Stay Fit while WFH / isolating
Hi guys, here at boxingtrainer.london I decided to write a blog helping you to get your daily exercise routines going.
First thing to say is that following the PM’s guidelines means if you don’t have the virus or haven’t been told to stay home you can all exercise outside in the fresh air. This can be on your own or with a trainer at a safe distance.
I’m going to give you some outdoor workouts you can try and some indoor workouts for if you are in actual quarantine and cant leave the house.
Make sure you gently warm up and stretch before and after the exercise.
Outside workout 1
5 minutes easy pace then.
2 minutes medium effort / 1 minute fast effort
Repeat x 5
Then the following x 2/3 times.
Squats x 30 seconds (45/60secs if advanced)
Press ups x 30 seconds
Bench steps x 30 seconds
Sit ups on the ground x 30 seconds
The Plank 60 seconds.
Outside Workout 2.
Warm up jog. 5 minutes.
Then circuits: each exercise done for 1 minute and do the circuit 3 times (rest if needed in between)
Bench step ups
Boxing sit ups
Indoor at home workout 1.
Jogging or marching on spot to warm up 2 minutes.
Then 10 seconds of: star jumps, burpees, high knees, spotty dogs, press ups. Now time for the workout..
Walkouts x 10
Press Ups x 10
Boxing Sit Ups x 20
Shadow boxing x 30 seconds
Burpees x 10
Tricep Dips on sofa or chair x 10
Shadow boxing x 30 seconds
Russian twists x20
Squat Jumps x 20
Repeat x 1, 2 or 3 depending on fitness levels.
Indoor home workout 2.
(if you have a small dumbbell then great, if not then do more reps!)
Squat into overhead press x 20 reps
Shadow boxing 1 minute
Squat into overhead press x 15 reps
running on spot 1 minute
Dumbbell swings x 20
Shadow boxing1 minute
Dumbbell swings x 15
Burpees x 20
running on spot x 1 minute
Burpees x 15
Shadow boxing 1 minute
Press Ups x 20
running on spot 1 minute
Press Ups x 15
shadow boxing 1 minute
Glute leg raises (donkey kicks) x 20
running on spot x 1 minute
Glute leg raises (donkey kicks)
Then cool down and stretch.
For more advice contact me or to book in a PT session then let me know via contacts page.
Boosting Immune system, prepare for coronavirus.
Its probably a great time to boost your immune system! While having a better immune system won’t protect you from being infected with Coronavirus, the little steps mentioned in the following article can help prepare your body for it.
Its important to exercise, eat well and sleep well. Read on for the details.
It’s been a long, wet winter. Everybody has got colds, and now we are braced for a coronavirus epidemic. Boosting our immune system has rarely felt more urgent, but, beyond eating more tangerines and hoping for the best, what else can we do?
Sheena Cruickshank, a professor of immunology at the University of Manchester, has a “shocking cold” when we speak at a safe distance, over the phone. To know how to take care of your immune system, she says, first you need to understand the weapons in your armoury – a cheeringly impressive collection, it turns out.
“When you come into contact with a germ you’ve never met before,” she says, “you’ve got various barriers to try to stop it getting into your body.” As well as skin, we have mucus – “snot is a really important barrier” – and a microbiome, the collective noun for the estimated 100tn microbes that live throughout our bodies, internally and externally. Some of these helpful bugs make antimicrobial chemicals and compete with pathogens for food and space.
Beneath these writhing swamps of mucus and microbes, our bodies are lined with epithelial cells which, says Cruickshank, “are really hard to get through. They make antimicrobial products including, most relevant to coronavirus, antiviral compounds that are quite hostile.”
If a pathogen breaches these defences, it has to deal with our white blood cells, or immune cells. One type, called macrophages, inhabit all our body tissue and, says Cruickshank, “have all these weapons ready to go, but they’re not terribly precise”. They report to the cleverer, adaptive white blood cells known as lymphocytes. They are the ones that remember germs, “so if you meet that germ again,” says Cruickshank, “they’ll just deal with it probably without you even knowing. That’s when you’ve got immunity and is the basis of vaccination. It’s trying to bypass all the early stuff and create the memory, so you don’t have to be sick.”
