Remember those vintage cereal commercials that asked if you could pinch an inch? The premise was that if you could pinch an inch of belly fat, you needed to lose it on a diet program that included their vitamin-fortified cereal. A cereal diet may not do the trick, but healthy eating and aerobic exercise can help you lose that stubborn belly fat.
Not many people can say they weigh the same weight they did in high school. Even if the scales haven’t changed that much, your body has altered. Unfortunately, the older we get, the more difficult it is to lose weight and body fat, especially for women.
Why is it that you can see results on the scales when you adopt a healthy diet but still battle stubborn belly fat? Along with a fat-busting eating plan, you also need a fitness regimen tailored for you, like aerobic exercise.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a medicine or a procedure that would magically make your extra fat disappear? However, fat miraculously melting away is only a fantasy. Your body needs a certain amount of fat to insulate your body and to cushion your internal organs.
Medical experts claim that genetics can also be a factor in how many fat cells you carry. Fatty deposits, also known as adipose tissue, vary slightly according to individuals. So, no one burns fat precisely the same.
Fat Differences and Gender
The distribution of adipose tissue often depends on gender and your ancestry. Women tend to store a little more fat cells than men because of their role in childbearing. However, studies show that women often burn more extra fat than men do.
If you’ve always blamed your mother for your problematic hips and behind, realize it’s not all her fault. Fat distribution for women is usually in their lower body, including thighs, buttocks, and the lower abdomen. Men often store their extra fat in their upper abdomen, hence the notorious “beer gut.”
Why is Belly Fat so Complicated?
Even healthy people with leaner bodies still have a protective layer of belly fat, also known as visceral fat. This adipose layer surrounds your internal organs for protection and to maintain warmth. While you do need some of this fat, it’s the extra fat that poses a risk to your health.
Your body has another type of adipose tissue called subcutaneous fat, or the fat under your skin. This is the bothersome fatty deposits on your arms, legs, buttocks, chest, and face. When you diet and exercise, subcutaneous fat seems to melt quicker than stubborn belly fat.
Health Risks of Excess Belly Fat
While you must have some belly fat, the key is to make sure it’s not in excess. Not only does extra belly fat erode your self-esteem, but it can also put you at risk for serious health problems.
Aerobic workouts may help shed unwanted pounds. Have you heard of fatty liver disease and cirrhosis? These dangerous disorders are typically found in the last stages of alcoholism. Sadly, excess belly fat can also put you at risk for fatty liver, even if you don’t drink.
Carrying extra body fat around your belly makes you prone to Type 2 diabetes, cardiac disease, hypertension, and other serious disorders. Overeating, stress, and alcohol abuse are contributors to an overabundance of belly fat. Another factor is the lack of proper exercise.
Say Goodbye to Extra Belly Fat
The good news is that you are not doomed to hold onto your excess belly fat and deal with the health consequences. Making good nutrition and fitness part of your lifestyle can make a big difference. It takes determination and patience, but you will reap the rewards of improving your health and self-confidence.
Have you been dieting and exercising and feel frustrated with those last few pounds of belly fat that won’t budge? Although these fat-burning plateaus are discouraging, they are completely normal. Maybe you need to ramp up your fitness routine and try aerobic exercise combined with weight training.
What is Aerobic Exercise?
Aerobic exercise, also called cardio workouts, has been around for years. These are exercises that vary in intensity to increase your heart rate and intake of oxygen. This process can raise your body’s metabolism to burn fat more efficiently, especially belly fat.
During the 1980s, aerobics came into the limelight. Fitness trainers and some celebrities donned neon leggings and headbands to make videos with pop music. They encouraged everyone to get off the couch and get moving.
You may have some of those old VHS tapes in your attic. While those Hollywood productions seem cheesy and dated now, their premise is still good. Getting your body to move is critical to reset your metabolism.
Any exercise that gets your heart pumping and your lungs bringing in fresh oxygen are considered aerobic. Jogging, bicycling, gymnastics, and even yoga are forms of aerobic movement.
Getting Started on Aerobic Exercise
Before you begin any exercise regimen at home or at the gym, talk to your professional healthcare provider. You can also consult a certified fitness trainer to devise an aerobic exercise plan that’s right for you. Remember that weight training can be beneficial, too.
You needn’t dig out your neon orange leotards from high school to do aerobics. Your preferred aerobic workouts may be gentle or intense, but either can help burn belly fat. The slower-paced workouts will just require more time.
Are you ready to get in shape and feel better about yourself? It just takes 15-20 minutes a day to see results. Here are some aerobic exercises that are combined with weight training that will say so-long to your big belly.
Have you always thought that running was the only way for you to lose weight? However, fitness experts say that a brisk walk for at least 15 minutes a day can boost your fat-burning process. Plus, you won’t have the risks that running takes on your bones and joints.
If you want to take your walking regimen up a notch, you should consider jogging. When jogging, you get an extra boost of oxygen in your system without going into a full run. Walking and jogging burn fat and provide other health benefits.
2. Riding a Bicycle
They say once you learn how to ride a bicycle that you will never forget. If you want to benefit your body and be kind to the environment, why not ride a bike? It’s a powerful aerobic workout that will help burn your extra belly fat.
Commuting by bicycle is commonplace in most European countries. Many of America’s largest cities have designated lanes for people riding their bikes to work. It’s a win/win situation because bicycles don’t expose the environment to fossil fuels like an automobile.
3. Go for a Swim
Swimming is one of the best aerobic workouts for burning fat. It involves working your whole body. You can swim outdoors during warm weather and indoors at any time of the year.
Water aerobics are specialized exercises meant to burn fat, tone your body, and benefit bones and joints. Seniors and those completing physical therapy often swim and do water aerobics because the water’s density makes it easier to move. However, it’s an enjoyable activity for all ages.
4. Get Your Groove Back
Did you know that dancing can significantly trim your waistline? Dancing to music is as old as civilization itself. Whether you waltz, line dance, or breakdance, your body will be moving.
Pump up your favorite tunes and dance by yourself or with your partner. It will increase your heart rate, breathing, and boost your metabolism. Dancing is often part of aerobic workout classes.
5. Cardio Machines
What exercise machine should you choose at the gym for a good aerobic/cardio workout? Pick one that is comfortable for your pace but still makes you work. For a low impact but beneficial session, try the treadmill and walk your way to a healthy body.
If you want a higher impact workout that will really make your fat burn, do some time on a rowing machine. It involves your whole body as if you were rowing on the water. Stair steppers and spin bikes also provide high energy workouts essential for fat burning.
6. Jumping Rope
When you think of jumping rope, your mind probably goes back to playground games in elementary school. While that was good exercise, you can graduate to a sports jump rope. You often see boxers and other professional athletes jumping rope to stay in good shape.
With a quality jump rope and a comfortable pair of shoes, you can jump your way into a thinner belly. Jump for 10-15 minutes at a speed that is comfortable for you. Your goal is to increase your heart and breathing rate.
These are just a few of the exciting aerobic exercises that you can combine with lifting weights. Most don’t require individual workout machines and can be done at home. When you incorporate aerobic exercise into your fitness regimen, the only thing you must lose is stubborn belly fat.