Battling That Bulge

Tips for getting a flat stomach

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

WEDNESDAY, July 31, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Even though you're not overweight, is your stomach more fat than flat?

It may be that you're genetically inclined to accumulate fat in that area. Also, as you age and lose height, your bulges can become more prominent.

Here's the skinny on some tummy tips from the August issue of the Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource:

  • Get regular, general exercise. The secret to reducing your overall body fat is burning calories. Doing endless sit-up sessions won't do anything to banish that stomach bulge.

  • Do exercises that target the lower and deeper abdominal muscles. The pelvic tilt is a good one. Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent. Flatten your back against the floor by tightening your abdomen and bending your pelvis up. Hold it for 5-10 seconds. Work your way up to be able to do 10-20 repetitions.

  • Stand straight and tall. When you slouch, it makes your stomach more prominent.

  • Bloating caused by certain foods such as beans, cabbage and bran can accentuate a stomach bulge.

More information

It never hurts to keep yourself in healthy shape. The American Heart Association has this primer on exercise.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, July 26, 2002

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