Our immune systems may have blind spots. “This might mean that our immune response doesn’t recognise certain bugs,” she says, “or the bugs have sneaky evasion strategies. Personally, my immune system is not necessarily very good at seeing colds.” But a healthy lifestyle will ensure your defences are as good as they get.
Seeing as our bodies contain more cells belonging to microbes, such as bacteria and yeasts, than human ones, let’s start with the microbiome. “We live in a symbiotic relationship with our gut bacteria,” says Prof Arne Akbar, the president of the British Society for Immunology and a professor at University College, London. “Having the right ones around, that we evolved with, is best for our health. Anything we do that alters that can be detrimental.”
Not only do our microbes form protective barriers, they also programme our immune systems. Animals bred with no microbiome have less well developed immune responses. Older people, and those with diseases that are characterised by inflammation, such as allergies, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, tend to have less varied gut microbiomes.
To feed your gut flora, Cruickshank recommends “eating a more varied diet with lots of high-fibre foods”. Being vegetarian isn’t a prerequisite for microbiome health, but the more plant foods you consume, the better. “The microbiome really likes fibre, pulses and fermented foods,” she adds.
Kefir yoghurt and pickles such as sauerkraut and kimchi are among the fermented delicacies now fashionable thanks to our increasing knowledge of the microbiome. But the evidence for taking probiotic supplements, she says, “is mixed”. It’s not a dead cert that they will survive the journey through your digestive tract, or that they will hang around long enough if they do. “It’s more effective to change your diet,” says Cruickshank.
The skin microbiome is important, too, but we know less about it. High doses of ultraviolet light (usually from the sun) can affect it negatively, weakening any protective functions (as well as triggering immune suppression in the skin itself). Overwashing with strong soaps and using antibacterial products is not friendly to our skin microbiomes. “Combinations of perfumes and moisturisers might well also have an effect,” says Cruickshank.
To be immunologically fit, you need to be physically fit. “White blood cells can be quite sedentary,” says Akbar. “Exercise mobilises them by increasing your blood flow, so they can do their surveillance jobs and seek and destroy in other parts of the body.” The NHS says adults should be physically active in some way every day, and do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (hiking, gardening, cycling) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (running, swimming fast, an aerobics class).
The advice for older people, who are more vulnerable to infection, is to do whatever exercise is possible. “Anything’s better than nothing,” says Akbar. But a lifetime’s exercise could significantly slow your immune system declining with age. In 2018, a study by University of Birmingham and King’s College London found that 125 non-smoking amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79 still had the immune systems of young people.
The other side of the coin, says Akbar, “is elite athletes who become very susceptible to infections because you can exercise to a point where it has a negative impact on your immune system.” This problem is unlikely to affect most of us unless, says Cruickshank, “you’re a couch potato and suddenly try and run a marathon, this could introduce stress hormones and be quite bad for your immune system”.
One of the many happy side-effects of exercise is that it reduces stress, which is next on our list of immune-boosting priorities. Stress hormones such as cortisol can compromise immune function, a common example of which, says Akbar, is when chickenpox strikes twice. If you have had it, the virus never completely goes away. “During periods of stress,” he says, “it can reactivate again and we get shingles.”
Forget boozing through the coronavirus crisis, because heavy drinking also depletes our immune cells. “Some studies have suggested that the first-line-of-defence macrophages are not as effective in people who have had a lot of alcohol,” says Cruickshank. “And there’s been suggestions that high alcohol consumption can lead to a reduction of the lymphocytes as well. So if the bug gets into you, you’re not going to be as good at containing and fighting it off.”
