If the first thing that comes to your mind is sit-ups, think again!
Excess abdominal fat is correlated with a number of health conditions, from diabetes to inflammatory diseases. Abdominal fat cells release a hormone called adiponectin, which may disrupt cells’ ability to respond to insulin properly. These fat cells also release cytokines, which are inflammatory chemicals. They can cause high cholesterol levels, since substances from abdominal fat easily transfer to the liver and disrupts normal cholesterol production regulation in the organ.
How to lose belly fat and minimize these health risks? If sit-ups and crunches come to mind, think again! Those targeted ab exercises, and the gimmicky machines and devices based on them, will strengthen your superficial abdominal muscles but won’t get rid of the visceral fat over them. The fastest ways to lose belly fat may surprise you.
You don’t have to become a marathon runner to lose body fat, but you do need to get that heart rate up. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day may do the trick. Remember, cardio comes in many forms – a workout routine, walking, jogging, swimming, chores, or gardening.
Pump up your cardio with music! The Top 10 Pandora Stations for Workouts will get you moving faster.
MORE: 5 Steps to Become a Morning Exerciser
2. Weight Train
Strength-building workouts burn fat and turn it into muscle. They are a great complement to cardio. Break up your cardio with some strength-training sets for variety.
3. Eat Clean
Follow the classic dietary advice – favor complex carbs (fruits, vegetables, whole grains), polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and lean proteins in your diet. Eat regular and reasonable portions. Our Whole Food Shopping List can help.
While you’re losing belly fat, it’s a good idea to also work on strengthening muscles of the whole core (back, pelvis, buttocks, and stomach). Performing bodyweight exercises such as bridges, planks, and bird-dogs will give you a strong core, and you can modify these exercises to be more advanced once you have built foundational strength. The core muscle group is extremely important to posture and body mechanics.
MORE: Fitness 101: Absolute Beginner’s Workout
For more fitness advice, Like our Facebook Fitness page. Our Youtube channel features several exercise videos to help you get strong. For more help on the eating end of thing, check out our Skinny Ms. Recipe Collection eBook.
Is a 20 min. HIIT workout equivalent to lets say a 30 min. interval walk/jog on the treadmill?
Ashley, No, it is not. The interval workout will burn more calories.