Thursday, April 9, 2009

Say Uncle...

I'm going to be an uncle next week. My sister, who's like a bean pole, is going to deliver little Madelyn next week. This is her first, and she's so exited. She is worried, however, about how she can tighten her baby belly back up. For those with the same concerns, heres an idea.

After your doctor gives you the go-ahead to exercise, try this visualization exercise called "Belly Lacing": Imagine that you have a ribbon woven in and around your ribcage. Close your eyes and imagine pulling on the ends of the ribbon to compress the entire area so that your ribcage narrows. Hold the tightened torso for as long as you comfortably can while you breathe normally. Then relax and repeat.

This type of core-strengthening exercise will help firm up your midsection, but none of these moves will decrease your body fat. Lots of moms (and other people, too) incorrectly believe that stomach moves can reduce inches of fat from their waistline. Since very few calories are burned during these moves, and they only strengthen the musculature, this is just not possible. The way to reduce fat in your belly—and all over—is by moving more, and that means more walking and other types of cardio (swimming, cycling, cardio machines, etc.). How much you should do depends what you have time for, but moving for at least 30 to 60 minutes per day on most days of the week is recommended. If that seems impossible, that's what strollers are good for—getting baby outside so mom can walk!

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