a leg to add that balance.  to add that stabilization of the core ...And to be honest with you, to see abs, you need to eat clean. I mean clean eating is number one," says Tonya.

There are a few foods to eat to reduce abdominal weight.

Melons are high in potassium and keep sodium in check reducing belly bloat

Wine in small amounts can speed up metabolism.

Whole grains can shed 24% more abdominal fat than eating refined grains.

Grapefruit is high in vitamin c and curbed insulin spikes that lead to fat storage.

And walnuts are also a belly fat burning food.  Omega 3's lower cortisol levels - which contribute to fat storage.

No one said it was easy, but a healthy core could be the center of a healthy life.


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