Anti-aging fitness is an important part of feeling young and healthy, and one of the most common areas that people want to focus on first is the midsection; everyone wants that flat, toned stomach. But getting your midsection to look fit and trim—and keeping it that way—means you’ll have to work at it through your anti-aging fitness routine. Unfortunately, great abs won’t just appear one day.
For women, this means reducing body fat; women generally have 12% to 13% body fat that keeps abdominal muscles from showing, while men have six percent to eight percent body fat. Here’s what you need to know if you want your anti-aging fitness plan to result in great abs:
Anti-Aging Fitness Tip #1: Diet
Instead of starting your path to a more toned stomach by hitting the gym, start your anti-aging fitness plan by changing your diet. You can lose weight and body fat by reducing your calorie intake—and the more body fat you can drop, the easier it will be to get those abs you want. Start by eating more fruits and vegetables. Cutting out high-calorie, high-sugar, and high-fat foods is also essential, and making your own meals gives you greater control over the quality and portion size of each meal.
Getting enough protein is also an important part of an anti-aging fitness diet for great abs. Protein boosts metabolism and balances the body’s blood sugar, which keeps insulin levels low; more insulin means the body stores more fat. Good sources of protein include Greek yogurt, almonds, and low-fat cheese; these foods are best eaten in the afternoon between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Anti-Aging Fitness Tip #2: Cardio
Once your anti-aging fitness diet is in check, the next step to burning fat and getting great abs is your workout routine. A toned stomach is easier to obtain by performing cardio on an empty stomach at the start of your day. Doing cardio first thing in the morning has been found to burn 300% more body fat than any other time of the day. Cardio, when combined with an anti-aging fitness diet, burns up the extra fat, sugar, and calories your body was storing as reserve energy—and exercise on an empty stomach means you’ll burn through it even faster. Consider including boxing in your anti-aging fitness routine; as little as 16 minutes of this cardio workout three times a week can lead to a loss of two pounds in only four weeks.
Anti-Aging Fitness Tip #3: Weight Training
Great abs can be obtained even faster if you make weight training a part of your anti-aging fitness routine. With weight training, an additional 50 calories are burned each day for every one pound of muscle, and the body’s metabolism is increased. If you’re a beginner or are unable to lift heavier weights, start your anti-aging fitness routine with simple dumbbells and a lightweight high-repetition workout of between 15 and 20 reps to burn fat.
Like cardio, you also want to perform weight training in the morning on an empty stomach. And don’t worry about looking too muscular; this anti-aging fitness routine is too basic to create extra muscle mass. Besides, if you’re a woman, your naturally lower testosterone level won’t be able to generate that much muscle so easily.
Anti-Aging Fitness Tip #4: Pay Attention to Your Body
Sometimes anti-aging fitness can be improved significantly by just paying better attention to your body’s regular habits. Your diet should entail eating less junk and more of the healthier whole foods, but you should also chew your food more, rather than swallowing it as soon as you can. This will make the food easier to digest, reducing gas, preventing bloating, and improving digestive health overall. Plus, it’s harder to get to that cardio, weight training, and the rest of your anti-aging fitness routine if you’re not feeling your best.
Also pay attention to your posture; hunching forward will make your stomach more pronounced and look bigger than it really is. Stand up straight, pull your shoulders back, and align your neck, trunk, hips, and feet. Proper posture can improve lung capacity, energy, and even joint health over time.
Finally, make a greater effort to include more laughter as part of your anti-aging fitness plan. Have you ever laughed so hard that your stomach started to ache? That’s because laughter strengthens abdominal muscles, making it a great workout for your abs.