Tighter Stomachs

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Tighter stomachs are on the wish lists of millions of image-conscious people. For sure, tight stomachs are seen as sexy and desirable; nearly everybody wants a "six pack" or "washboard stomach" of their own. However, tight stomachs also yield other, more important benefits. Many health problems, such as circulatory, respiratory, and digestive ailments, are caused by a collapsing musculoskeletal system. This collapsing is often due to poor abdominal muscle tone.

Think about it: your abdominal area is a crucial part of your organism, containing a higher concentration of vital organs than any other part of your body. Inside your abdomen are your stomach, intestines, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, and reproductive organs. What happens to these organs and their ability to function normally when, due to poor posture, they're continually crushed, smothered, squeezed and squelched--not to mention your poor spine?

Getting Tighter Stomachs

Your abdominal muscles are chiefly responsible for holding up your body from the waist on up. Without them, your guts would spill out onto the floor and you'd flop to the ground like a wet noodle. Yet this is what many out-of-shape people are on the road to becoming. Have you seen people with huge, "pregnant" bellies--men included--and a sloping, swayback posture, as if their bellies were pulling them forward?

This is exactly the wet noodle effect, in more moderate form. Over time, though, this posture will take its toll, and all due to poor abdominal muscle tone. Therefore, what needs to be done, and the sooner the better, is to start an overall exercise program that pays special attention to strengthening the abdominal muscles. Going to the gym is the traditional route, but an even better bet is enrolling in a muscle-strengthening yoga or Pilates program. These approaches emphasize both strengthening and stretching this core area of the body, and take care not to create unnecessary and damaging stress on the body.

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