People often talk about the abdominal muscles and the first thing to come to most people’s mind is your appearance, well-defined abs that are devoid of fat and are synonymous with having a flat stomach.
That being said, these muscles were not intended to just look nice, the abdominals and core muscle’s primary role is to fulfill vital functions in both movement and health. Having six pack abs goes far beyond just your appearance, here are six important reasons to take care of your abdominal and core muscles:
1. Improve athletic performance. The core muscles play a predominant role in all physical activities where you need to run fast or twist your torso, such as martial arts or basketball.
2. Protect the spinal column. Working with the lumbar muscles, the abdominal muscles provide support to the spine. Alternatively, weak abdominal muscles and a prominent stomach place the disc in a precarious position, increasing the risk of lumbar degeneration.
3. Maintain cardiovascular health. Exercising the abdominal and core muscles in a circuit is an excellent cardiovascular workout equivalent to running but without any of the trauma to the knees and spine.
4. Improve digestive health. Abdominal work facilitates digestion, and as a result preventing bloating and constipation.
5. Reduce risk factors for diseases like type 2 diabetes. This is a disease that occurs as many people age, due in large part to excessive stomach fat.
6. Relax tense muscles. At night, it is common for the lumbar muscles to stay tense, which results in waking up feeling tired and with a persistent backache. Low back pain in the morning is a sign that your spine did not relax and recuperate during the night. A few minutes of abdominal and core work before sleeping is generally enough to relax your lumbar spine, allowing it to release the pressure and tension accumulated throughout the day.