Getting older really takes a toll on your figure. Your skin sags, your bottom expands, and your waistline ceases to exist.
For men, it can seem almost inevitable that the taut six-pack abs you had in your teens will slowly warp into a huge, flabby potbelly. Right?
Unfortunately, you can’t just blame Mother Nature on this one. Your diet and how much you exercise has a big bearing on the size of your paunch! Download This Article as PDF
You also can’t just ignore it. Even if you’re not planning on wearing Speedos on the beach any time soon, the problems associated with a beer gut are a lot more serious than aesthetics.
Extra fat around the midsection is a serious health risk. The larger your waist, the more likely you are to develop problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome. It can even increase your risk of cancer.
Subcutaneous And Visceral Fat
You see, there are two kinds of belly fat: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
Subcutaneous fat is on the outside of the abdominal wall, while visceral fat is on the inside. Although subcutaneous fat is the one that hangs out over your shorts, visceral fat is the one that’s generally believed to be the most harmful. Extra visceral fat is associated with far more health risks than “outer” fat, although neither are good.
Basically, the bigger your gut, the shorter your life expectancy.
Losing weight from your belly doesn’t have to be difficult, or even painful. It’s just a matter of doing it in a way that allows your body to use up that belly fat quickly and efficiently.
And you’re in luck – because there’s a scientifically-proven method for doing it. In fact, you could lose a belt size every two weeks.
The secret is in interval training.
Many people think that going on a long, slow jog is a good way to keep their weight down. Unfortunately, low-impact activity like this isn’t going to burn excess fat.
A new study by Greek sports scientists has found that high-intensity interval training can burn belly fat significantly faster than steady cardio.
The study followed 39 participants who worked out for an hour four times a week. Every participant did 40 minutes of strength training. Then 23 were separated into another group who ran for 20 minutes on a treadmill. The remaining 16 participants did 20 minutes of body-weight interval training, such as squats and push-ups. This interval training was performed twice a week as high-intensity interval training, and twice a week as regular gym training.
After eight weeks, physical fitness parameters were tested, as well as fat composition. And the results were astounding.
Those who did cardio and then ran on a treadmill had lost less than an inch. Those who did cardio and then body-weight interval training had lost TWO INCHES of belly fat.
The researchers concluded that this kind of interval training contributes to the body’s “afterburn” effect. It’s just a matter of alternating high-intensity workouts with lower-intensity workouts.
Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. It’s all about maximizing your body’s ability to burn fat.
You see, when you push your body through a short, hard interval workout, you breathe harder and faster than if you were just plodding on a treadmill. This quickly depletes your body’s oxygen stores. As a result, your body is forced to work harder afterward restore all that oxygen. to
While it might seem like you’ve burned a few calories on your jog, you actually burn much more after an interval session.
The more you push yourself, the greater the rewards. Harder, faster intervals mean your body will continue burning calories long after you’ve finished working out.
Here’s the best way to burn that belly!
Personal trainers recommend intervals which alternate between exercises that work for different muscle groups. This means you’ll be allowing one set of muscles to recover while you focus on others. This makes it easier to increase the intensity of your workout without tiring yourself out too quickly.
It’s also the most effective way to turn your body into a fat-burning machine!
There are five basic bodyweight exercises you start doing NOW to maximize your daily calorie burn. Tack these onto your cardio workout and you’ll be on the road to slimmer, healthier waistlines.
- Goblet squats using a dumbbell
- Kettlebell swing
- Split squats
- Dumbbell single-arm row
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Trainers recommend doing as reps as possible of each exercise for 30 seconds. Then rest for 15 seconds, and move on to the next exercise. After completing all five exercises, rest again for 30 seconds. That’s one round. Your goal should be to do three rounds!
As for the size of the weights you use, try starting with 50% the maximum weight you can lift, and see how your first session goes. If you find it easy enough, increase the weights by around 2-4kg. If it was too hard, reduce the weights.
After a few weeks, your strength will increase anyway - so you’ll find that you’ll need to up your weights.
As always, we at Healthy Tips recommend seeking the assistance of a qualified personal trainer before embarking on a new exercise program.
Now, get to work! Find new Healthy Tips here.