Body Abs (Six Packs)
What are Six Packs?
Six Packs are defined as a man's set of visibly well-developed abdominal muscles. It is also defined as the sheets of muscles covering your abdominal wall; it is located beneath the surface of layers of fat.
Natural and Physical Ways of getting Body Abs (Six Packs)
1. Do More Cardio
“People tend to think of cardio in terms of steady state exercise, like jogging,” says Trevor Thieme, C.S.C.S. and Open fit’s senior manager of fitness and nutrition content. “But really, cardio is anything that raises your heart, breathing rates, and improves the function of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.”
To bring more clarity to this type of exercise, let’s tackle a few common cardio training misconceptions one at a time:
1.1. Cardio is any exercise that increases the heart rate
Not quite. Just about any physical activity you do can increase your heart rate, from lifting weights to strolling between your desk and the bathroom to rolling out of bed in the morning. For an activity to qualify as a cardio workout, it has to meet both criteria mentioned above. In short, it has to raise your heart and breathing rates, and challenge your cardiovascular system, just like a biceps exercise has to challenge your biceps and an abdominal exercise has to challenge your abs.
While leisurely activities like walking and easy bike riding have benefits of their own, and are cardiovascular in nature, they aren’t cardio exercise s (unless you are very deconditioned. That’s because they don’t challenge the heart and lungs enough to improve their function.
1.2. Cardio is the same thing as ‘aerobic exercise’
Aerobic exercise is one form of cardio training — but it’s not the only one.
Think of your body as a hybrid vehicle with two engines: one is aerobic — meaning it requires oxygen to run, while the other is anaerobic — meaning it doesn’t need oxygen. Both engines are always active, but depending on the duration and intensity of your workout, one will work harder than the other.
The aerobic system is best for long and relatively easy activities — the stuff you spend most of your day doing: working at a desk, eating, walking — and for lower-intensity forms of exercise, like jogging. You can emphasize the aerobic system with continuous low-intensity activity lasting 20 minutes or more.
The anaerobic engine is for fast and intense activities, like squeezing a barbell or sprinting all-out for 30 seconds. It’s also emphasized during repeated bursts of intense activity, such as cardio workouts involving high intensity interval training (HIIT).
Mountains of research in the last two decades show that both aerobic and anaerobic workouts can improve cardiovascular function — and so both approaches qualify as “cardio” exercise.
1.3. You have to track your heart rate to get a good cardio workout
Since cardiovascular exercise is directly related to how hard your heart is working, that must mean you need to know your heart rate with some fancy heart rate monitor, right? Not exactly, while trainers have traditionally used the “age adjusted heart rate” formula to track intensity during cardio workouts, it’s been called into question in recent years: a 2010 study, for example, found that the age-based formula might not be accurate for many women. Other studies on different age populations have come to a similar conclusion.
Thankfully, there may be more accurate and practical ways to monitor how hard your heart is working. Just use the talk test: if you find it difficult to speak, even in short sentences, then that likely means you’re in the right range for the activity to qualify as cardio exercise.
1.4. You have to run, bike, or swim, or else it’s not cardio training.
When it comes to cardio training, it’s not what you do — it’s how you do it.
“The umbrella of cardio encompasses much more than a long run,” Thieme says.
“It also includes HIIT workouts, dancing, and some types of strength training (like circuit training). Even vigorous household activities count (like raking leaves, moving furniture, or carrying groceries up stairs) if you do them with enough commitment and intensity.” To determine if your chosen activity counts, just try out the talk test mentioned above.
Examples of Cardio Exercises
Sure, standard workouts like running, cycling, and stair climbing can be great cardio exercises, but so can kickboxing, shooting hoops, and shoveling snow.
Your cardio training options are almost limitless. You just need to keep the intensity high enough to challenge your heart and lungs.
Cardio training can be a steady-state exercise that’s done at low to moderate intensity, like jogging or an easy bike ride. Cardio training can also be intervals of high intensity exercise, like HIIT, where you go all out for 20-120 second bursts, and then rest just long enough to allow you to perform the next round with equal intensity like Tabatha.
