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Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Adam H. Putnam, Commissioner
Wellness expert Donna Richardson

Exercise Tips

Good nutrition and regular exercise can fend off preventable diseases such as diabetes. Make healthy choices and begin a regular exercise routine to prevent these preventable diseases. You will not only feel better, but look it too.

Flattening Your Tummy

Donna Richardson states that the best way to flatten your tummy is through the combination of diet and exercise. Exercise will firm the abdominal muscles and diet will help you lose the extra weight and flab. You can exercise your abdominal muscles all you want, but without losing weight, you won't get that flat tummy.

These easy exercises are great for anyone who wants to flatten the tummy. You might want to begin with the head lifts, and after doing 10 lifts comfortably at a time, proceed to the shoulder lifts, and then eventually the curl-ups. The abdominal crunch is the most advanced exercise.

Head Lifts

Lie on your back with your arms at your side. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Inhale and relax your abdomen. Exhale slowly as you lift your head. Inhale as you lower your head.

Shoulder Lifts

Use the same procedure as the head lifts, only lift both your head and shoulders off the floor. When you are comfortable with this, progress to the curl-ups.

Curl-ups

Use the same procedure as with the shoulder lifts. This time reach your arms as you slowly raise your torso to about a 45-degree angle (halfway between your knees and the floor). If you prefer, you can cross your arms on your chest with your hands on your shoulders, or you can place your palms on your ears or behind your head.

Abdominal Crunch

This is excellent for strengthening the abdominal muscles and reducing a protruding stomach. Lie on the floor. Hold your legs at a 90-degree angle, with your lower legs parallel to the floor. (You can also place your legs over a bench or a piece of furniture.) With arms at your sides (or on your shoulders or behind ears as in the curl-ups), inhale slowly as you raise your shoulders off the floor, forcing your chest muscles toward your legs. Pull your hips upward, hold for a second, then exhale slowly and roll down to the starting position. Do up to 25 repetitions.

Daily Walking

A great way to begin exercising is to walk. It's simple, free, and a great way to keep your heart pumping. All you need is a pair of good walking shoes and comfortable clothes and you are ready to begin.

Start off easily with your new walking regimen. Walk for 10 minutes, turn around and walk back. Always maintain good posture. Continue this 20-minute walk for five days a week. Add five more minutes to your daily walk if this routine gets easy. Keep adding five minutes to your walk when you feel ready to increase your distance. Remember to always drink plenty of water and to stretch before and after each walking session.

Stay with it. The hardest part of exercising is keeping up the habit. Have a friend join you to stay motivated.

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