In the 1979 film "The China Syndrome," reporters (Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas) discover the cover-up of a potential nuclear plant disaster - or China syndrome; a term for a core meltdown that threatens the very stability of Earth itself.
But core meltdowns aren't just fodder for scary movies; if your core sags, you're looking at some pretty serious health risks that can destabilize your body, too.
Core muscles include all your abdominal, back, hip and butt muscles; they support your spine and keep you balanced. Weak core muscles can lead to falls, bad posture and back pain - not to mention a bulging belly.
Four Ways to Strengthen Your Core
1. Crawl, like a baby (knee pads allowed). Engaging hips, thighs, shoulders, arms and abdominal muscles, this complete workout is the latest in core-building exercises.
2. Plank. Lie on your stomach; raise yourself up onto your forearms and tips of your toes. Hold for three deep breaths. Rest; repeat as many times as you can.
3. Bridge. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat, arms on floor along your sides. Lift your butt in the air as high as possible; hold. Try clasping hands together on the floor under your arched back. Repeat.
4. Eat flat-belly foods. Fat around your midsection weakens your core and boosts inflammation so you're at increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and some cancers! Go for 5-9 servings daily of produce, only 100 percent whole grains and healthy fats found in salmon, olive oil and walnuts.
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