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Exercise and Fitness

Exercises for the stomach and abdomen

02/14/2007

Question:

I am 53 years old and used to be quite active. !0 years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. My stomach is flabby and sticks out due to 2 C-sections and my abdomen is larger thain I like due to menopause. What can I do doe these two problem ares without making my pain worse? Also I plan on starting to ride a bike when the weather gets a little warmer.

Answer:

Unfortunately, it is not possible to lose fat mass in just one area. While abdominal exercises will help strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles, it is only through aerobic activities such as jogging or bicycling that you will burn fat.

A well-rounded exercise program should include a combination of aerobic activity and strength training. Strength training exercises will maintain or even increase muscle mass, and since muscle weighs more than fat, your total body weight will be maintained. Strength training should be performed on alternating days so that you do not work the same muscle groups two days in a row. It is recommended to perform a minimum of 8-10 separate exercises that train the major muscle groups, 2-3 days a week (alternating days).

Now that the weather is becoming warmer, you may want to do some outdoor walking for aerobic activity. This type of activity may be performed as often as possible, with a goal of 30 minutes 3 - 5 days a week. Best of luck to you in your exercise program.

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Response by:

Rachael   Dotson, BS Rachael Dotson, BS
Program Manager
Certified Johnny G Spinning Instructor
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati