Belly fat consists of superficial and deep (visceral) fat. The deep type of belly fat is buried far inside you abdomen and unlike the other type of fat, the superficial one found under your skin (subcutaneous fat) this belly fat is very active. A high level of this deep and dangerous belly fat is associated with a host of chronic medical disorders such as diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
BEST EXERCISE TO LOSE BELLY FAT
Belly exercises (e.g. sit ups) will do little to burn belly fat, instead they will help firm, flatten and strengthen the belly muscles. Therefore, sit-ups will not help you lose belly fat. This is great once you’ve lost the belly fat, but until then it is unnecessary and a waste of time as these muscles simply lie hidden under layers of fat.
To lose belly fat, you need to burn calories. Losing belly fat through dietary means alone is often difficult. You lose fat by eating less and moving more. Accordingly, the best exercise to lose belly fat is cardiovascular exercise. Indeed, deep belly fat appears to respond exceeding well to vigorous cardiovascular exercise and one of the first places from which fat is lost when you start exercising. While inactivity is associated with high levels of belly fat, exercise is linked with low levels of belly fat. Exercise protects against belly fat. Studies show that cardiovascular exercise causes weight loss generally, but also burns belly fat specifically. The amount of belly fat you are able to lose with exercise is substantial. In fact, research shows that you can lose belly fat – though a lesser amount – through regular exercise even without dieting and even if you don’t lose weight. Furthermore, people who exercise regularly are known to have less belly fat and smaller waists compared to their sedentary counterparts.
TO LOSE BELLY FAT EXERCISE:
- Most days of the week, for 30 – 60 minutes. The more you exercise the more belly fat you lose and the quicker you lose belly fat.
- At high intensity if you can and your health allows. High intensity exercise has been shown to be more effective at burning belly fat than moderate intensity exercise. Vigorous exercise also appears to confer greater cardio-protective benefits. Therefore, to lose belly fat, aim to exercise between 60–85% % of maximum heart rate (see here about exercise intensity and heart rate.) If you are a beginner, start exercising at low intensity. As you build stamina and fitness, simply increase the intensity of your workout. Use this heart rate calculator to help you determine the heart rate at which you should exercise.
- Use gym equipment or exercise outdoors. The best exercise is the one you enjoy most and are able to do safely and effectively, and suits your current fitness level. Try walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, Nordic walking and other activities (see here for the best weight loss exercises and exercise for overweight) If you want to get seriously fit try running, by implementing a beginners running plan. If you have joint or back problems try the elliptical machine or cycling. Also, talk to your doctor about the right exercise program for you, which will help you lose belly fat and improve health.
- If you are very fit, try high intensity interval training (HIIT). This form of training involves alternating low- and high-intensity bouts of exercise for up to 20 minutes. This is an intense form of training, reserved only for fit individuals, but is an amazing way to lose belly fat – correction blast belly fat.
- Incorporate twice weekly resistance training workouts into your routine to lose belly fat. Yoga and Pilates fall into this category. Resistance training builds strength and muscle mass, but is not a significant calorie burner and will not help you lose belly fat. Resistance training targeting the upper and lower body will help stave off the loss of muscle mass that occurs during weight loss. Once you lose belly fat, you want a body that is strong, muscular and defined (learn more about losing belly fat and getting toned, flat abs.)
- Choose good exercise music. Research has proven that music makes us exercise longer and more intensely and reduces tiredness. Music is a great aid to make you stick to you exercise routine and lose belly fat (learn more about choosing exercise music and for a exercise music playlist.)