Guest Author - Terri Johansen
So you want to get rid of muffin top fast and lose unsightly belly fat. This article will explain how to lose belly fat with exercise. Besides looking good there are many health reasons to be concerned about excess belly fat. Exercising to reduce belly fat is often misleading. While abdominal exercises will strengthen your core there is little they will do to directly contribute to losing belly fat.
There are two types of fat responsible for belly fat. Visceral fat is dangerous and hides out deep within the body. Because of its close proximity to the internal organs it can be the cause of some diseases.
You may be more familiar with the term subcutaneous fat. This layer of fat sits between the skin and abdominal wall and is visible, often called “muffin top”. You can do hundreds of crunches but that is not the answer to getting rid of belly fat and keeping it off for good. Exercise is one of the main ways to get rid of belly fat, but let’s talk about some other recommendations first.
•The hormone cortisol is released by the body when you are in stressful situations. Cortisol is directly related to the condition of excess belly fat.
In order to keep the production of Cortisol at bay be sure to get plenty of sleep. Throughout the day take some time to relax and unwind. Use deep breathing techniques and close your eyes, even if it is for just a few minutes.
•Make sure you are drinking 64 ozs. of water per day, usually in 8-8oz. servings.
•Exercise alone cannot control belly fat, your diet must contribute. Get rid of excess sugar, processed snack foods, and try to eat as healthy as possible. What you eat plays a major role in reducing belly fat.
There have been many studies regarding the most effective form of exercise to decrease belly fat, most recently is the study by, Cris Slentz, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. Slentz states “if you are overweight or mildly obese and want to lose fat--belly fat, visceral fat, liver fat-- vigorous aerobic training is better than resistance training.” Slentz’s study appears in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism.
Slentz and his team set out to prove what is the most effective exercise for losing belly fat. In his research he focused primarily on the deep visceral layer of fat. The study consisted of three groups: group one was an aerobic training group; group two was a resistance training group; and group three was a combination of aerobic and resistance training. Here are the results of the three groups:
•The aerobic training group lost the most visceral fat.
•The combination group lost more overall belly fat than the aerobic group, but less visceral fat was lost.
•The resistance training group had the least overall belly fat loss. They lost some subcutaneous fat but actually gained a slight amount of visceral fat.
The loss of visceral fat may not be as obvious on the surface of the body but it plays a very important role in the prevention of disease. Visceral belly fat is associated with health risk such as cirrhosis, heart disease, and diabetes.
The research study findings were based on participants exercising at a vigorous pace. However there is research that affords similar results can be achieved even at a more moderate pace. Slentz says, “What really counts is how much exercise you do, how many miles you walk and how many calories you burn. If you choose to workout at a lower aerobic intensity, it will simply take longer to burn the same amount of unhealthy fat.”
He also says, “resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass, but aerobic exercise is better for losing belly fat because it burns more calories.” In the study aerobic training burned 67% more calories than resistance training. However, researchers point out that as we are an aging community it is important to maintain our strength. Strength affects our quality of life and our choices to live independently.
So in conclusion aerobic activity is best for decreasing overall belly fat, however in the long run adding resistance training to your workouts will keep your bones stronger, longer.
Always check with a medical professional before starting any new exercise activity. Be healthy, be happy!
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