Simple tips for everyday toning
By Melissa Gotthardt, Prevention
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could watch your belly disappear? Here are ten easy ways that you can flatten your belly every day--from simple tips that you can incorporate into your daily life to belly busting moves that you can do at home. Follow these 10 suggestions and watch your belly disappear.
1. Eat a bowl of raspberries. Packed with fiber, they fight constipation (that can swell your midsection like a balloon).
2. Drink lots of water. It's filling, calorie-free, and keeps your metabolism running in high gear.
3. Skip the cocktails. Sure, alcohol may be fat-free, but it's loaded with calories. It can also raise your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that helps your belly store fat. (But if you must imbibe, do it with one of these ridiculously healthy summer cocktails.)
4. Sit up straight. Hunching forward makes your belly look bigger. For a slimming effect that actually trains the stomach-supporting muscles to stay taut, sit with your shoulders back, chin up, and lower back supported against the chair.
PLUS: 10 Weird Things Your Posture Says About You
5. Plant a garden. All the bending, lifting, and twisting help shape your middle, and you'll burn about 350 calories an hour.
6. Moving your hips. Hula hooping works on the same calorie burning waist-whittling principle as gardening--but with less dirt.
7. Hit the greens. Ditching the golf cart earns you a walking workout; whacking the ball tones and tightens your midriff.
8. Get a leg up. Crunches with your legs off the floor tone the upper portion of your ab muscles. Lie on your back with your legs propped up on the bed or chair. Curl up slowly, raising your head, shoulders, and upper back off the floor, then slowly lower. Do 10 to 12 repetitions, two to three times a week.
9. Reverse that crunch. To tighten your tummy from a different angle, lie on the floor with your arms at your sides, feet off the floor, and your legs and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Contract your abdominals and press your back into the floor, lifting your hips about 2 to 4 inches off the floor. Hold, then lower. Do 10 to 12 repetitions, two or three times a week. (Or, try some of these 6 Surprising Moves for Flatter Abs.)
10. Do crossover crunches. To work the muscles that define your waistline (the obliques), lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your right ankle on your left knee and your hands behind your head, elbows pointing out. Lifting your head and upper back off the floor, twist, and bring your left shoulder toward your right knee. Hold, then slowly lower. Do 10 to 12 repetitions, then repeat to the other side. Do two or three times a week.
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