Cruickshank says that vitamin D has become a hot topic in immunology. “It is used by our macrophages, and is something that people in Britain can get quite low on in the winter.” Necking extra vitamin C, however, is probably a waste of time for well-fed westerners. It’s not that vitamin C isn’t crucial to immune function (and other things, such as bone structure). “All the vitamins are important,” says Cruickshank, “but vitamin C is water soluble, it’s not one that your body stores.” Eating your five a day of fruits and vegetables is the best way to maintain necessary levels.
Exercising and eating well will have the likely knock-on effect of helping you sleep better, which is a bonus because a tired body is more susceptible to bugs. One study last year found that lack of sleep impaired the disease-fighting ability of a type of lymphocyte called T cells, and research is demonstrating the importance of our natural biorhythms overall.
Janet Lord, a professor at the University of Birmingham, recently showed that vaccinating people in the morning is more effective than doing so in the afternoon. “Your natural biorhythms are, to some extent, dictated by sleep,” says Akbar. “If you’ve got a regular sleep pattern, you have natural body rhythms and everything’s fine. If they go out of kilter, then you’ve got problems.”
The seriousness of an infection largely depends on the dose you are hit with, which could in turn depend on how contagious the carrier is when they cough near you. “We’re constantly exposed to germs, and we only get sick from a handful of those,” says Cruickshank.
If you’re reasonably young and healthy, says Akbar, the mild benefits you may achieve from being extra good probably won’t fend off a severe dose of coronavirus or flu. The likely scenario if you catch the infection is, he says, “you’ll be sick for a while and you will recover”.
From a public-health perspective, when nasty viruses such as coronavirus are doing the rounds, Akbar’s priority is not boosting already healthy people’s immune systems, “but protecting the vulnerable people. Older people don’t respond that well to the flu jab, though it’s better for them to have it than not. It’s a general problem of immune decline with ageing.”
When we get older, he says, the barrier function in the gut doesn’t work that well, “so you have something called leaky gut syndrome, where bugs creep into our bodies causing mild infections”. This causes inflammation around the body, as does the natural accumulation of old “zombie” cells, called senescent cells, and inflammation compromises the immune response.
Akbar is working on developing drug treatments to reduce inflammation in older people but they are a way off yet. Age 65 is when, medically, one is considered older, “but that’s arbitrary”, says Akbar. “Some old people might get problems much earlier. And there are older people who are totally healthy.”
“In terms of coronavirus,” says Cruickshank, “it’s mostly spread by droplet transmission, as far as we can tell, so the biggest thing is hygiene.” So wash your hands, and sneeze and cough into tissues, she suggests, between sniffles. No one can completely avoid getting sick, not even top immunologists.
Energy drinks are supposed to do just what the name implies — give you an extra burst of energy. As it turns out, most of that “energy” comes from two main ingredients: sugar and caffeine. A typical energy drink can contain up to 80 milligrams of caffeine (about the same amount as a cup of coffee). By comparison, a 2006 study found that the average 12-ounce soda contains 18 to 48 mg of caffeine.
Other than caffeine levels, how do energy drinks differ from sodas and sports drinks? Soft drinks are mainly water, sugar and flavouring. They don’t do anything for your body; they’re just supposed to taste good. Sports drinks are designed to replenish fluids lost during activity. They typically contain water, electrolytes and sugar. Energy drinks have added caffeine and other ingredients that their manufacturers say increase stamina and “boost” performance. They’re designed for students, athletes and anyone else who wants an extra energy kick.
Energy drinks became popular in Asia long before they reached the United States. In 1962, Japanese pharmaceutical company, Taisho, released its Lipovitan D drink. It was designed to help employees work hard well into the night. Lipovitan D contains taurine, the same ingredient found in many of today’s energy drinks.
The very first “energy” drink to reach the United States wasn’t really an energy drink at all — it was more of a hyped-up soft drink called Jolt Cola. The “jolt” in the cola was a lot of added sugar and caffeine. Introduced in the 1980s, Jolt Cola quickly became a staple of college campuses.
