(how they relate to weight loss & health)
Abdominal exercises are not necessary to lose fat around your stomach since it is NOT possible to “spot reduce” fat tissue from any area of your body by doing any specific exercise. For most people that are seriously overweight doing abdominal exercises is probably a complete waste of time.
However, if you have lost enough weight that your abdominal muscles are beginning to show and you really want to have “washboard abs” to show off at the beach, then doing abdominal exercises is an absolute necessity.
The abdominal muscles are like any other muscle group in the body in that they must be exercised in order to get stronger and firmer. If you don’t exercise your legs they won’t be strong or fit, same with your abdominal muscles as you must exercise them in order to keep them looking healthy and fit.
Any general abdominal exercise or combination of exercises will do, such as:
2) leg raises
5) ab rollers, rocker, machines, etc.
Literally, any one of the many abdominal exercises that target the general abdominal area are just as good as any other, and there is no “magical” exercise that will allow you to get “washboard abs” without feeling any pain. There is no difference whatsoever whether simply doing crunches on the floor in your bedroom or using an expensive abdominal machine at the local health club, because both exercises will serve to strengthen and flatten your abdominal muscles and thus make them look healthy and fit (and yes, you will have to feel pain each day in order to get that “washboard ab” look).
The confusion with abdominal exercises and weight loss has to do with the fact that there is no such thing as spot reduction and the abdominal area is no exception. Meaning that it is physiologically impossible to burn away the fat tissue located on top of the abdominal muscles by simply doing abdominal exercises, fat tissue can only be removed through proper diet and health habits. Indeed, to lose weight a proper weight loss and health program must be followed along with using abdominal exercises.
The purpose of doing abdominal exercises is simply to strengthen and tighten the actual abdominal muscles, which when combined with a proper diet & weight loss program will result in the visually desired “washboard” look that so many people desire.
(how they relate to weight loss & health)
The use of heavy aerobic exercises (the kind that make you feel sick after an hour) to lose weight is one of the most misunderstood topics in the health industry. There are just so many rumors and media hype surrounding the use of heavy aerobic exercises that nearly every health club has many members doing some type of heavy aerobic exercises each day in order to lose weight fast.
First of all, doing heavy aerobic exercises will burn calories but the thing that most dieters fail to understand is that the more intense the aerobics the farther out of the “target” heart rate that you will go and thus you will not burn as much fat as if you kept your heart rate in the target range.
If you keep your heart rate in the “target” range your body’s metabolism will shift into a higher gear and remain there even when you are resting so if you learn to do aerobic exercises the right way then you will be able to lose weight even when you are resting.
In order to keep you heart rate in the “target” range (for fast weight loss) you need to do aerobic exercises such as fast walking or other low impact aerobic exercises that elevate your heart rate to about halfway between normal and “full throttle”.
There are many health and weight loss books and charts showing technical data about how to compute your exact “target” range (for heart rate) during aerobic exercises, but to be honest the average person is not going to be able to really understand all of that technical data with precision.
Therefore, it really isn’t necessary or practical to start studying about the exact “target” range for your heart rate and it is not necessary to buy fancy equipment to aid you reaching your “target” heart rate during aerobic exercises. Instead, just apply common sense and instincts and begin using light forms of aerobic exercises (such as fast walking) until you feel that your heart rate is up to about halfway between resting and full throttle, that will be quite sufficient to force your metabolism to increase and to force long term weight loss to occur.
Remember, by driving your heart rate up too high your metabolism will not kick into a higher gear and allow you to lose weight when you are at rest. Take full advantage of your body’s metabolism and use low impact aerobic exercises for fastest weight loss.