Top 5 Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat
A study shows that 34% of the population above the age of 20 is obese in the United States alone. Obesity is the latest known epidemic. In an obese individual, abdominal fat poses the greatest risk.
strong>Belly fat has been associated with increased risk of heart disease. A study showed that a 14 cm increase in waist size shot up the risk of heart disease by 30%. In this situation, it becomes important to devise a strategy to target abdominal girth.
The recommended waist size for men is under 37 inches and for women is under 32 inches.
Causes of Belly Fat
What causes belly fat? Is it due to food, beer, lack of exercise or is it hereditary? These are the common questions that people tend to ask. Many factors are responsible for belly fat like:
- Other health conditions
- Lack of exercise
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Slow metabolism
Why is Belly Fat Dangerous?
Fat gets stored in the body either under the skin or around the belly. The former fat type is known as subcutaneous fat and the latter is known as visceral fat. Recent research studies have proved that when compared to subcutaneous fat, the visceral fat poses more threat to the body’s well being.
Top Five Research Facts to Substantiate Why to Lose Belly Fat Fast:
1. Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston found that abdominal obesity is a risk factor for bone loss and osteoporosis in women. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in November 2010.
2. Experts from the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA found that overweight people with excess belly fat and belonging to the age group 20-55 years are at higher risk of developing migraine. The results were presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology held between April 25 to May 2, 2009 in Seattle.
3. The way fat cells get stored in the body parts and behave are different in men and women owing to genetic reasons. This fact was discovered by researchers from the UT Southwestern Medical Center. As a result, fat stored around the belly in men makes them prone to several obesity related complications. Women who have fat stored around the thighs and hips are relatively protected until their menopause.
4. Excess fat around the belly also complicates the effective weight loss surgery meant to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes in morbidly obese people. The National Institutes of Health recommends this surgery for people with BMI between 35-40.
5. Psychologically it is beneficial to lose belly fat fast as a link has been discovered between stress and fat accumulation in this region in experimental monkeys by researchers at the Wake Forest University in 2009.
Health Risks of Belly Fat at a Glance
Visceral fat surrounds abdominal organs and lies deeper in the abdomen. Gaining visceral fat can lead to health risks like the following:
- Heart problems
- High Blood pressure
- Gallbladder problem
- Metabolic problem
- Hormonal imbalance
Top 5 Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat
It is imperative that one tries and loses the belly fat before being affected by the morbid diseases commonly associated with it. The exercises described below would definitely yield results if performed correctly and consistently.
It is extremely important to pull stomach muscles in while working out the abdomen. If you push your stomach out then the muscles will remain weakened. The idea is to tighten those abdominal muscles.
Lie on back with knees bent at a 45 degree angle. Cross arms behind head and form an X. Rest head on the X formed by the hands and keep the neck loose. Focus on the mid riff muscles and use them to prop yourself forward at least 30 degrees from the floor. Suck your belly in and breath normally. Start off with a set of 10, increasing sets with time. This exercise strengthens the upper abdominal muscles.
Lie on your back with hands crossed on chest. Gradually curling up knees, stretch your legs towards the ceiling at 90 degrees from the ground. Lower back legs, feet together towards the ground without touching the exercise mat. Pull them back again at the former right angled position. Repeat as many times as you can without the feet touching the ground in between. Keep your belly button tucked in all the time. This exercise particularly targets the lower abdominal muscles.
3.Do a plank:
This particular exercise is great for building endurance in the ab muscles and tightens them eventually. Support your body weight completely on your elbows and lift the body away from the ground while facing the floor and balancing on toes. Keep back absolutely flat, in line with the head and the heels. Contract the abdominal muscles and hold the position for 30-60 seconds. Lower yourself and repeat for 3-5 times.
4.Draw circles in the air :
Sounds childish, but very effective in targeting those weakened lower abdominal muscles. Lie on your back and bring legs together with feet closed in. Lift both the legs without bending knees. Keep tummy muscles tucked to the core and bring legs up at 45 degrees from the ground. With legs stretched completely and toes pointing in, start drawing circles clockwise in the air. Do not bring legs down and touch the floor in between the circles. Once you are done doing clockwise, do not touch the floor yet. Start doing anticlockwise circles in the air in the opposite direction. Do a set of 5 clockwise and 5 anticlockwise circles in a set to begin with. Repeat as many sets as possible as you adjust to the regimen.
Lie on the floor with your hands resting lightly behind the head. Raise one leg off the ground while curling up the other one and bringing it forward, so that the knee is in the level of the chest. Twist the shoulder opposite to the leg brought forward and bring the elbow closer to the knee. Switch sides and do the same drill. An important point to remember would be to keep the other leg (the one not curled up) suspended during the whole time. Pull stomach in and try to hold the position where the opposite elbow touches the knee for at least 30 seconds.
A slimmer mid riff with reduced belly fat not only helps you to fit into those jeans you wore in college, but subsequently brings down the risk of cardiac diseases.