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Woman doing crunches six pack abs

Are Six-Pack Abs Worth It?

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How to get a six-pack? A popular question and Google search. While you may have heard “abs are made in the kitchen,” it’s not as simple as it seems. Diet and exercise can play a crucial role in sculpting a six-pack. However, even with a healthy diet and plenty of ab exercises, you may not see the ab definition you desire due to genetics, body fat and the inability to spot train or spot correct a specific area of the body. Before you embark on a strict diet and strenuous exercise routine with the hopes of a six-pack, challenge yourself to shift your focus to more important health goals. A six-pack doesn’t measure health or self-worth. Instead, focus on a healthy diet to nourish your body and participating in the exercises you enjoy.

Nourish your body with a healthy diet

      Dieting for a six-pack may lead to disappointment and unnecessary stress and restriction. Shifting your focus from eating to look a certain way to eating to feel a certain way can be a game-changer. For example, are you struggling with digestion issues? Eating a diet rich in probiotics and prebiotics can help improve your gut health. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria in your gut and are found in fermented foods such as kombucha, yogurt, kimchi and kefir. Prebiotics are the foods that feed probiotics and are high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Feeling tired and cranky in the afternoon? Have a snack with protein, carbs and fat to provide energy and fuel to power you through your afternoon. Listening to your body and fueling it with foods that make you feel better will be more beneficial than eating with the sole purpose of just wanting to have a specific physique.

       Participate in exercise you enjoy

          Exercise can feel like punishment if you’re only thinking about changing your body or not having fun while doing it. Having exercise goals can be beneficial and serve a purpose. However, being mindful of your goals and their purpose to serve your body once you achieve them is essential to remember. Instead of doing ab exercises for a six-pack, shift your focus on strengthening your core to improve posture, balance and alleviate back pain. Instead of doing cardio to lose weight, focus on movement that is fun and that you enjoy. Exercise doesn’t have to feel mundane or be limited to a treadmill. Get outside and walk with a friend, go for a swim, ride a bike or try an exercise class such as Zumba or boxing. Shift your mindset to engage in the exercise you enjoy, making you feel mentally and physically stronger.

          While a six-pack may look aesthetically attractive to some people, it isn’t a necessary goal for which you should strive. Dieting and exercising for looks can be a slippery slope. Instead, challenge yourself to fuel your body properly and participate in exercises you enjoy with the goal of improving your overall health and well-being.

          Learn more about Ochsner Eat Fit.

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