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Lean waist

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THERE is a very good reason to desire and have a trim midsection: your health. Fat or big waistline for both men and women put them at risk of certain life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. The likelihood of this part of the body getting bigger increases with age, which is usually referred to as the ‘middle-age spread.’

  But this need not be so, as individuals can prevent their waistline from developing out of control. This can be achieved with specific measures. These include smart eating, aerobic exercise, as well as abdomen-tightening moves, which are capable of keeping anyone out of the danger zone.

  These moves target the obliques on the sides of the torso. Two or three sessions a week, with a rest day between workouts, would guarantee a slimmer and fitter waist. You can try the following exercises for a leaner waist:

Seated knee drop

Keeping your spine straight, sit back on a chair with knees bent; the feet should be off the floor and the ankles touching. Place your hands behind you for balance. Contract your abdominal muscles and slowly lower your legs to the left until they are about 6 inches from the floor, keeping your ankles still pressed together and your shoulders forward. Your feet will roll, but they should stay on the floor. Hold for a second and then use your abdomen muscles to slowly pull your legs up and over to the right. Don’t let your knees simply fall to the side; keep the move controlled. Repeat from side to side for one minute. Be careful not to twist your upper body, while undergoing the process.

Side crunch

Lie on your right side with your legs extended. Wrap your right forearm across your waist and rest your right hand on the left side. Bring your left hand behind your head, so your left elbow points towards the ceiling. Using your obliques on your sides (not your right arm) pull in your abdominal muscles and lift your right shoulders off the floor about two to three inches, while raising your left leg about 12 inches. Hold for two seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position. Start with 5 to 8 repeats on each side and work up to 12 to 15. Do one or two sets with one minute of rest in between. Do not roll on your buttocks, while doing this session. For an easier version, do not lift your leg; only lift your upper body.

Avoiding Injuries

THE exerciser might sometimes get injured while working out. Different types of exercise affect the body differently. There are those with low impact and others with high impact. While all activities tend to affect the whole body, high-impact exercises affect the joints more than any other parts of the body, as they receive directly all the pounding in the course of exercise.

  For instance, there are some physical activities that require certain posture, carriage and tempo. And if these are not strictly adhered to, there could be problem. Again, the extent of the injury depends on how the exerciser is undertaking an activity. It is important to have knowledge of how to go about a particular exercise(s) so as not to sustain avoidable injuries.

  Getting familiar with physical activities before actually embarking on them is one good way to guard against injury while exercising. There are books that instruct an exerciser on how to go about some exercises.

  Attending classes where such practical workouts are done is another way. But the best bet is to employ the services of a professional gym instructor/trainer, who is capable of guiding in this regard. One is sure of getting the right thing here, provided the gym is standard or reputable.

  And this indeed is the reason some people prefer going to the gym for workouts, because not only are professional instructions available, the right gadgets are also installed.


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