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Expert Q and A: Kathy Smith’s Fitness Secrets

An interview with fitness guru Kathy Smith.

What are your top fitness tips for women over 40?

If there's one piece of advice I can give to women of 40, it's to start strength training.

How can a woman get rid of her belly after menopause? Or keep herself from getting one?

I have a three-step formula when it comes to getting great abs:  "Activate, Stimulate, Eliminate."  

Activate refers to activating your entire abdominal wall with a variety of exercises that target the upper, lower, and oblique areas of the core.

You also have to stimulate your fat-burning engines with cardio exercise. You can do crunches until the cows come home, but you do have to lose the layer of fat over your abdominal muscles in order to see the fruits of your labor.  

Then there's elimination, which is where diet comes into play.  All your hard work on whittling your waistline is a wasted effort if you're not taking food into consideration.  

What's your greatest exercise secret?

My secret is to stay engaged ... both mentally and physically.                                    

Focusing your energy on the muscle group you're working, instead of just going through the motions, makes all the difference in the world.  Paying close attention to your form during the entire movement really allows you to reap the full benefits of whatever exercise you're doing.  

Reviewed on May 10, 2010

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