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Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat: Low Impact Workout And More

Updated on February 28, 2012

Belly fat is not only unpleasant looking, it is the most dangerous type of fat stored on the body. It is known as visceral fat. The metabolic activity of belly fat triggers inflammatory reactions causing oxidation, leading to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes further damage leading to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease.

The best way to burn belly fat involves a combination of resistance and cardiovascular training. The workout should begin with 20 minutes of resistance training. This is the time needed for the body to switch from glucose burning mode to fat burning mode. Many people choose to engage in an intense cardio workout believing it is the fastest way to lose weight. Often these individual don’t get the results they expect and can’t understand why. The problem is that a high intensity workout will not allow the body to switch from glucose burning mode to fat burning mode unless the individual is very fit. In most cases, people who is trying to get rid of belly fat are not fit and cannot switch to fat burning mode. When this is the case, a low impact cardio workout is the most effective belly fat burner.

You may be wondering why you can’t just perform the low impact cardio workout until you switch into fat burning mode. Building and targeting muscle is extremely important for effective and long term belly fat loss. As we increase our muscle mass we effectively boost our metabolism long term which permanently increases fat burning. Not only will resistance training increase the rate of fat loss, it will make it much easier to keep it off.

Although cardio exercises should not be intense, they will require a fair amount of effort. Choose a program that you can stick with and enjoy long term because it is going to take several months to a year to reach your goal.

At least one resistance training exercise should target the abdominal muscles. The most effective exercises are the long arm crunch, ball crunch, reverse crunch and plank. Effective cardiovascular exercises include stationary bike, cycling, jogging and stair master. Remember that if your workout is too intense you will not be able to switch from glucose burning mode to fat burning mode. To burn belly fat performing any of these exercises, you should be able to carry on a conversation while working out. If you find you don’t have enough breath to talk when working out, then you lower the intensity of your workout.

Twenty minutes of low impact aerobics in fat burning mode will immediately begin to work on abdominal fat as well as other areas of fat accumulation. Individuals who have condition themselves over time will be able to benefit from high-impact aerobics and remain in fat burning mode, enabling them to burn the maximum amount of calories possible. Whether you are burning fat using low impact or high impact aerobics your belly fat below the skin and muscles will begin to burn away and your muscle mass will begin to increase.

Combining resistance and aerobic training alone is not enough to reach your goal. To effectively reduce belly fat, a healthy diet is necessary. Fast foods and processed foods must be avoided because they are low in fiber and high in simple carbohydrates that turn to stored fat shortly after consumption. Animal products such as dairy products and red meat should be limited.

The typical North American meal consists of a large percentage of meat and dairy and a small percentage of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds. A meal with high percentage of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, nuts and seeds and a low percentage of meat and dairy will increase fiber content, creating a feeling of fullness with less food, increase antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are all important for the reduction of belly fat.

With a little patient effort, the combination of resistance training, aerobic exercise and healthy diet will inevitably lead to a firm, flat stomach and a healthier body.


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    • Venus Cow profile image

      Shirley Yanez 6 years ago from UK

      Hello from the UK. Great insight as one in four here are now obese, making themselves ill with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease etc. and causing our socialised healthcare system to collapse. Exercise is great but when are more people going to get it, the only way to lose weight is, as you say, to EAT LESS.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Science is telling us now that women with waists in excess of 35" and men in excess of 40" are a high health risk. Belly fat is more than appearance, it is a visual indicator that we are not healthy.

      Too many people believe belly fat is lack of resistance training - you made it very clear it is both resistance and cardio. This is critical to understanding our health.

    • profile image

      Egwu Izim 6 years ago

      Great stuff. It pays to be well informed. Perfect combination for optimum fat burning program. Thanks for the information.

    • Pamela Sarzana profile image

      Pamela Sarzana 6 years ago from northern Indiana

      I understand better why it takes so long to get into "Fat burning mode" now. Good Hub!

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      Hey, I can now do a few pull-up crunches thanks to a popular program that involves what Steve says here but as usual my diet could be better with more dark green vegetables.

    • Megavitamin profile image

      Megavitamin 7 years ago

      Great hub! Plenty of useful information. Thanks :0)

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 7 years ago from Washington MI

      This was something I didn't know. I try to keep pretty informed about exercise and training. I bicycle daily and use a trampoline for my aerobic exercise. And do crunches with stretch bands for my abs and hips. It is good to know I am in the fat burning mode. Thank you for the useful hub. I will pay even more attention now.