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Question
Posted by: abs | 2004/10/19

tube

I've started excersising a couple of moths ago. I run, do V-core classes, V-box classes, Pilates and sometimes step. I've never had a "tube" around my stomach, but all of a sudden it's there. It seems like only part of my tummy is getting firmer & thiner and there's a fat layer being formed around my middle. Is this possible? Am I doing something wrong perhaps?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Abs

I'm not sure how the rest of your training has gone - that is, have you managed to lose weight or body fat in any other areas. THis may be important because if you say yes, then it's really good progress so far and you should not worry about the 'tube'. I suspect that a lot of it is perception, because it may be that you are losing centimeters in all but this one area and the contrast is what makes it appear that you have gained some fat in this area. This is unfortunately a common problem, losing weight in many areas but one. There are many many people who struggle with weight distributed in tricky areas. The key is understanding that you "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, as I imagine you have been doing. This is vital to continue and be consistent and you will see progress. 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 following website through the Health 24 site - http://www.health24.com/fitness/Build_muscle_Tone/16-478-504.asp

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.

However, be patient and keep at it!

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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