What Exercise Targets Lower Belly Fat?

What Exercise Targets Lower Belly Fat?

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Lower belly fat is a particularly dangerous type of flab to keep around.

Lower belly fat is visceral fat -- the kind that surrounds your abdominal organs. Besides not looking so hot, too much belly fat can increase your risk of various health complications, among them Type 2 diabetes and heart problems. Thankfully, belly fat responds to a long-term weight loss plan that cuts calories and revs up the regular aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is a broad and diverse group of activities that includes everything from jogging to riding an exercise bike to ice skating. Selecting a group of aerobic exercises that lastingly interests you can help you stay motivated for the long haul.

Creating an Effective Exercise Plan

According to the American Council on Exercise, a regular exercise routine is the best way to burn off excess belly fat. But not just any exercise plan will do the trick. In fact, a 2011 study by Duke University Medical School found that “resistance training achieved no significant reductions in visceral fat.” The study, which tracked the progress of 196 overweight adults over eight months, also found that belly fat overwhelmingly yields to aerobic exercises such as walking, running and biking. This correlates with what we know about aerobic exercise -- activities that elevate your heart rate cause your body to burn off fat from its reserves.

Running, Biking, Scootering

Harvard Medical School suggests 30 to 60 minutes a day of aerobic exercise for those wanting to reduce fat below their belly button. Aerobic exercises are those that rhythmically work large muscle groups over an extended time. Rather than trying to do the toughest or the trendiest exercise, choose something that works for you -- something you won't lose interest in after just a few weeks. Brisk walking, jogging, cycling and aerobic dance all provide the benefits of moderate aerobic exercise.

Doing Chores

Life is hectic. There is often too much to get done in a day. Thankfully, a lot of household, yard and garden activities double as moderate aerobic exercises. When done in intervals of 10 minutes or more, chores such as raking leaves, shoveling snow and mowing the lawn all elevate the heart rate and stimulate your body to start burning fat. Chopping and stacking wood can be a vigorous aerobic activity.

Hitting the Gym

There are quite a few indoor options for aerobic fitness that you can do at the gym or fitness club. The classic examples, of course, are the stair stepper, treadmill and exercise bike. Group activities are another effective way of motivating yourself to put in the time required to burn away belly fat. Basketball, indoor soccer, water aerobics and step aerobics all rhythmically work major muscle groups and elevate your heart rate, blasting away belly fat as your body uses it for fuel.

Staying Motivated

Belly fat-blasting workouts can be a chore. Choose activities that interest you, that you can improve at over time. It may be helpful to rotate activities so you don't get bored doing the same old workout day after day. If you get stuck in your head and struggle to push yourself through the workout, find a buddy and chat while you exercise. Don't be outsmarted by your excuses. Plan ahead to do whatever it takes to stay motivated.