<b><i>Combination of diet, cardio, strength training eliminates excess body fat around stomach</i></b>

SCHOFIELDAca,!E+BARRACKS, Hawaii - One of the most commonly asked questions in my line of work from clients and gym patrons is "How do I lose my belly fat and get a six-pack'"

The answer is simple: cardio, cardio, cardio!

Cardio helps to burn body fat, while strength training helps to increase lean mass and tone muscles.

Body fat sits on top of the muscle, acting like a protective cushioning. It also helps to insulate the body as well as protect the body and organs from external injury.

The problem is, if a person has too much body fat, he or she won't be able to see the toned muscles that are hiding underneath.

Cardio, strength training and a sensible diet are the keys to eliminating excess body fat.

Another problem is that a person can't spot-reduce or selectively sculpt only one part of the body. As a person loses weight, he or she will lose body fat and inches from the entire body, not just the midsection.

A person can selectively build abdominal muscles; however, I suggest to people whom I train that they continue with a full-body strength training program, instead.

Specific core training is important, though, because it is good for many other reasons than simply that sexy six-pack.

Core training can help to improve overall posture, alleviate or eliminate lower back pain, prevent future injuries and improve overall performance during other exercises, as well as athletics and sports.

In the end, the answer always falls back to a cardio workout done for one hour, five times a week; a full-body strength training regiment, done three times a week; and proper nutrition, done every day.

The fitness facilities on Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter have the equipment and classes to help with cardio and strength training.

To see maximum definition in muscle tone, individuals should strive for certain body fat percentages according to their sex and age range:

<b>Men</b>
Aca,!Acages 19-29 = 15 percent
Aca,!Acages 30-39 = 17 percent
Aca,!Acages 40-49 = 20 percent
Aca,!Acages 50-59 = 23 percent

<b>Women</b>
Aca,!Acages 19-29 = 20 percent
Aca,!Acages 30-39 = 22 percent
Aca,!Acages 40-49 = 24 percent
Aca,!Acages 50-59 = 28 percent

For information on group classes, call 655-8007, or for personal training, call 808-381-5944.

<i>(Editor's Note: Kristy Osborn is the the Health and Fitness Center's head personal fitness trainer.)</i>

Page last updated Thu May 27th, 2010 at 22:26