Just keep in mind that whatever cardio activity you choose should involve large muscle groups in the legs and trunk, since smaller muscle groups like the biceps and calves don’t create an oxygen demand large enough to tax the cardiovascular system on their own.
Benefits of Cardio Training
What is cardio training good for, and why should you bother doing it? Like brushing your teeth and sleeping for seven to eight hours a night, it’s one of the most indisputably healthy activities you can do.
By challenging and strengthening your cardiovascular system, you increase its capacity to take in oxygen, pump blood to the working muscles, and clear carbon dioxide and other waste products from your system. Plus, as your heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood, your resting heart rate slows, reducing the stress on your most vital muscle.
Long story short: cardio training helps your heart and lungs function better both during exercise and at rest.
How to Pick the Best Cardio Workout for You
A recent study in the "Journal of Physiology" found that four to five cardio workouts a week is optimal for cardiovascular health and longevity. Over a lifetime, that’s a lot of time in the cardio saddle. So how should you spend it?
Since cardio exercise can encompass a vast range of activities — from stationary cycling to dancing to raking leaves — you have many options from which to choose, and you should choose several. After all, you don’t have to confine cardio training to workouts — you can weave it into your everyday life as well.
Use these four factors to help you choose which type of cardio training is best for you.
I. Convenience: Whatever type of cardio training you choose to do regularly, make it something that’s convenient. In other words, don’t commit to swimming workouts if you don’t have easy access to a pool, or cycling workouts if you don’t have easy access to clear roads or a bike path (or a spin bike). Ideally, you should choose something you can do close to home that involves minimal preparation and equipment. You can even do cardio at home!
II. Preference: The Internet is overflowing with advice on what the best type of cardio training is, but ultimately, the best cardio workout is the one you’ll do consistently. So don’t take up mountain biking if you’re not into adrenaline sports; don’t choose swimming if you hate the water. Pick something you’ll be excited to do. Maybe you’re interested in doing something that’s martial arts-inspired, or a dance workout. Or maybe, some days you just want to just lace up your shoes, blast your workout playlist, and go for a run. Since cardio encompasses so many activities, don’t limit yourself to something you have to force yourself to do.
III. Physical limitations: If you have a history of joint injuries, particularly to your knees, ankles, and lower back, you should avoid high-impact activities (like running and basketball). Instead, you should stick with low-impact cardio activities like cycling, swimming, and strength training. If you’re looking for a low-impact cardio workout at home, try something like yoga or palates to boost your heart rate and get you sweating without any jumping or pounding on your joints.
IV. Time: Some people live for a four-hour weekend bike ride. Others would rather get it done fast and get out. Luckily, cardio training can be done in less than 30 minutes. Skeptical, you can get sweat-inducing cardio workouts in 20 to 30 minutes with the right kind of HIIT workout. Whatever you choose, just be sure that it fits your schedule.
2. Exercise Your Abdominal Muscles.
Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is a very useful activity performed for the increase and getting of six packs. It aids growth and improves strength, preventing aging, developing muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, improving health and also for enjoyment. Many individuals choose to exercise outdoors where they can congregate in groups, socialize, and enhance well-being.
3. Increase Your Protein Intake.
Increasing your intake of high-proteinous foods can help promote weight loss, fight belly fat and support muscle growth.
According to one study, consuming high-protein meals helped increase feelings of fullness and promote appetite control in 27 overweight and obese men.
Another study showed that people who increased protein intake by just 15% decreased their calorie intake and saw significant decreases in body weight and body fat.
Consuming protein after working out can also help repair and rebuild muscle tissues as well as aid in muscle recovery plus, one study even found that a high-protein diet helped preserve both metabolism and muscle mass during weight loss. Food such as
Meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds are just a few examples of healthy, high-protein foods that you can add to your diet.
Protein may help reduce calorie intake, as well as decrease body weight and fat. It can also help repair and rebuild muscle tissues and preserve muscle mass during weight loss.
