The best tips to tone your belly include performing cardiovascular exercise, specifically abdominal exercise, and improving your diet. Some experts recommend a special approach to toning the abdominal muscles, but it is important to remember that the belly is no different than any other part of the body. The same tips that work for toning other parts of the body also work for the abdominal muscles.
The most important to tip to tone your belly is to start with your diet. If you are not eating the proper foods, you will have a very difficult time toning your belly. Toning any muscle in the body has less to do with changing the muscle itself than it does with depleting the layer of fat that rests on top of it.
It is very difficult to lose body fat if you are eating fatty foods. You must find out what your daily recommendation for calories are based on your age, weight, and gender, along with roughly how many calories you are going to burn while exercising and then eat less than the recommendation. It is important to eat lots of protein and stay away from fatty foods and sugary drinks in order to get the best results and to avoid health problems.
Another important tip to follow to help tone your belly is to perform more cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise burns fat. Any type of exercise where your heart rate is elevated for at least 15 minutes is considered cardiovascular exercise. Running, bicycling, and swimming are all forms of cardiovascular activity. In addition to burning fat, most cardiovascular workouts also use abdominal muscles, which can help tone your belly.
The specific exercises you should perform to tone your belly are not very difficult for most people. The first exercise which you can do is a simple calisthenics exercise called the "sit-up." Lie on a flat surface on your back with your legs bent upward at the knee, then bring your torso forward and try to touch your elbows to your knees, flexing your abdominal muscles the whole time. The "crunch" is very similar to a sit-up, except that you do not lower your shoulders all the way back to the ground, which allows you to keep your abdominal muscles tightened the entire time.
There are a number of types of exercise equipment you can use to tone your belly. In addition to stair-steppers and elliptical machines, which can be used for cardiovascular exercise, equipment like an abdominal crunch machine will help you work the muscles in your belly. You can also use ab straps or a dip bar in order to do leg raises, which are especially good for toning the lower portion of the abdominal muscles.
It is important to remember that when toning your abdominal muscles, burning fat is the goal. Although strength training is good exercise in general, it will probably not help much to tone your belly. You want to exercise long enough that the muscles are worked out adequately, while burning the maximum number of calories. This is the best way to add tone and definition to your abdominal muscles.