An Austrian businessman named Dietrich Mateschitz picked up on the cash potential of energy drinks while on a business trip to Asia. Along with two Thai business partners, Mateschitz started the company Red Bull GmbH, with the idea of marketing the drink to young Europeans. Many clubs on the American West Coast caught wind of the Red Bull phenomenon and began importing it to sell as a cocktail mixer.
Red Bull began distributing its drink in the United States in 1997. According to its manufacturer, revenues doubled each year, reaching more than $1 billion in 2000. Although Red Bull has consistently been the leader in the energy drink market, several other companies have launched their own energy drink lines. Many of them are endorsed by celebrities.
Some of the ingredients
…and what they do in the body:
- Ephedrine – A stimulant that works on the central nervous system. It is a common ingredient in weight-loss products and decongestants, but there have been concerns about its effects on the heart.
- Taurine – A natural amino acid produced by the body that helps regulate heart beat and muscle contractions. Many health experts aren’t sure what effect it has as a drink additive (and the rumor that taurine comes from bull testicles is false).
- Ginseng – A root believed by some to have several medicinal properties, including reducing stress and boosting energy levels.
- B Vitamins- A group of vitamins that can convert sugar to energy and improve muscle tone.
- Guarana seed – A stimulant that comes from a small shrub native to Venezuela and Brazil.
- Carnitine – An amino acid that plays a role in fatty acid metabolism.
- Creatine – An organic acid that helps supply energy for muscle contractions.
- Inositol – A member of the vitamin B complex (not a vitamin itself, because the human body can synthesize it) that helps relay messages within cells in the body.
- Ginkgo biloba – Made from the seeds of the ginkgo biloba tree, thought to enhance memory.
Looking at the ingredients, energy drinks appear to be part soft drink and part nutritional supplement. According to reviewers, the taste falls within the same range. People who have tried energy drinks have described the taste as ranging from “medicinal” to “molten Sweet Tart.” Although the manufacturers claim that energy drinks can improve your endurance and performance, many health experts disagree. Any boost you get from drinking them, they say, is solely from the sugar and caffeine.
Caffeine works by blocking the effects of adenosine, a brain chemical involved in sleep. When caffeine blocks adenosine, it causes neurons in the brain to fire. Thinking the body is in an emergency, the pituitary gland initiates the body’s “fight or flight” response by releasing adrenaline. This hormone makes the heart beat faster and the eyes dilate. It also causes the liver to release extra sugar into the bloodstream for energy. Caffeine affects the levels of dopamine, a chemical in the brain’s pleasure center. All of these physical responses make you feel as though you have more energy.
Energy drinks are generally safe, but like most things, you should drink them in moderation. Because caffeine is a stimulant — consuming a lot of it can lead to heart palpitations, anxiety and insomnia — it also can make you feel jittery and irritable. Over time, caffeine can become addictive. It is also a diuretic — it causes the kidneys to remove extra fluid into the urine.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard about HIIT high intensity interval training. HIIT combines short periods of intense exercise with short periods of rest. But did you know that boxing training is the most naturally HIIT training out there. With its round based and recovery training its a perfect form of HIIT
It is one of the best exercise protocols for fat loss. But do you know why this is the case? Below I lay out 10 physiological adaptations your body undergoes when you do HIIT so that you can completely understand why it’s so effective for fat loss.
Insulin sensitivity, or how well your cells respond to insulin, has a big impact on how well you tolerate carbohydrates, and whether those carbohydrates will affect your ability to mobilize fatty acids. Reduced insulin sensitivity means you need more and more insulin to do the same job. And since insulin is a storage hormone, when it’s high, it’s more difficult to lose fat.
Following just 2 weeks of HIIT, in which there was a total of only 15 minutes of exercise, insulin sensitivity was improved by 23%
Produces the Afterburn Effect
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), is the increased oxygen your body uses after an intense workout to erase its oxygen debt. It uses this oxygen to return the body to homeostasis.
That means it uses additional calories to perform tasks such as muscle repair and replenishment of fuel stores. EPOC is better known as the afterburn effect, which is the process of burning extra calories long after your workout is over.
When comparing HIIT to low-intensity exercise, your exercise intensity positively affects both the magnitude and duration of EPOC. In other words, the greater your intensity, the greater the afterburn effect.
Specifically Targets Stomach Fat
Yes, we all know that you can’t target fat loss per se. However, that’s not what we’re talking about here. Doing sit-ups isn’t going to target belly fat.
However, there are things you can do that will change the way you store and mobilize fat. The way you store fat is determined by many factors – genetics and hormones being two big ones. And the type of exercise you do affects your hormone profile.
Doing HIIT can create a metabolic environment that stimulates a higher proportional release of abdominal fat. You still lose fat all over, but a higher proportion comes off in the midsection.
High-intensity interval exercise three times per week for 15 weeks was compared to the same frequency of steady-state exercise, and only HIIT produced significant reductions in total body fat, subcutaneous leg and trunk fat, and insulin resistance.
Improved Vo2 Max
VO2 max is your body’s max capacity to transport and use oxygen during exercise. It is a great measure of physical fitness. Generally speaking, the higher your VO2 max, the better your fitness level. A higher VO2 max also means that you can exercise at greater intensities for longer periods of time.
The good news is that doing HIIT will result in significant improvements in VO2 max. This improvement can be achieved whether you are a beginner exerciser or an advanced athlete.
Creation of New Mitochondria
Mitochondria are little cell powerhouses that produce energy (ATP). In simple terms, they take the fat and carbohydrates you either eat or store and convert them to usable energy. The more mitochondria you have, the more efficiently your body utilizes the calories you consume.
The number of mitochondria you have can be increased by creating a demand for more energy production. In fact, HIIT is a potent stimulus for the creation of new mitochondria.
Boosts Favorable Hormones
HIIT High intensity interval training does more than just burn calories. It primes your body for fat loss by creating a favorable metabolic environment.
Internally, your body undergoes many hormonal changes in response to intense training. Specifically, HIIT boosts growth hormone and testosterone levels after just 10 minutes, and the amount secreted is correlated to your exercise intensity.
Growth hormone and testosterone are a potent combo for both fat loss and muscle growth. Engaging in HIIT will provide you with this amazing benefit.
Burns More Total Fat Compared to Endurance Training
Did you know you can burn more fat doing HIIT than your typical steady-state endurance training, even when burning a fraction of the calories? It’s true.
A study comparing a 15 week HIIT program to a 20 week endurance-training (ET) program showed that despite its lower energy cost, the HIIT program induced a more pronounced reduction in subcutaneous fat compared with the ET program.
When the scientists adjusted the numbers so the calorie burn was equal, the decrease in the sum of six subcutaneous skinfolds induced by the HIIT program was ninefold greater than by the ET program
Builds Muscle While Losing Fat
Many people say you can’t build muscle and burn fat at the same time. While it can be difficult to put on a large amount of muscle mass while in a calorie deficit, you can certainly accomplish both goals concurrently.
In fact, a 12 week HIIT program has been shown to increase lean body mass, while at the same time reducing total body fat, abdominal and trunk fat, and visceral fat.
The additional muscle will pay dividends by increasing your resting metabolic rate so that you’re burning extra calories at all times of the day. Build muscle and lose fat, all while exercising for less time. Seems too good to be true, but it is.
Increased Capacity for Fat Oxidation
During exercise our bodies undergo all kinds of chemical reactions and stress adaptations. Our bodies literally change from the inside out. During HIIT specifically, we make changes to our physiology that enable us to burn more fat.
Just seven sessions of HIIT over 2 weeks induced marked increases in whole body and skeletal muscle capacity for fatty acid oxidation during exercise in moderately active women. HIIT causes changes to your body that increases its ability to burn fat.