4. Try High-Intensity Interval Training
High-Intensity Interval Training known as HIIT is a form of exercise that involves alternating between intense bursts of activity and short recovery periods. HIIT keeps your heart rate up and increases fat burning.
Adding HIIT into your routine can boost weight loss and make it even easier to get six-packs.
One study showed that young men who performed HIIT training for 20 minutes three times per week lost an average of 4.4 pounds (2 kg) and saw a 17% decrease in belly fat over a 12-week period.
Similarly, another study found that 17 women who did HIIT twice per week for 16 weeks had an 8% decrease in total belly fat.
One of the simplest ways to try HIIT at home is to switch between walking and sprinting\ for 20–30 seconds at a time.
You can also try alternating between high-intensity exercises like jumping jacks, mountain climbers and burpees with a short break in between.
High-intensity interval training can help increase fat burning and may be especially useful for reducing belly fat and achieving six-pack.
5. Stay Hydrated
Water is absolutely crucial to just about every aspect of health. It plays a role in everything from waste removal to temperature regulation.
Staying well-hydrated may also help bump up your metabolism, burn extra belly fat and make it easier to get a set of six-pack abs.
In fact, one study found that drinking 500 millilitres of water temporarily increased energy expenditure by 24% for up to 60 minutes after eating.
Other research shows that drinking water may also reduce your appetite and increase weight loss.
One study with 48 middle-aged and older adults found that people who drank water before each meal lost 44% more weight over a 12-week period than those who didn’t
Water requirements can vary based on a variety of factors, including age, body weight and activity level.
However, most research recommends drinking around 1–2 liters (34–68 ounces) of water per day to stay well-hydrated.
Drinking water can temporarily increase metabolism, reduce appetite and increase weight loss to help you lose stubborn belly fat.
6. Stop Eating Processed Food
Heavily processed foods such as chips, cookies, crackers and convenience foods are typically high in calories, carbohydrates, fat and sodium.
Not only that these foods are typically low in key nutrients such as fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Nixing these unhealthy junk foods from your diet and swapping them for whole foods can increase weight loss, reduce belly fat and help you achieve a set of six-pack abs.
This is because it takes more energy to digest whole foods rich in protein and fiber, which can burn more calories and keep your metabolism up.
The nutrients in whole foods, like protein and fiber, also keep you feeling fuller to curb cravings and aid in weight loss.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are all nutritious alternatives to prepackaged convenience items like frozen meals, baked goods and salty snacks.
7. Cut Back on Refined Carbohydrates
Cutting back on your consumption of refined carbohydrates can help you lose extra fat and gain six-packs.
Refined carbohydrates lose most of their vitamins, minerals and fiber during processing, resulting in a final product that is low in nutritional value.
Eating lots of refined carbohydrates can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to increased hunger and food intake
Eating plenty of whole grains, on the other hand, has been linked to a reduced waist circumference and lower body weight.
In fact, one study found that people who ate a high amount of refined grains tended to have a higher amount of belly fat compared to those who ate more whole grains.
Swap out refined carbohydrates from foods like pastries, pastas and processed foods and instead enjoy whole grains such as brown rice, barley, bulgur and couscous to help support satiety and burn belly fat.
8. Fill up on Fiber
Adding more high-fiber foods into your diet is one of the simplest methods for increasing weight loss and achieving six-pack.
Soluble fiber moves through the gastrointestinal tract undigested and can help slow the emptying of the stomach to make you feel fuller for longer
In fact, one review found that increasing fiber intake by 14 grams per day was linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg) of weight loss.
Research shows that getting enough fiber in your diet may also prevent weight gain and fat accumulation.
One study showed that for each 10-gram increase of soluble fiber taken daily, participants lost 3.7% of belly fat over five years without making any other modifications in terms of diet or exercise.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are just a few healthy, high-fiber foods that you can add to your diet to help burn belly fat.
There’s much more to getting and building Body Abs (Six Pack) than simply doing a few crunches or planks each day.
Instead, it requires following a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle to help achieve your goals.
Making a few simple switches in your daily routine can get you a set of Body Abs (Six Pack) and improve your health at the same time.
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