You're fed up with that pesky bit of belly fat that never seems to disappear, and you've decided the time is now to do something about it. Aerobic exercises, including those that work your upper and lower body, are an effective place to start. These exercises burn calories quickly to help you reduce fat throughout your body, including around your stomach.
Spot Reduction Myth
Your plan to work your upper and lower body to burn the fat around your middle might indicate you're already familiar with the spot-reduction myth. Many people, however, aren't. Working your extremities will help you burn your belly fat just as quickly as exercising your core muscles. Spot reduction, which indicates you'll burn the fat exclusively around a muscle when you exercise that muscle, is a common fitness myth.
Regardless of how you enjoy exercising, it's not difficult to find exercises that work your upper and lower body and burn calories quickly to result in fat loss. If you enjoy exercising in the privacy of home, consider jumping jacks or jumping rope. Those who prefer the fresh air and sunlight of an outdoor workout can choose among jogging, walking, in-line skating and swimming, each of which requires the use of your upper and lower body working in harmony. In a gym, go for a run on the treadmill or use an elliptical trainer.
When your workout goal revolves around fat loss, select exercises that burn calories as quickly as possible to help you create the calorie deficit necessary to burn fat. A 155-pound person will burn 372 calories in 30 minutes of jumping rope, 298 calories in 30 minutes of running at 5 mph, 409 calories in 30 minutes of swimming the front crawl and 335 calories during a half-hour workout on an elliptical trainer.
When you create a 3,500-calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume, you'll lose 1 pound of fat. Since this pound will be distributed across your body, you might not notice an immediate change in your amount of belly fat. The key to successful weight loss is consistently creating a calorie deficit to steadily lose weight. MayoClinic.com recommends setting a goal of losing 1 to 2 pounds of fat per week; if you plan to work out daily, this fat loss requires a daily calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories. If you keep your body in calorie deficit mode, you'll eventually begin to see belly fat loss.
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- ExRx.net: Fat Loss & Weight Training Myths
- CNN Health: 10 Exercise Myths That Won't Go Away
- Hussman Fitness: Caloric Deficits and Fat Loss
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- MayoClinic.com: Weight Loss: 6 Strategies for Success
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images