By Teri Gentes
Are you longing for great abs—the ever-so-coveted six pack? Well, you may be going at it all wrong!
The Famous Six Pack!
With over thirty years in the health and fitness industry as an instructor, personal trainer, and whole foods nutrition coach, core conditioning work is the most common request from my clients. They all want “great abs.”
Sit down for this—it may be hard to hear. Ab work—be it basic crunches with endless variations, expensive ab machines at clubs, cheap ab conditioning gadgets on the shopping channel, or even innovative training regimes from some of the best trainers in the industry—is not the secret to great-looking abdominal muscles.
As we humans so often do, we’re looking outside of ourselves for a solution. Your best place to begin your quest for a better body, including a “sexy stomach,” is underneath the surface in that very stomach and entire digestive tract. Here resides the heart of your health and well-being and approximately 80% of your immune system. Your body shape too depends upon the state of your digestive ability. If your digestive tract isn’t functioning well, even the healthiest of foods can wreak havoc on your health. Malfunctioning within your intestinal tract causes toxic wastes to accumulate, and this fermenting waste is behind excess weight gain and bloating. By no means is this very conducive to acquiring a great six pack.
Health and Inflammation in the Gut (a.k.a. Belly Bloating):
Years of accumulated lack of sleep, consumption of poor quality foods, alcohol, tobacco, coffee/caffeine, drugs, and other toxic substances all upset the delicate balance of the gastrointestinal tract’s intrinsic nervous system and alter the body’s chemistry. To further compound the problem, they deplete our precious energy as the body kicks into gear to neutralize (alkalize) and eliminate them. An unhealthy and overly acidic gastrointestinal (GI) tract plays a critical role in a wide variety of illnesses, including chronic inflammation, a depleted immune system, back pain, fatigue, headaches, depression, digestive and nutrient absorption issues, allergies and intolerances, hormone imbalances, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more.
To effectively access and utilize the nutrients in the foods we ingest, healthy digestion, absorption, assimilation, and the effective elimination of wastes is imperative. Otherwise even the healthiest diet is not effective. In today’s world where eating habits have run amok, many people are dealing with compromised digestive ability and elimination challenges of all kinds. Paul A. Goldberg, MPH, DC tells us that “eating continually when the GI tract is not functioning properly is equivalent to exercising with a torn muscle or walking on a broken leg.” We further exacerbate the problem with the highly acidic diets common for most.
Reducing Acidity (Inflammation) - How To Become More Alkaline:
One of the most important steps to make in improving digestive health is to increase alkalinity in the gut. We can do this by simply reducing intake of acid-forming foods and increasing intake of alkaline-forming foods. Most health experts agree the ideal diet is comprised of 75% alkaline-forming foods and 25% acid-forming foods.
A healthy pH range is between 6.2 to 7.4, typically fluctuating as follows:
• Morning: 6.2 to 7.0 • Afternoon: 6.6 to 7.2 • Evening: 7.0 to 7.4
What This Means:
If your pH level is consistently 5.5 or less, you are overly acidic and need to adjust your diet accordingly. While you may feel okay, internally, below the abs, gut health and digestive ability is compromised. Chronic inflammation is likely.
Simple Steps You Can Take Now!
- Drink fresh, natural water regularly throughout the day with lots of fresh lemon juice.
- Begin your mornings with greens: Sunwarrior Ormus Super Greens or chlorella.
- Eat avocado, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, watercress, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and apples regularly.
- Practice regular deep belly breathing and be mindful of your breathing throughout the day.
These simple practices help to cultivate a more alkaline intestinal environment, assisting you in your quest for a strong, sexy core, and enabling what I feel is the ultimate benefit, improved health!
To gain greater insight on the acid-alkaline connection to your health, including how this impacts your physical conditioning efforts, take a look at some of these articles.
In addition, I often refer clients to http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/08/05/test-to-see-if-your-diet-is-alkaline-or-acid-forming/.
Harvard School of Public Health www.hsph.harvard.edu
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Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research.. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.
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