If you want taut, toned abs, you're not alone. A lot of people do and don't know how to get them. However, it's pretty simple to do so, as long as you know what you're doing.
First, of course, the standard advice applies. Eat right and don't sit around like a couch potato. You'll need to get some exercise every day if you want those amazing abs. However, there are some specific things you can do that will help the process along in addition to a good diet.
Yep, that's right, swim. Not only does it provide excellent cardiovascular exercise, which will help you lose weight, but it helps you burn calories because of the water temperature. In general, most lap pools have water temperatures of below 90 degrees, which means that your body cranks up your metabolism to help keep you warm. And of course, the water itself is the heat conduit, so that body heat is continuously cranked out of you -- which, again, makes you crank up your metabolism even more. What does that do? Yep, it burns calories, which translates to weight loss.
Of course, it's good cardiovascular exercise too, and it's great whole body exercise that's going to get and keep you toned and lean. But the water temperature itself is going to make you burn more calories even beyond those you burn because you're moving, so go on. Swim. Try to do so for least 20 minutes a day, three times a week, and work your way up from there. You'll find as you go that swimming is pretty easy and you may even become addicted to it. Many people do an hour a day in a lap pool without even thinking about it. This may be something you can build up to as well. Your abs will thank you, too, and pretty soon you'll be showing them off to everyone who wants to look. (And Michael Phelps, watch out.)
Easy Does It on the Salt
Too much salt is bad for you because it raises your blood pressure, but guess what? It also makes you retain water. When you retain water, you become bloated, and this can hide those sexy abs you want to show off. So easy does it on the salt, and watch that excess water weight just drain away. You'll be showing off your lean new physique in no time.
Guzzle Some Green Tea
Green tea is pretty amazing stuff; it's loaded with antioxidants, which is great. However, it's also got a substance in it that is touted to burn fat. It's called ECGC, and it's one of the newest and hottest weight loss substances on the market today. But you don't have to go for any fancy pills. Instead, get some plain old green tea bags from the grocery store, fix yourself up a pot or two of tea, and chug way. (Easy does it on the sugar, though. Opt for a no calorie sweetener if you need to like stevia.)
Drinking green tea does a couple of other things for you, too. Number one, it's a mild diuretic, which can help you get rid of excess water weight (again, unveiling those sexy abs). Number two, it's got a calming amino acid in it called theanine, which is great for your mental health. So drop that soda and give green tea a try -- hot, cold or iced. You won't be sorry.
Ramp Up Your Workout
If you've been sedentary for a while, easy does it. You don't want to be having any heart attacks because you did too much too soon. Even if you don't have anything that serious happen to you, though, you also don't want to be injured. This puts you off your workout and slows down your progress. (Of course, check with your doctor to make sure your health is good enough to work out if you haven't done so for a while.)
So, take it easy on your workout if you're just starting out. However, if you've been working out for a while and are disappointed with the results, try doing some revving up, here. Work out at a fast pace and keep your heart rate at 80% of its maximum for a period of time, then drop off into your normal pace, then rev it up again to 80% of your maximum heart rate. (To find your heart rate, take the number 222, minus your age, divided by 0.80.)
Do Some Interval Cardio
This kind of harkens back to the previous point, but interval cardio has you getting your heart rate to 85% of its maximum for one minute, then reducing the intensity by 40% for one minute, then back to 85% of your heart rate maximum for one minute, then 40% for one minute, and so on. Do this for as long as you can comfortably, but work your way up to 40 minutes of this type of interval training as you go along.