The desire and need to lose belly fat is not just a matter of vanity, but also a necessity for staying healthy. Abdominal fat is linked to major health issues such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In fact, studies have shown that men with waists greater than 40 inches and women with waists greater than 34 inches have the highest risk of heart disease, especially if the fat is stored around the organs.
Losing Belly Fat
No matter how many twists, side-bends or crunches you do, you will not shred belly fat. Spot reduction seems like it should work, but it doesn’t. You need a well-rounded exercise program that includes cardio and strength training to shrink your belly. Here are some exercises and tips that may help:
- Aerobic activity draws upon fat that is stored for energy. Perform exercises that elevate the heart and breathing rate, such as bicycling, brisk walking, dancing or jogging. If you’re just starting out, five to ten minutes may be all you can do comfortably. Over time, progress up to 30-60 minutes three or four times a week to really see results.
- Exercise also reduces stress and insulin levels. When insulin levels go up, cortisol – another hormone – goes up as well, which makes you more predisposed to storing body fat. Regular exercise is a key factor in reducing stress and maintaining healthy insulin levels.