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Video: How to get flatter abs

updated 7/11/2006 10:55:09 AM ET 2006-07-11T14:55:09

Now that it's bikini weather, many people are crunching like crazy on the quest to washboard abs, but it really only takes a few minutes a day to get the waist you want. Fitness and weight loss expert Jorge Cruise shares some core strengthening exercises.

1.Warm up: Jog or march in place for 1 minute.

2. “Cruise moves”: Do one 60-second repetition of each of the four Cruise Moves (below). Repeat this cycle and you will be done in 8 minutes.

3. Cool down: Afterwrd, be sure to stretch. Some to do: sky-reaching pose, hurdler's stretch and cobra.

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#1: Seated Vacuum
(Transverse Abdominus)

a. Sit in a sturdy chair with your feet flat on the floor. As you exhale, suck your navel in toward your spine as far as you can, contracting your belly to squeeze all of the air out of your lungs. Hold for 1 to 3 seconds.

b. Inhale as you reverse the exercise, this time making your belly as round as possible. Continue exhaling and inhaling slowly for 1 minute, then move on to Cruise Move 2.

#2: Seated Crossover
(Upper Rectus Abdominus)

a. Remain seated with your feet flat on the floor. Sit tall with a long spine. Bend your arms 90 degrees, bringing your elbows in line with your chest, your forearms perpendicular to the floor, and your fingers toward the ceiling.

b. Exhale as you bring your left elbow and right knee toward one another. Inhale as you bring your elbow and knee back to the starting position. Repeat with your right elbow and left knee, alternating between those positions for 1 minute. After 1 minute move on to Move 3.

#3: Seated Torso Rotation

a. Remain seated with your feet flat on the floor. Sit tall with a long spine. Grasp your medicine ball at chest level, with your arms extended.

b. Remain erect as you exhale and twist to the right. Keep your head and neck in line with your torso as you twist so that you are always facing the ball. Try not to lean forward. Inhale as you return to the starting position and then repeat on the other side. Continue for 1 minute, then move on to Move 4.

#4: Captain's Chair
(Lower Rectus Abdominus)

a. Remain seated with your feet flat on the floor. Sit tall with a long spine. Grasp the edge of the chair with your fingers on either side of your hips. Push your palms into the chair to add stability to your torso.

b. Exhale as you slowly bring your knees toward your chest, trying not to arch your lower back as you do so. Hold for 1 to 3 seconds, then slowly lower as you inhale. Repeat for 1 minute, then return to Move 1. Repeat Moves 1-4 once more, and you're done.

Water: Improving the Elixir
It's very difficult to get people to drink the water their bodies need. Why is this so hard? By now, everyone knows that you should drink about eight glasses of water every day to help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your body functioning properly. However, few people drink all eight glasses and some people go all day without drinking any water at all. Why is that?

What I've discovered is that many people simply don't like water. They don't like the way it tastes. In our culture of sugary sodas, fruit juice drinks, and other super-sweet beverages, people have become conditioned to seek a more intensely flavored beverage than water. This is problematic, because most sweet drinks are laden with high-calorie sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, which are devastating America's waistlines.

So, we need to come up with a way to make water taste better so more people will drink it. This is easier than you'd think, and we don't need to add sugary substances to do that. Here are some suggestions to improve the way water tastes:

  1. Many spas offer water flavored with citrus fruits, like lemon, lime, and orange. Recreate this spa experience at home by filling a pitcher with ice water and dropping in a few thin slices of the fruit of your choice.
  2. Sparkling water, such as Perrier, is convenient, flavorful, and filling, because of the carbonation. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to vary the flavor.
  3. Various naturally-flavored waters have made an appearance on the market, such as FruitWater, made by the folks who make VitaminWater. These beverages are delicious, all-natural, low-calorie, and convenient.

These are just a few options for ways to get more water in your diet. People often mistake thirst for hunger, so the next time you feel the urge to snack, try chugging a glass of lemon-scented water instead. Chances are, it will take care of your craving.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints


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