The Best Cardio Exercise For Beating Belly fat!
We’ve covered the basics on strengthening your abdominals, so that you can protect yourself from injury, back pain, and of course, flaunt a firmer belly. But the path to a flat stomach is a two-parter: In addition to toning the muscles, you’ve got to burn off the layer of fat on top, so that you can actually see the fruit of your labor! Crunches alone aren’t enough; you’ve also got to include the right kind of cardio in your routine. Here’s how:
Learn the facts on fat:
In order to show off a flat stomach, it’s important to first understand the fat that is hiding it. There’s the fat we all know and love (okay, maybe “love” is the wrong word) – the kind that lies just beneath the skin so that we can easily see around our abdomen, thighs, hips and buttocks. That’s called “subcutaneous fat.” And while subcutaneous fat is the kind that plagues us the most, the good news about this kind of belly fat is that you can begin to lose it with proper diet and exercise. What lies beneath, however, is a different story. There’s another type of belly fat – a more dangerous breed – that is marbled into our organs. It’s called “Visceral fat,” and left to its own devices, this type of fat can lead to serious health threats, making us more susceptible to heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 Diabetes, and even certain types of cancer.
Pump Up the Pace Walking Workout for a Flat Stomach
Warm-up: 4 minutes steady state
P.U.P Workout: Go through the full cycle FIVE times
- 90 seconds moderate (level 4-5)
- 90 seconds at level 7 (out of 10)
- 90 seconds recovery (level 3-4)
- 90 seconds level 8
- 90 seconds recovery
- 30 seconds level 8/9
Cool Down: 4 minutes steady
Exercise to the rescue:
While visceral fat might sound pretty scary, here’s the upside: We’ve got a powerful weapon at our disposal to combat those harmful effects, while also achieving that flat stomach: P.U.P. Training. P.U.P. stands for “Pump Up the Pace,” an exercise technique for maximizing your fat-burning results. More on that technique in a moment, but here’s the bottom line: to burst belly fat, you simply can’t underestimate the power of a good workout. According to Kerry Stewart, director of clinical research exercise physiology at Johns Hopkins, “One of the most effective treatments for targeting visceral fat is exercise, maybe more so than diet.” We all know calorie-burning activities are a good thing for our health and our waistline – but when it comes to really changing the shape of our bodies, we’ve got to take those activities (walking, running, cycling, etc.) and we’ve got to up the intensity. So what are the best exercises for a flat stomach? I like to think of three simple letters: P.U.P.
Bursting away the belly fat:
To tap into those deep, dark fat stores and get faster, better results, you’ve got to push yourself a little further in your workouts. The easiest way to do that is to incorporate interval training with my “P.U.P” technique. Intervals, or “burst training,” are cardio exercise that alternates moderately-paced activity with bursts of higher intensity. Not only does this type of training help you start to shed that stubborn visceral belly fat, but it also raises your metabolism and KEEPS it raised for an extended period of time. So you’re essentially turning your body into a calorie-burning machine, even AFTER you’re finished working out. Not to mention that interval training helps you avoid those boredom plateaus by breaking up the monotony of your everyday workouts.
Try P.U.P NOW: Next time you’re out for a walk, try to incorporate some belly-flattening intervals with the “P.U.P” technique:
- Start with a 4-minute warm-up at a steady state pace.
- Next, do a 90 second push, where you’re walking faster and with more intensity (on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being impossibly hard, you should be at a 7 or 8).
- Slow it back down to a moderate pace for a 90-second recovery.
- Repeat that cycle: 90 seconds at a level 7, and 90 second recovery.
- Next, do a 30-second push. This one’s shorter, so really go for broke, and pump it up to an 8 or even a 9. Then recover for 90 seconds.
- Repeat the full cycle a total of 5 times, and finish off with a brief cool down.
FEATURED DVD: Get Kathy Smith’s Super Slimdown Circuit on sale for only $8.99 (one week only). Dvd includes 3 full-workouts, including Functionally Fit – Peak Fat Burning (1996) which is featured in the above video.
Super Slimdown Circuit is a collection of three high-intensity workouts designed to keep you motivated and avoid workout plateaus. Kathy Smith provides the tools needed to burn fat, build endurance, and increase muscle definition.