Is doing "sit-ups" and other abdominal exercises the best way to lose my beer belly?
No. Spot reduction, or the ability to lose body fat in a desired location by exercising that area, is a common exercise misconception. Performing a lot of sit-ups will strengthen and firm the underlying abdominal muscles, but will have little to do with losing the fat in that specific area. The body stores fat in various places based on our own individual genetic code. Men typically store fat centrally in the trunk (stomach) while women tend to store fat in the hips, thighs, and buttock. These fat stores are best reduced by increasing caloric expenditure (burning calories) through aerobic exercise and by making dietary modifications.
To determine if it is safe for you to be become more
physically active go
Stephen D. Ball, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Thursday, December 04, 2008