The Best Exercises to Burn Belly Fat
Belly fat is the bane of existence for many of us. Everyone sees it, feels it, wants to lessen it or at least tame it. Nutrition and exercise are the two major components to losing weight, let alone belly fat. There are other components that come into play; topping the list are stress reduction and longer and better sleeping. Today, we will focus on exercise to reduce belly fat.
When we talk about belly fat we are talking about visceral fat, the fat that surrounds your vital organs and that puts you at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. (If you want to know what your visceral fat level is, ask for an Inbody Composition test at Ochsner Fitness Center.) Vanity alone is not the only motivation to lose the belly.
Let us talk about exercises that aid in burning belly fat. Most of us know that you cannot spot reduce or do 100 crunches to lessen the fat. In fact, if you do a variety of exercises, you are more likely to tackle fat.
Depending on your skill level, you can choose several cardio exercises to help get the job done. Consistency over time is the key to your success. Let us look at several that you can choose to get started with today. Interval training will make the difference to blast the belly. Interval training simply means that you will add bursts of speed to your workout, whatever it is you are doing. This can include walking, swimming, cycling and many more cardio exercises that you can do in the gym.
- Walking: Briskly walking three to four days a week for 15-30 minutes at a time is accessible for everyone. Either on the treadmill with intervals (bursts of speed or increase in incline) for 15-30 seconds or outside walking can up your calorie burn. Consider hills outside that you can go up and down and repeat several times in your walk or hills (incline) on the treadmill.
- Rowing machine: Try rowing intervals with 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. Row for five minutes and see how many meters you can reach in that time. Make it a game to see if you can beat your 20-second meter time.
- Strength training: Spend time with weights or weight machines and lift enough weight to push yourself to fatigue but avoid overdoing it. Your focus is at least three days a week for your upper and lower body. Building more muscle will create more muscle burns at rest.
- Side-to-side medicine balls: This is a fun exercise that you can do easily with a medicine ball. Pick up the ball and rotate your body to slam the ball a few inches away from your foot. Pivot your feet and bend the back knee as you come into a squat. Alternate sides. Shoot for two sets of 10 side to side.
If you are intrigued by what HIIT (high-intensity interval training) feels like, take a class at Ochsner Fitness Center. Examples include Body Combat, Afterburn, Zumba, Step, Spin, Body Attack or Tabata Bootcamp.
If you want to get a mellower workout, (lower intensity) consider yoga or Pilates to help build muscle and improve your endurance. These workouts will help you relax, unwind and sleep better.
Learn more about how Ochsner Fitness Center can help you achieve your goals.