Keeping Lyons Fit! By Mary Chase
Spring Break is just around the corner, which means revealing your abdominal muscles that have probably been well hidden over the winter months. Toned abdominal muscles are a multi million dollar business in our society. So why can’t just a couple of more crunches everyday solve your problems? Let’s explore why.
Crunches don’t target the entire abdominal area. They focus on the middle of the abdominal wall, but neglect the obliques and much of the crucial back strength. Additionally, your lower abdominals or rectus abdominus is often hard to isolate during a traditional crunch. So essentially the crunch is only doing half of the work that your core needs.
However, the crunch and having a toned abdominal wall is not the only reason to work on your core. Your core is the center of your body, and the powerhouse that facilitates everything else working harmoniously. So if it isn’t working correctly, often times there is a domino effect for other parts of the body not working correctly. Did you know that most back problems are derived from a weak core? We rely on our core muscles to help us eat, laugh, talk, amongst a host of other daily activities. So in return we should help the core for those daily challenges by making it as strong as possible.
A weak or pronounced core is also not only a sign of muscular weakness, but poor dietary choices. Much of our fast food and big portion lifestyle can be found in our expanding abdominal area. Not only does this lead to a host of health problems, such as heart disease and heart attacks, but also it is more difficult to function in daily and exercise regimes without injury or effects of muscular imbalance for the other muscular areas in your body trying to support your core.
So how do you work on your core? You find exercises that will support creating a stronger back, obliques, and abdominal wall. You do them religiously, making sure to interchange activities so that your core continues to be challenged and thus continues to evolve in the strength arena. Not to mention all of this will alleviate boredom, which is another factor of exercise alienation. Finally, make wise food and drink choices. The leaner the meats, the more fruits and vegetables, as well as the less fat and sugar you can consume, the better for the epicenter of your body. The plus is after all of this, you will be swim suit ready for the upcoming season. Good luck!