Unfortunately, as people age, a belly is one thing that they can end up with if they aren’t careful.
Not only is a fat belly unattractive, it can also be dangerous to your health. The fat that builds up around the midsection of the body is known as visceral fat. It wraps around vital organs such as the liver, pancreas, and kidneys and is housed deep within the abdominal area.
The danger that belly fat poses includes greater risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, colorectal cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. A truly frightening array of health problems that no one would relish developing.
Stress and Belly Fat
Chronic stress also plays a factor in the buildup of belly fat. When a person experiences daily stress the levels of the hormone cortisol increase which contributes to an increase in belly fat.
How Yoga Can Help
Getting rid of belly fat can be challenging but it is not an insurmountable task. Stress management, exercise and a proper diet all contribute to ridding the body of this unwanted fat.
Yoga can help in several ways. First, it is great for stress reduction. Anyone who experiences chronic, daily stress will benefit greatly from a daily dose of yoga. This is a first step in tackling the job of getting rid of that unwanted belly fat.
Secondly, certain poses lend themselves more to helping reduce belly fat than others. Let’s take a look at some of them.
The Bow Pose
The bow pose, also known as Dhanurasana, benefits the entire body. This pose is done with your stomach on the floor and your arms stretched back with your hands holding your feet while your legs are upturned and bent at the knee.
To get the full benefits of this pose, rock back and forth while doing it. This stimulates the digestive system which helps eliminate waste and massages the abdominal area.
The Tree Pose
One of the more well-known yoga poses, the tree pose or Vrksasana is particularly good for toning the abdominal region. The spine, calves, ankles, buttocks, and thighs are also strengthened when utilizing this pose.
There are variations of this pose but basically, it consists of standing on one leg while bending the other leg and bringing it upward. Hands are often brought to the front in a praying position.
Lastly, sciatica sufferers will be happy with the relief they will experience from the tree pose.
The Boat/Pontoon Pose
This pose, also known as Naukasana, is exceptionally good for getting rid of fat from the midsection. Back and leg muscles also are strengthened when this pose is practiced regularly.
Start by lying flat and gradually lift both your chest and legs while extending out your arms as though reaching.
The Cobra Pose
Also known as the Bhujangasana, the cobra pose strengthens the spine, back, and upper body as well as the abdominal muscles. The pose is done on the stomach touching the floor and the upper body and head extended upward.
Individuals who are pregnant, hernia sufferers and/or have back problems are NOT advised to practice this pose.
Challenges and Other Poses
These poses will give you a boost in getting rid of stubborn belly fat. If you find any of them to be too challenging, the good news is that there are a number of other poses that work equally well in eliminating belly fat.
As always, do check with your physician before starting any fitness routine.
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