I’ve listed out the science behind the benefits of HIIT, but that’s really just scratching the surface. High-intensity interval training also:
- Adds variety – there really is an endless combination of fitness activities that can be incorporated into a HIIT workout.
- Creates time efficiencies – you no longer have to slave away on the treadmill for an hour or more. The same benefits or more can be accomplished in under 20 minutes.
- No equipment necessary – no gym membership? No problem. All you need is your body to get a great workout.
- Boxing training – The best form of HIIT there is.
Affordable personal training or shared PT, is a great way to split the cost and still get results that you associate with an Elite personal trainer like Paul Carroll who has 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is a former British champion boxer.
Up to 4 people can share PT for as little as £15 per person. Which for London is very affordable personal training.
A personal trainer will increase your results by up to 60%, try it now with a friend or on your own. Check out the testimonials from happy clients: Click here
Contact boxing trainer London at the following:
Phone: 07790 210031
BOXING IS A TOTAL-BODY WORKOUT
A two-for-one cardio and strength workout, boxing targets the entire body, says Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. “In addition to boosting strength and cardiorespiratory fitness, boxing improves a number of skill-related parameters of fitness, including balance, coordination, reactivity, and agility,” she says.
And with a potential burn rate of 13 calories a minute, boxing goes head-to-head with other types of cardio like running and cycling. Plan to punch away anywhere from 200 to 400 calories* per half hour. Thirty minutes of boxing in a ring torches 400 calories; 30 minutes of punching a bag burns 200 calories; and 30 minutes sparring with a partner blasts 300 calories, Matthews says.
*All estimates based on a 140-pound individual
BOXING INCINERATES CALORIES-FACT!
Perhaps the ultimate high-intensity interval training workout, most boxing rounds alternate between periods of maximum effort and active recovery. “It is both an aerobic and an anaerobic workout,” says Antonio Valverde, a boxing instructor and owner of Elite City Fitness in New York City. That means as the workout intensity increases, your body requires more energy than aerobic metabolism can provide, and suddenly you’re also in anaerobic training territory—the type of exercise that builds strength, speed, and power, and boosts your metabolism. So, compared to running at a steady clip, boxing burns more calories in less time.
BOXING FLATTENS YOUR BELLY
Want a serious six-pack? Skip the sit-ups and get in the ring instead. “Boxing is extremely taxing on the core,” Valverde says. “Your hips need to rotate in order to get full extension and deliver a more powerful blow.” And since you’re burning more calories than you would lying on the floor for isolated abs work, you’ll be ready to show off that flat belly sooner.
BOXING KNOCKS OUT STRESS
You had a long day at the office, or you fought with your boyfriend, or your mom’s driving you crazy—whatever’s got you ready to snap, boxing will help you calm down. “There’s nothing better to release some stress than punching a mitt or a heavy bag,” Valverde says. “The adrenaline that is released during boxing and the hormonal response far exceeds any physical benefits.” Not only is hitting something a healthy and productive way to help you let go of tension, the rush of endorphins released are also likely to make you happier too.
BOXING BUILDS GRACE
Fine-tuning coordination probably isn’t high on your list of gym goals right now, but it should be. Coordination helps you perform better in any workout and strengthens the brain-body connection, boosting your body awareness so you can tune in to how you’re feeling physically. While most exercise routines don’t do much in this department, hand-eye coordination is key for boxing. Punching a bag or sparring requires focused movements and amazing recall, challenging your muscles and your mind, says former championship boxer Michael Olajide Jr., author of Sleekify and co-owner of Aerospace in New York City
BOXING IS UPPER-BODY CARDIO
Most cardio focuses on the lower body. With boxing, however, your primary moves come from your upper half, making it a great cross-training option when you want to bust a running or cycling rut, or knock out some cardio that won’t tax your legs too much.
