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How can I reduce a bulging tummy after a disc prolapse?

Q: I am 47 yrs old and suffered a disc prolapse 2 years ago. I underwent conservative treatment (hospitalisation) including traction and spine extension exercise. At present I am quite fit and follow an exercise regime of fifteen minutes of manual treadmill, fifty push-ups and the spine extension exercises, regularly. However till date (after the disc prolapse) I have not done any exercise, which requires forward bending. This has resulted in my tummy bulging out. I would like to know whether I can do sit ups to reduce it? If not, then what alternatives do I have?

A:It is good to hear that you have got back to feeling fit after your ailment. Here are some facts for you: If the bulging around your stomach refers to fat build -up then you have to get more cardiovascular work to rid of it. Instead of doing 50 push-ups (20 should be good enough every alternate day), if you could spend more time on the treadmill (approx 20-30 minutes) then you will reap more benefits that will include getting rid of the fat ALL round your body. As with most things in life, BALANCE is very important, so what you do with your back, should be done to the front of the body as with the top half and lower half. Although you are not allowed forward bending, effective abdominal workouts can be done even by just holding your head and shoulders about 30 degrees off the ground while in lying position (on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor). If you can hold for approximately 1-2 minutes about 3-4 times, this should see a strengthening of your muscles in the mid section. Do this alternate days for best results. All the best!

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