NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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October 25, 2013

Living Fit: Five steps to a flatter belly

Editor’s note: Living Fit is a new column featuring nutrition and exercise advice from Newburyport resident Kate McKay, a personal trainer, fitness competitor, author and business consultant. It will run on the fourth Friday of every month in this space.

Fall is here! Time to pull out your favorite jeans and enjoy the beautiful weather! But are you having a tough time getting them on because maybe you enjoyed the summer just a little too much?

Follow these five easy steps to reduce the bloat and feel more confident while enjoying this beautiful time of year:

1. Perfect your posture. Remember the skeletal model that you used in the corner of science class when you were a kid? How it hung from a hook on the very tip of its head? Imagine that you, too, are being hung from that same hook, and feel how your whole spine lifts up long and lean. Feel your shoulders roll back in proper position, abdominals lifting. Now, look at yourself in the mirror and smile. Hold that pose!

2. Visualize yourself lean. Exercise your core muscles by visualizing a greater distance between your pelvis and your rib cage. Shimmy your hips back and forth as if you are trying to get out of a too-tight shirt, and then reach your arms up overhead, to increase that sense of length. Stretch from one tip of the finger on one hand to the sky slowly side to side 10 times, feeling the stretch through your entire waistline. As your arms gently float down to your side, hold the additional waist space in your body and mind. So much of our outward appearance is reflected in how we hold ourselves on the inside. Revisit this simple stretch and visualization throughout the day for a longer, leaner look.

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