Our expert says:
One cigarette will not affect you in the long term - in fact, although I can't back up with any figures, since I'm no expert on smoking, I would say that the effect of one cigarette is almost zero. However, the problem is that one becomes two, two becomes three and so on, and chronic smoking will certainly affect fitness and make breathing very difficult. So, I hope that your one cigarette does not grow into more, and you should be fine.
Finally, to develop a six pack usually takes considerable time. There's no one answer for everyone though. The most important thing to remember is that you cannot "spot reduce". That is, you can't really try and reduce the fat around your stomach, thighs and abdominals by just doing exercises for those areas. This kind of exercise, using specific muscles only, actually burns fewer calories than exercising large muscles groups in dynamic cardiovascular exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling. In order to burn the fat, you need to do these types of cardiovascular exercises as least 4 - 5 times a week for at least 30 - 45 minutes. This will help to increase the amount of calories that you use and help to decrease your body fat.
Having said that, it is still important to do some strengthening and toning exercise and obviously to include exercises that make use of the muscle groups in your abdominal area. The exercises that you do will depend on whether you have access to a gym or you do body weight exercises at home. I would suggest you have a look at the 'Zone-in-on' section of the Health 24 website (www.health24.co.za). You can find this section under 'Fitness', and then just click on the image that shows the areas you want to work on, and you will be able to see the exercises relevant to you.
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