Our expert says:
Situps and other specific exercises will help a little, but you must remember that the scientific truth is that one 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.
Lastly, keep in mind that this is a very common problem, and changes in certain areas can happen very slowly, because some people do just have a specific distribution of fat, and it can be hard to fight against this.
Also, the fact that this happened during exam time is probably due to the combination of stress and the fact that you were not exercising or being as active during this time as you would have been during the year. SO, it is hopefully just a matter of getting active again, and you should see the problem resolve.
However, be patient and keep at it!
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