When we think of getting back to shape and knocking off all the extra pounds and the weight that we have accumulated, quite instinctively we imagine our waistline, the way it happens to be right now and the way we would like it to be once we start shedding all the extra kilos. However, it is interesting to note that losing belly fat is one of the most difficult things to do. This is one type of body fat that takes very little time to get accumulated but a lot of time to disappear. You cannot target just your belly at the time of exercising so that just the belly fat melts away. You need to target the whole body, which will also include your belly region. There are various kinds of exercises like weight training, cardio, high-intensity interval training etc. and also a lot of confusion as to which one is best for burning the belly fat.
What are Cardio Exercises?
Cardio exercises are workout regimes that include exercises like brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling and also swimming. These are workout patterns that help the entire body to get more active so that more oxygenated blood is sent to the various parts of the body.(1) This also helps to burn the fat quotient in the body. Cardio exercises also builds the inner stamina of a person and improves the heart beat rate of the person.(2) Experts are of the opinion that if you are eating right then a span of thirty minutes of such exercises on a daily basis can help you see effects and results. However, for all those who want faster results, you can also increase this span up to 60 minutes. However, it is important to take rest in the process as it can be a strenuous and an exhausting regime.
Will Cardio Burn Belly Fat?
To all our surprise, experts of the domain have confirmed the fact that cardio is not the best way you can lose your belly fat. The cardio workout regime seems like a great exercise pattern and it happens to be so since it improves your heartbeat rate, increases the stamina of the body and also helps to melt away the fat in various parts of the body. However, when you are targeting your belly fat especially the cardio exercises do not happen to be the best choice for the task. Exercises like running, swimming, walking and jogging can help you have a better lifestyle but it cannot always help you to shed all the extra fat around your belly. Professional trainers in this context have opined that resistance training happens to be a better choice for the task resistance training that includes high-intensity circuits can do better to burn the belly fat.(3)
Exercises to Burn Belly Fat
Professional experts are of the opinion that a blend of high-intensity interval training or HIIT and that of resistance training is seriously a much more effective way through which belly fat can be burnt.(4) These exercises develop the muscles through strength training, and if you can do it at a fast pace it also increases your heartbeat rate. This resistance training that also increases the heartbeat rate is one of the sure and easy way to burn belly fat.(5) HIIT has been credited to be a more effective form of exercise as compared to cardio exercises since it works on developing muscles.(5)
Cardio, on the other hand, breaks the muscles if overdone. In fact, since you develop more muscles through HIIT, you can burn fat for as long as 48 hours even after you have finished your workout.
Experts opined and advised that the best way to burn belly fat is to make a balanced combination of both cardio and HIIT. It is true that cardio is not the best way through which you can burn belly fat, but it is one of the most important forms of exercise that can develop your overall body strength.(3) This strength is also quite essential at the time of doing resistance and strength training. So you can make a combination of cardio workout thrice a week with resistance training for twice a week.
The fat that accumulates around your belly can be of two types’ subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. The first form is the soft fat that rest just under your skin and the second fat is the type that lies between your organs. Burning the former type is always easier than the latter. Here it is important that you also keep a close check on the calorie intake on a daily basis. This will help you to melt your midsection fat in a more effective manner. It is important to mention that exercise will do its part in the task of burning away belly fat but one also needs to be very careful in terms of what they eat so that the fat can be burnt faster.
- Mersy, DJ. (1991, Jul) Health Benefits of Aerobic Exercise. Postgraduate Medicine. 90(1): 103-7, 110-2. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2062750
- Nystoriak M.A., Bhatnagar A. (2018) Cardiovascular effects and benefits of exercise. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. 5: 135. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6172294/
- Alberga A., Prud’homme D., Kenny GP. et. al. (2015) Effects of aerobic and resistance training on abdominal fat, apolipoproteins and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in adolescents with obesity: the HEARTY randomized clinical trial. International Journal of Obesity. 39:1494–500. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26202452
- Boutcher SH. (2011) High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. Journal of Obesity. 2011:868305. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/
- Nicklas BJ, Wang X, You T, et al. (2009, Apr) Effect of exercise intensity on abdominal fat loss during calorie restriction in overweight and obese postmenopausal women: a randomized, controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 89(4):1043-52. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19211823