Ab-solutely fabulous

Everyone ogles at the lovely bodies seen on TV, in movies and on billboards. Needless to say, this really puts pressure on how one thinks their body should look. A person with ripped abs is probably more satisfied with his or her body image than an individual who is stout, because of the attention one gets. The result of this is that everyone wants to have a six-pack of firm abs.

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EVERYONE HAS A SIX-PACK. TRUE OR FALSE?

Most people find it difficult to believe they already have a six-pack. It is true. It’s there _ you just don’t see it, because it’s normally covered in fat. Six-packs are in the region below your chest and between your obliques. You need to be around a certain body fat percentage _ approximately seven to 11% of fat _ for your abdominal muscles to show properly.

ARE SIX-PACKS ONLY ABOUT SEX APPEAL OR DO THEY HAVE HEALTH BENEFITS?

The craze for buff abs isn’t only about vanity or looking good without a shirt on. The core muscles are important because they connect the upper and lower body, making them essential for the co-ordinated movement of the whole body. Strengthening these core muscles can make you fit for all kinds of activity. Having relatively weak abs compared to your back muscles, or a drastic imbalance between the two, is likely to make you more prone to muscle injuries and lower back pain.

HOW CAN I GET MY SIX-PACK TO SHOW?

It takes dedication, time and patience. You’ll need to diligently do two things _ lose fat and build muscle by dieting and exercising daily. To see those abdominal muscles you have been working so hard on, you must lose any fat around your middle so what you eat is even more crucial than how you train. Certain foods can help the body burn energy from fat stores and have you showing off your abs in no time.

WHAT FOODS DO YOU RECOMMEND?

Other than the basics, such as increasing your intake of greens, fruits and proteins and eating less carbohydrates, here are some simple things to do to increase your metabolism. Most importantly, stay hydrated because drinking water will help your body maintain a higher metabolism, burn fat more effectively and keep water weight off.

Eat monounsaturated fatty acids and spice up your meals _ these also create a rise in metabolism. Eat breakfast, as going without often means eating a huge lunch, since your body hasn’t had anything in the past 12 or more hours.

When you eat a huge lunch you are likely to get that after-meal drowsiness making you both unproductive and inactive. Try to eat smaller dinners as large dinners tend to hurt the fat-loss process because most people aren’t very active after dinner.

AND WHAT EXERCISES SHOULD I DO?

No abdominal exercise is perfect. There are a number of approaches that, along with a balanced fitness regimen and a healthy diet, could help you get strong, flat abs. The crunch is one of the simplest methods offering good results. To do a crunch, lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Place your hands loosely behind your head and spread your elbows out so that your shoulder blades squeeze together. Keeping this posture, contract your abdominal muscles, lifting your upper body without arching your back to the point where you can’t go any further. Hold it, and then slowly relax, returning to your starting position. You could also try planking, pilates or weights _ whichever works for you.

ARE THERE SHORT CUTS TO GETTING SIX-PACKS?

Sure there are. If you feel that diet and exercises do not work for you, you can try some of the latest technologies. To see what should be best for you, first we identify the amount of fat covering the abdomen. If you’ve got fat, we use radio frequency technology to melt it away before we use electro-stimulation to help build six-packs. Electronic muscle stimulation works by mimicking muscle contraction and this is caused by delivering electric impulses to the muscles. The impulses are delivered through terminals or electrodes to the skin, directly on the muscles to be stimulated.

WHO IS SUITABLE FOR THESE THERAPIES?

Anyone can get these treatments done, however it depends on the person’s body and amount of fat to decide what works best and how many sessions will be required. For those with more abdomen fat, Body Tite may be a more effective method. Body Tite uses radio frequency assisted liposuction technology to burn and melt fat before removing it. The best feature of this machine is its ability to perform liposuction and tighten your skin simultaneously.

ON AVERAGE, HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE REQUIRED AND WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED RESULTS?

How many sessions you require depends on the amount of fat you have. If you have very little fat, then you could just opt for the electro-stimulation therapy to get your six-pack. You may need about 10 sessions, done every alternate day or as convenient for you. It may take up to three months to see optimal results.