Saturday, April 21, 2018
Health

Engage the entire core, not just the abs

Are you tired of the same old crunches on the floor? Looking for a little more variety to spice up your ab workout?

Those of you who are not incorporating ab exercises into your exercise routine should be.

Why?

The abdominals are part of the team we call the core, which is composed of the muscles that support your spine, stabilizing your entire body. Other muscles of the core include the sides of the trunk, the pelvic floor muscles, the back, buttocks, hips and pelvis. The strength of these muscles is important.

There are frequent misconceptions about the abs and ab exercises.

Ab exercises won't remove "flab on the abs." You can't lose unwanted abdominal fat simply by attacking it with a vengeance, performing hundreds of ab exercises daily, and you can't "spot reduce," or lose body fat from a particular area. That's not how the body works. You could do 500 situps a day and still not lose the fat that sits atop a muscle.

To fight body fat, you need to target the many muscles that work together. An excellent way to do this is to combine cardio exercise (a "whole body" exercise) with strength training and, of course, a sensible diet. Even then, you cannot predict where fat loss will occur. Genetics will do that for you.

Traditional ab work on the floor is effective, but adding standing exercises that revolve around moving your body, using rotational and bending movements, brings a bonus: You will be engaging all the core muscles, not just your abs. And while your body moves in different planes of motion, which targets more muscle groups, you'll burn more calories.

Benefits

Posture: Often people have strength in their upper and lower bodies but are weak in the core. Weak core muscles encourage slouching.

Balance: Core muscles work together to help you move freely in any direction and stand in one place without falling.

Daily perks: Every movement we make involves the core. Lifting, bending, reaching and twisting can be painful if your core muscles are weak.

Back pain: Weak and unbalanced core muscles place a strain on the spine, causing lower back pain.

Sports: Any power movement required from the upper and lower body originates from the core, which is in the center of the body and acts as a link between the upper and lower body. Strong core muscles make it easier to swing a golf club, and they certainly will add power to your forehand or backhand shot in tennis.

Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Sally Anderson is happy to hear from readers but can't respond to individual inquiries. Contact her at [email protected]

 
Comments
Do not eat any romaine lettuce, the CDC warns

Do not eat any romaine lettuce, the CDC warns

Public health officials are now telling consumers to avoid all types of romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak linked to the vegetable that has spread to at least 16 states and sickened at least 60 people, including eight inmates at an Alask...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida Hospital Carrollwood spending $17.5 million to expand emergency department

Florida Hospital Carrollwood spending $17.5 million to expand emergency department

Florida Hospital Carrollwood is expanding its emergency department. The hospital, 7171 North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, is spending $17.5 million to add 15 new private treatment rooms, new pediatric rooms and waiting areas, and new technology, acco...
Published: 04/18/18
Barbara Bush’s end-of-life decision stirs debate over ‘comfort care’

Barbara Bush’s end-of-life decision stirs debate over ‘comfort care’

As she nears death at age 92, former first lady Barbara Bush’s announcement that she is seeking "comfort care" is shining a light — and stirring debate — on what it means to stop trying to fight terminal illness.Bush, the wife of former President Geo...
Published: 04/17/18
Preparing for the worst, staffers at Johns Hopkins All Children’s learn through simulation

Preparing for the worst, staffers at Johns Hopkins All Children’s learn through simulation

When the patient got violent, Dr. Michelle Hidalgo didn’t have time to think. She had to react. The woman was moving strangely and seemed erratic. Hidalgo had to make a tough call — it was time to physically restrain her for everyone’s safety.Then th...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Lung cancer patients live longer with immune therapy

The odds of survival can greatly improve for people with the most common type of lung cancer if, along with the usual chemotherapy, they are also given a drug that activates the immune system, a major new study has shown.The findings should change me...
Published: 04/16/18
Thousands of pounds of prepackaged salad mixes may have been tainted with E. coli, officials say

Thousands of pounds of prepackaged salad mixes may have been tainted with E. coli, officials say

A Pennsylvania food manufacturer is recalling 8, 757 pounds of ready-to-eat salad products following an E. coli outbreak that has spread to several states and sickened dozens of people.Fresh food Manufacturing Co., based in Freedom, Pennsylvania, is ...
Published: 04/15/18
St. Anthony’s Cancer Center installs bell dedicated to survivors

St. Anthony’s Cancer Center installs bell dedicated to survivors

ST. PETERSBURGSister Mary McNally, vice president of mission at St. Anthony’s Hospital, stood in front of a room of cancer survivors to unveil a silver bell surrounded by butterfly stickers mounted to the wall of the Cancer Center lobby. "So often pe...
Published: 04/13/18
Hand dryers could leave your hands dirtier than you think

Hand dryers could leave your hands dirtier than you think

Washing your hands after you use the bathroom is a good idea. But using a public dryer could undo all that hard work, according to a new study.A study, published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, examined 36 men’s and women’s bat...
Published: 04/13/18
Meek and Mighty Triathlon draws the young (siblings who are 7, 9 and 11) and not so young

Meek and Mighty Triathlon draws the young (siblings who are 7, 9 and 11) and not so young

The annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon has for years attracted elite athletes from around the world, making the St. Petersburg race one of the premier triathlon events in the country. There’s a big incentive to run fast, swim hard and be the best on a bi...
Published: 04/13/18