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Question
Posted by: Anne | 2006/11/14

How long?

Hi

I have recently lost 7kg, and need to lose about another 8. I have been doing about 150 stomach crunches every day for the past 4 weeks. How long until i see results? Can you suggest any other exercises for my stomach? Thank you!

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Our expert says:
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Hi Anne

I would keep going with the situps if you'd like (they seem to have worked - was that weight loss from situps only - had to be diet and other exercise?), but then you need to add a much larger focus on cardio training. Everyone seems to battle with the weight in a specific area. It's really difficult to combat though, although you have already hopefully recognized that eating well and exercising correctly are the keys. The simple answer then, is to continue exercise and change your eating patterns. The exercise 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 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. Just remember that low kilojoule is not necessarily better - too low causes problems as well, because it causes the body's metabolic rate to drop and that affects your ability to lose weight in the future. So don't try to starve yourself or go overboard, rather eat sensibly, cut out as much fat as you can, and listen to your body.

Good luck
Ross

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