BOXING KEEPS IMPROVING YOUR BODY
It’s easy for your fitness routine to become, well, routine, but boxing will keep you on your toes. Unlike running on the treadmill, there’s always something new to learn. “Boxing is a never-ending fitness challenge,” says Olajide, who trains Victoria’s Secret models Adriana Lima and Doutzen Kroes. “No boxer who has ever gloved up has mastered all aspects of boxing, so when given a knowledgeable boxing trainer, it will never get boring.” And that means your muscles will never start yawning, so your body will continue improving too.
BOXING SAFELY PUSHES YOUR LIMITS
Forget tire flipping and box jumping—boxing can be a safer (yet just as effective and demanding) alternative to some of the riskier heart-pounding workouts out there. “Your body moves exactly the way it was intended to move, just at elevated speeds,” Olajide says. “Plus you can train with the same intensity and purpose of a competitive boxer in your home or gym. That’s not necessarily so for other fitness endeavors.”
1. Exercise and eat right
No kidding, right? Yet so many of us sabotage this no-brainer of a stomach shrinking plan. Study after study proves that eating a well-balanced diet heavy in fruits, veg and whole grains and low in fat and refined sugars, plus exercising regularly, will help you shed not only subcutaneous fat (the surface fat that makes love handles), but also the deeper visceral fat, which builds up around abdominal organs and can raise your chance of suffering high cholesterol, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes. And regular exercise not only helps you slim down your whole body, it actually shrinks the size of fat cells in your stomach.
2. Get down to your healthy weight
Losing that gut isn’t easy, but you can improve your contours (and lower your risk of heart disease and cancer) by lowering your overall body mass index A healthy adult BMI is roughly 19 to 25. You can do as many crunches as you want, but if you’re overweight, your abs will be hidden under a padding of fat. (By the same token, you can be naturally slim but still carry a paunch if you don’t exercise or eat right. Bottom line: think of Tactic #1 as the Golden Rule.)
3. Don’t be a stress head
Scientists are studying the link between stress and stomach fat. Heightened cortisol levels in blood, resulting from stress, seem to react with the body’s insulin to create visceral abdominal fat — and, in a double whammy, to also drive us toward fatty, sugary foods. Reducing stress may make it easier to say no to crisps or chocolate cake that go straight to the waistline. Try to find time to relax and chill at times of the day, a tip to if your daily commute is a cause of stress, wear an iPod or read a funny book to help you chill out on public transportation; if you drive, consider ways to reduce your commuting time.
4. Stop boozing, quit smoking
Think cigarettes keep you thin? Think again. Both smoking and alcohol raise the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. See Tactic #3 for a refresher on what that means for your stomach.
5. Hire a personal trainer
Embarking on a fitness regime is more likely to be successful if you invest in some one-on-one workouts with a personal trainer. he can devise a regimen that will give you the right amount of cardio plus strength training to help you tone up, and target trouble spots most effectively. And the faster you see results, the more likely you are to stay motivated — and active.
6. Skip the Pies, meet for sushi instead
A recent Japanese study found that fucoxanthin, a compound in brown seaweed, shrank abdominal fat in lab animals, and encouraged a five to 10 per cent weight loss. Human studies are next, but the scientists are excited. And you should be too, if you love Japanese food. Order that miso soup or seaweed salad. Not only do these low-fat appetizers contain seaweed, they’ll fill you up so you won’t pig out on that caloriepaloooza known as tempura.
7. Avoid trans fats like the plague
Yes, we already mentioned a low-fat diet in Tactic #1, but trans-fatty acids, found in many convenience foods, deserve their own mention. Trans fats are linked to cardiovascular disease, and, as if that weren’t enough, they literally go straight to your belly. A recent study found that not only do trans fats create excess visceral fat in the abdomen, they actually cause fat from other parts of the body to redistribute there.
8. Don’t believe the adverts promising miracle abs!
A study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that expensive ab-targeting home-exercise equipment is no better than (and in some cases, is worse than) good, old-fashioned exercises. Skip the gimmicks and work these three ab moves into your workout: the abdominal curl, reverse crunches and the Plank.