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Return of the Burn
By: Ella Haining

As featured in Latte Life: March Issue 2011

Waistlines, tummies and hips are problem areas for many women, and men. If you’re only relying on sit-ups and crunches to combat these areas, you’re in for a long and uneventful ride. The fat stored around your hips and waistline is usually the result of excessive food and/or alcohol consumption which can accurately be measured in kilojoules (or calories). This problem is compounded if you have a sedentary occupation, or are physically inactive.

A common fat loss misconception is that if you exercise one particular muscle group, you will burn the fat from that area. This myth is otherwise known as spot reduction.  People believe: if you do 100 sit ups every day for 1 month, you’ll burn the fat around your tummy. However, the net result for this example is that you will more than likely end up with strong and robust abdominal muscles, which will be well hidden under the same layer of fatty tissue. The bodies’ way of expelling fat is through an even ratio from head to toe.

Combined with a healthy diet, whole body, moderate to high intensity workouts will help tone muscle and work on stripping off fat. Fat loss is a gradual reduction, in which you need to exercise your patience, as well as yourself.

Five of our favourite exercises for fat burning and abdominal strengthening are:

1. Bicycle Crunches

Targets: abdominals, obliques and core stabilising muscles

2. Skipping

High intensity aerobic activity that targets your calves, thighs and buttocks, arms, shoulders and back

3. Mountain Climbers

High intensity aerobic activity and targets your abdominals, legs, back, shoulders and chest

4. V-Sit Twist

Targets: Abdominals, obliques and core stabilising muscle. Can be done with or without a weight or medicine ball

5. Boxing

A phenomenal example of a whole body workout. Target areas include (but not limited to): arms, shoulders, back, chest and abdominals.  Ensure you have a qualified trainer instructing you.  A Punchfit certified trainer will teach correct footwork as well as punching, which will provide you with a substantially better work out.

Added: 24-04-2011