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Young woman and man doing sit-ups

If you’re like me, and you’re trying desperately to get back that perfect flat stomach you had all through high school. Or quite frankly, you’re just tired of people teasing you about your “Buddha” belly or asking when the baby’s due and you’re not even pregnant, take heart. Here are five ways you can avoid the potbelly blah blahs.

Don’t eat a lot of calories at once, especially in the evening.

Too much food in your stomach puts pressure on your stomach muscles and pushes them out. When you eat a lot and then go to bed, your abdominal muscles relax, making it easy for the food to exert pressure on your tummy muscles. Do this enough times and you’re likely to be the not-so-proud owner of a perfect potbelly.

Suck it in.

This advice is especially important for regular runners, who tend not to hold their stomachs in when they run, particularly when they get tired.

All the jiggling and bouncing that your stomach does when you run weakens your abdominal muscles. Consciously trying to hold your stomach in while you run will help it stay strong. Some runners also find that standing up straight instead of slightly slouching as they run makes holding in the stomach easier.

Don’t forget to stretch your hamstrings after you run.

Tight hamstrings can cause you to develop a slight sway-back and make your potbelly all the more noticeable.Try this easy hamstring stretch: Sit on the floor. Extend your left leg straight in front of you. Place your right foot against the inside of your left knee.

Place both hands on the lower front part of your left leg. Lean forward until you feel the muscles stretch m your left thigh. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs, then repeat the exercise.

Exercise your stomach muscles regularly.

Stomach exercises improve posture and help prevent your stomach from sticking out. Sit-ups and pelvic tilts provide great toning for the stomach. Sit-ups exercise the upper abdominals while the pelvic tilt tones the lower abs.

Sit-ups: Lie down on the floor with your arms folded across your chest. Bend your knees, keeping feet and back pressed to the floor. Lift only your head and shoulders off the floor. Be careful not to raise all the way up. You won’t do Pelvic tilt your .abdominals any good, and you’re likely to hurt your back. Repeat exercise 10 times.

Pelvic tilt: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands at your sides. Put a folded towel under your head and a rolled up towel under your neck. Inhale. Press your back to the floor and pull in your stomach. Hold position for 10 to 20 seconds. Exhale. Slowly repeat exercise 10 times.

Keep your lower back strong to help hold your stomach in.

The cat stretch and the pseudo swim are two easy exercises that will help keep your back strong.

Cat stretch: Get on your hands and knees on the floor. Keep your back straight. Arch your back. Hold for two seconds. Return to starting position and repeat exercise 10 times.

Pseudo swim: Lie face down on the floor. Place a plump pillow under your stomach and hips. Raise your right aim and your Let leg at the same time until you reel the muscles in your lower back and buttocks tighten. Hold two seconds. Repeat with your left arm and right leg. Do exercise 10 times.

Try to work at least 30 minutes of strength-training exercises like the ones described above into your routine three or four times a week. Push-ups and pull-ups are also good exercise choices.

And fear no more. With a few simple changes, you should easily be able to prevent your stomach from being the target of a lot of “pot” shots.

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It’s so encouraging to see that some people are getting up off the couch, and doing something active. I must admit that a lot of people are now taking a keen interest in getting back in shape and stay healthy. While there are others who just keep making-up excuses and more excuses.

Two common barriers for people who want to exercise and get in shape are a lack of time and money needed for fitness.

Who has the time to go to the gym, or buy expensive equipment, or take long bike rides?
Well, if those are the things stopping you, you’re in luck.

It takes no equipment to get a great workout and get in shape, and with one or two pieces of simple equipment, you can turn that great workout into a fantastic one, you magnificent beast, you.
And with little or no equipment required for a fantastic workout, you can do it at home, or wherever you are. Even if you’re in solitary confinement – one lesson we can learn from prisoners.

It’s hard not to find time for this type of workout — you can do it while watching TV, for goodness sake!

Using just your bodyweight, you can do a large number of challenging exercises. I suggest starting with bodyweight exercises along with some cardio (i.e. walking, jogging, swimming, etc) and then slowly transitioning to a combination of bodyweight and weight training to get a good balance.

And even if you’re doing a complete weight training program, you can always use bodyweight exercises anytime you can’t make it to the gym.

I’m curious to hear your excuse(s) – why you’re still falling asleep in front the TV when you could be doing something active. Let’s hear ‘em in the comments.

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There are times where we all get a little down, maybe even a little depressed. Maybe it’s because we are feeling overwhelmed, or feel bad because we’re not doing well in achieving our life goals. There are many other reasons for feeling down, and I’m not qualified to discuss them, nor their implications, or clinical treatment. What I can talk about are some of the things that have worked for me…sometimes! 🙂

Depression on a whole can interfere with achieving our goals, and we know we should be doing something – but we just don’t feel like doing anything. This sentiment has proven to be a serious problem in our Dominican society and economy. If you as an individual don’t head if off as soon as possible and take action, this feeling can last for a very long time. Here are some of the things works best of me. I’m not saying these things will work for everyone – but take action and find out what work for you.

Make a list. Sometimes we are depressed simply because we are overwhelmed with all the things we have to do that we haven’t gotten around to doing. Start simply by picking up a piece of paper and a pen, and making a list of the most pressing things you have to do. Sometimes it’s work stuff, sometimes it’s stuff around the house that’s bothering us, sometimes it’s goal tasks, or a combination of these and more. Simply making a list can be a big relief — you’re getting things under control. You can see, right in front of you, what you need to do, and that alone can change up your mood.

Take action. Now you’ve made a list, and you still feel overwhelmed? Well, get started on the first thing on the list you need to do – they won’t do themselves. Is it a big task? Then break it down and just do the smallest task, something just to get you started. Once you get started and get into action, you’ll feel better. Trust me. There is a chance that you might still feel overwhelmed, but at least you’re doing something. And once you start doing something – even if it’s the simplest thing, you’ve got momentum and that feels much better than lying around feeling sorry for yourself.

Exercise. I know, you might not be in the mood for exercise. But just do it! Taking a walk, going for a run, going to the gym, whatever it is you do for exercise (To all the gamers – playing videos games on your couch is not a form of exercise) — get out and do it now! You don’t need to do a real hard workout, but the simple act of exercise can lift your mood immediately. Just do it!

Shower and groom yourself. Lying around in your boxers, smelling bad is not going to do you any good. Simply showering, and feeling clean, can do wonders for your mood. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, shave, do whatever it is that you need to do to feel clean and good about yourself. Instant pick me up!

Get out and do something. Sometimes, if you stay home lying around, feeling depressed, just getting out (after showering and grooming of course 🙂 ) will change your mood. Staying home all the time can really get you down, and you may not realize this until you go out and do something.

Talk about it. Got a significant other, best friend, family member, trusted co-worker you can talk to? Bend their ear. That’s what they’re there for. It’s not say there are hotlines, or professionals you can talk – No! Not on this island – well not that I’m aware off.
Getting things off your chest makes a big difference, and can be a huge lift. It can also help you work out the reasons you’re feeling down.

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