Extra weight in your tummy is more than just an eyesore; it can also lead to serious health problems. According to Mayo Clinic, excess stomach fat can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. If the weather is too dreary to go outside or if you prefer to work out at home, you can exercise indoors to drop weight from your tummy.
There is no way to use exercise to spot reduce just the weight in your tummy. Instead, use exercise to burn calories and lower overall body fat. As you lose weight, the extra pounds in your midsection will start to melt away. Combine cardio exercise and strength-training movements for the best results. Cardio exercise will reduce body fat, while strength training increases muscle mass to increase your fat-burning potential. Abdominal strength-training exercises tone your stomach muscles, helping to create a natural girdle for a slimmer waistline.
Cardio exercise engages most of your body and causes you to burn calories, which leads to weight loss. Indoor options include jumping rope, the treadmill, the elliptical, the rowing machine, playing sports like tennis and basketball, aerobics classes and the stationary bike. You could also choose three to five calisthenics exercises and create an at-home circuit routine. Alternate the exercise every 30 to 60 seconds and repeat the whole circuit for 15 to 30 minutes. Try jumping jacks, high-knees, burpees and mountain climbers.
Abdominal crunches are a beneficial exercise because you can do them anywhere and use only your body weight if you don't have access to equipment. Lie on the floor, bend your knees and place your hands behind your head. Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift your shoulder blades off the floor as high as you can and slowly lower back down. Continue until you reach 12 to 15 repetitions. You can place your feet on an elevated surface, lie on an incline or decline bench and twist your torso at the top of the movement to perform variations on the basic crunch.
The plank isolates your entire midsection while strengthening your stomach muscles. It can be performed on your hands or your forearms. Start on your hands or forearms and your toes. Keep your body in a straight line, flex your stomach muscles and hold the position for as long as you can. Complete at least 10 repetitions. Increase the time you hold each plank as your stomach muscles get stronger.
Ashley Farley has been a certified personal trainer since 2008. She is also a writer specializing in healthy living, fitness and nutrition topics. Farley has an Associate of Science in mental health services from the Community College of the Air Force and is pursuing her B.A. in English at Wright State University.