Strengthen Your Core Without Crunches
With the New Year around the corner you are probably planning your most Savvy resolution to date. This year you will make fitness a priority. But before you go crunching that heart out, or latching on to the next craze diet, try these seven tips to strengthen your core and help your resolution become a reality.
- Sleep: Lack of sleep produces cortisol, causing the body to go into protection mode, storing belly fat. Cortisol also increases your appetite causing you to crave comfort foods, instead of healthy fuel.
- Stress: Did I mention the stress hormone cortisol? Relaxation and meditation are a great way to de-stress, and it only takes minutes a day.
- Water: Drink an average of 3-6 litres of fluid per day. Water helps flush out the toxins from the body. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in your system (shrinking inflamed muscles and tissue…hello abs!).
- Nutrition/Diet: Diet is 80-90% of any weight loss. So be prepared instead of restricting. It’s easy to grab a croissant for breakfast, but quick fixes add up to less optimal choices and a lack of nutrients. If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it! Food is fuel for your body, helping you concentrate, exercise, and be happy.
- Exercise: Believe it or not, doing 1000 crunches is not the secret. You may strengthen your core, but you will not reap the rewards of full body conditioning. Muscle mass increases your metabolism more than any crunches or cardio you could do. Building the larger muscle groups (glutes, quads, hamstrings, back, and chest) will help you burn fat faster.
- Fish Oil: Omega 3 (DHA and EPA) acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body (including abdomen) and improves eyesight, brain function, and reduces joint pain. As an added bonus, fish oils are said to help with anxiety and depression.
- Green Tea: In its purest form, green tea is said to have über anti-oxidants (which helps rid the body of toxins) and can also help improve metabolism as well.
So make a resolution this year that is not just about fitting into those pre-Covid jeans. Find ways to feel healthier too, and all without doing the dreaded crunches.