An hour or two of regular exercises will not only help you achieve a toned stomach but also improve your overall health.
As we grow older, our body tends to undergo changes, like an increase in weight, especially around the waistline. It can also be a side effect of menopause when body fat tends to shift to the abdomen, reports Mayo Clinic. Not just that, it has also been proven that an increase in belly fat can pose several serious health risks.
According to Mayo Clinic, your weight is largely determined by three main factors:
- How many calories you consume during the day
- How many calories you burn off through daily exercise
- Your age
Belly fat includes "visceral fat" which is linked with far more dangerous health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol
- Breathing problems
If you eat too much and exercise too little, you're likely to carry excess weight — including belly fat. But the good news is that it can be dealt with. Regular exercises can help a great deal in reducing your waistline and keeping related diseases at bay. Here are some of the simple exercises that you can do, some at home, to reduce belly fat.
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends a moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, for at least 150 minutes a week or vigorous aerobic activity, such as running, for at least 75 minutes a week, reports Mayo Clinic. But as we age, vigorous cardio seems unlikely. Therefore, jogging is a perfect exercise for those in their middle age trying to lose belly fat. Jogging helps in breaking down fat and is a good cardio exercise for staying fit.
Cardio is one of the best ways to lose flab. Brisk walking is one of the simplest and safest cardio exercises that can help in reducing body fat and also improve your blood rate, heart rate, etc. If you implement a healthy diet plus walking at a good steady pace for about 30-45 minutes four to five days every week or more, you will soon witness a change in your weight and overall health, reports Comparecamp.
Air cycling or the bicycle exercise is nothing but cycling in the air with your legs lifted upwards. It can be done on the floor. Lie down on the ground, lift both your legs up and start cycling. Bring the right knee close to the chest, keeping the left leg out. Then take the right leg out and bring the left leg close to the chest. Alternate bending the knees as if you are using a bicycle. This exercise is an impactful cardio that targets the fat around your belly and core area helping you get a toned and strong core.
Fitness experts are known to swear by crunches or sit-ups when it comes to achieving a flat belly or even abs. A simple set of movements comprise crunches which include lying down on the floor and moving your upper body towards your knees and out. Try to maintain a three-inch distance between your chest and chin so you don’t strain your neck. The focus should be on the belly, not merely the lift. Beginners should try to do 10 crunches per set, and do at least two or three sets in a day, reports Femina. This exercise targets the fat around your belly and also strengthens your core.
Crunches are probably one of the most common exercises recommended for belly fat reduction. It can be done on the floor without anyone's help. For vertical leg crunches, lie down on the floor, hand to your sides and then gently lift your legs upwards. Move your legs close to your body and then move it out, as shown in the video. Vertical leg crunches not only help you tone your belly but also helps in the reduction of thigh flab and strengthens your leg muscles.
This method not only helps in reducing belly fat but it also trains your abdomen muscles and improves posture, reports Femina. It is effectively a stretch pose. To perform stomach vacuum stand up straight with hand on the hips and try to exhale as much air as you can. Then, expand your chest, and take your stomach in as much as possible and hold.