9. Stress Shows Up On Your Belly
Being stressed can actually prompt your body to store fat in your stomach. A study conducted at Yale University found that of the 160 female participants, the ones who reported the highest levels of chronic stress had the biggest waistlines. Researchers suspect that excess amounts of the stress hormone cortisol promotes your body to pad your waistline, because the fat cells in this area have more receptors for cortisol than any other cells in the human body. To help keep stress levels (and your stomach) in check, cut back on known cortisol elevators, such as smoking, drinking and lack of sleep. Exercising, listening to classical music, deep breathing and having a good laugh have also been proven to instantly lower your body’s levels of this hormone.
10. Sucking It In Is Actually Smart
It looks like cheating, but holding in your belly actually works a core muscle deep in your lower back called the transverse abdominis, which can permanently improve your appearance.
This muscle acts as a natural weight belt, supporting your lower back and keeping your pelvis aligned. In effect it eliminates posture problems that may be causing you to slouch and seem paunchier than you really are. It’s also one of the few exercises you can do all day long. You can’t exactly do crunches at your desk, but you can pull your abs in anytime, anywhere. Another relatively easy and effective way of tightening the abdominal muscles is Pranayam, “The deep abdominal breathing exercise works the abdominal muscles without any physical exertion:. The other benefits include stronger lungs, good breathing technique and better concentration.