Posted by: Jackie | 2008-11-07

&#39 Beer' tummy

Hello there
My husband is 40, does not drink or smoke. He has almost no excess fat anywhere on his body and has very good muscle tone. The only problem area is his tummy, the proverbial beer belly .... even though he does not drink beer.
What exercises target this area specifically. Jogging and the gym are not options as he works at sea for extended periods as is confined to a boat with a small work out area.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Jackie

Very common problem, this, and everyone struggles to some extent with weight in certain areas.

It's difficult given his apparently constrained work schedule, to make constructive suggestions. I mean, he's not on the boat all the time, and so in the periods when he's not, jogging and other cardio training are options, and I think they should be pursued.

That's because the best exericse for this is cardio training - like running, walking, cycling, swimming, taebo, aerobics etc. Anything that is cardiovascular gets the heart pumping and energy burning is most effective. It is just a question of how you use these cardio sessions. I would suggest at least 4 days a week of cardio training, each session lasting about 30 to 45 minutes, AT LEAST. You have to build up this duration and then keep at it consistently in order to see change.

The specific exercises for the area in question have a relatively minor role, other than that they are responsible for developing the muscle in the area, which creates the appearance of being toned. That's obviously what you want, but you have to realise that you can't do the toning and specific work first and neglect the cardio - it has to work the other way around, cardio first, toning second. So he needs to focus on cardio, then on toning.

Diet is also very crucial, and if it's not 100% it will undermine any exercise benefits. So the best thing is to see a dietician or follow a very good diet plan. I think this is particularly important given his erratic lifestyle thanks to his work - on the boat, diet must be very tricky to arrange and I think it's vital that he see a dietician and get control, as much as possible, of his food intake.

Good luck

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