Fitness is most commonly associated with anybody from the athletic field. With Covid-19 locking many of us in isolation, it has become vital for a healthy life. But it’s not just for youngsters or models or Olympic athletes.
In many instances, our levels of fitness or lack thereof are most evident around the belly area. So as compiled from Shape, here’s how you can achieve a flat stomach at any age.
In your 20s
Start by shifting your eating habits away from carbs. "Help keep insulin at a healthy level by following a moderate-carb diet in which most of your carbs come from nutritious unprocessed sources like whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables," says nutritionist Lisa Young, the author of The Portion Teller.
Young recommends doing two 35 to 40-minute steady-state cardio sessions a week at a pace that's about a seven out of 10 on the intensity scale; two 30-minute interval workouts to maximise growth-hormone secretion and fat burning; and two days of strength training to build lean muscle mass, which ups your calorie burn. Any type of strength training will be effective as long as the programme gets progressively harder to challenge your body each day
In your 30s
Getting your pre-baby belly back requires a two-pronged approach: You need to melt the flab that's covering your abs and strengthen your stretched-out muscles. Trainer Sara Haley suggests the following time-saving high-intensity routine, which has you moving fast enough to keep your heart rate up: high knees, plank squats, knee repeaters and dead bugs. She also stresses upon getting as much sleep as you can
In your 40s
There's not much you can do on your own about the loss of estrogen but a surefire way to boost growth hormones is to go hard at the gym. A review of research in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that in 25 to 43-year-old women, regular high-intensity aerobic exercise resulted in a twofold increase of growth hormone release over 24 hours.
Young suggests that you can also help build and maintain muscle mass by eating 50 to 60 grams of high-quality protein a day; a nice mix of sources could include a cup of cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, legumes and a piece of fish or chicken