Friday, February 11, 2022

Best Exercises For Losing Belly Fat


I noticed that over the past few years, I've gained a bit of weight and gotten a bit thicker in the abdomen.  As one of my resolutions for 2022, I decided it was time to see if I could reduce my belly fat so I didn't look pregnant.  As mentioned in an earlier column, one can lose belly fat by exercising but it's important to know which exercises will do this.

Unfortunately, the amount of belly fat tends to increase as you age. It can also make it harder to fit in those jeans you love and is associated with a higher chance of diabetes, cholesterol, higher blood pressure, heart disease, and breathing problems.  So there are multiple reasons for getting rid of your belly fat.

One of the first recommendations to lose belly fat is to incorporate at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity every day.  They suggest you walk at a quick pace, run, ride your bike, row, ride a stationary bike, swim or participate in group workouts. The idea is to get your heart beating and you end up breathing hard.  A casual stroll around the neighborhood doesn't usually qualify but if you change that to speed walking, it would because you end up breathing hard.

Another suggestion is to add in High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) or intensity training in general because it incorporates bursts of high intensity exercise with lower intensity moves or periods of rest but periods of rest are not just sitting.  Periods of rest are exercises that allow you to get your breath back such as walking in place and it gives you time to regroup. You want exercises that require pulling, pushing, squatting, dead lifting, and loaded carry activity.

Usually HITT combines 30 seconds of high intensity with 30 seconds of lower intensity moves.  If you are new to doing HITT, think about possibly doing jumping jacks, burpees, push-ups, jump squats or high knees because these are easier for beginners.  However, you can still do these if you are experienced because you want to get your heart activity up there and push a bit.

In addition, you want to include some exercises that focus on the abdomen region since that is where the fat accumulates.  When you do abdominal exercises, they can help tone and flatten your abdomen which is what many of us want. You might want to try doing 60 second long planks, bicycle crunches, abdominal crunches, or leg lifts.  All of these help flatten your tummy.

Finally, throw in some weight and resistance training. This is recommended because muscle burns off more calories than fat when you are at rest. The weight training and resistance training also helps build lean muscle while decreasing the amount of fat in your body.  Suggested exercises include bicep curls, lunges, squats, and tricep kickbacks and you should use weights of 3 to 5 pounds for 12 repetitions and then do a second set with higher weights and fewer repetitions for maximum benefits.

No matter what, do not overtrain or your body will produce too much cortisol which is a hormone associated with belly fat and if you overtrain, you'll find it harder to get rid of belly fat.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend.

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