A trend in the health and fitness industry for the last number of years has been to strengthen the abs and other core muscles to protect the back. How many ab crunches does it take to get a 6 pack – I mean, relieve back pain? There is a correlation to belly fat and increased health risks. Will core exercise reduce belly fat? Maybe, but let’s first explore what might cause that stubborn fat so we can understand how to get you back into the flat stomach club.
Why would belly fat increase health risks? One theory, belly fat is caused by stress, which is an underlying symptom to a dangerous heath trend.
Before cars and grocery stores, we had to run to get food or run away from being food. Stress provides fuel for superpower performance or an adrenalin rush usually in short bursts like being able to lift a car in an emergency. An oversimplified concept of controlled stress burn is essentially the idea of aerobic cardio exercise or the usage of fats for fuel after the short-term sugar supply in the blood is depleted. Elite athletes are trained to optimize the percentage of oxygen access and fat burn for extended performance.
Today, the stress system designed for superhuman efforts is often extensively overworked, and super challenges are left to the interpretation of the individual. The body, however, still physically responds to all big challenges as if going for the gold. Stress is stress is stress.
When the fight or flight system starts to become the norm, an executive decision is made that all energy produced in the body will be allocated to stress management. If the extra energy taken from non-essential activity such as digestion or moving the arms isn’t burned immediately, the stress fuel system drops the extra calories into storage in your waistline. Energy is mobilized and stored as belly fat, day after stressful day.
Most Olympians don’t have belly fat when they are competing. Super power energy from the stress system is moved into the elite core aka future location of belly fat. An elite athlete is trained to be in the elite core to access that special energy for increased endurance and performance so no storage takes place.
Let’s think of belly fat is an untapped source of energy.
According to Deane Juhan of www.jobsbody.com, gravity is our ocean. Watch a school of fish react to the change in the current of the ocean. The fish flawlessly execute synchronized swimming with finesse and grace, and the entire school effortlessly shifts with the new direction of the current. The body does the same thing with response to changes in position relative to gravity. Bones and muscles and tendons and ligaments and fascia, work in unison to sit, to stand upright, to walk.
The balance of the front and back and sides all working together is a true elite core team effort. Working only the abs can shorten the front the body into a forward lean that defies gravity, requires extra force to stand and will just miss access to elite core energy. The extra force to stand incorrectly will be supported by stress scavenger energy and, you guessed it, stored as belly fat that you can’t use.