Updated: Nov 8, 2020
Let's take a look at walking - not a strenuous excercise - but an effective way to reduce belly fat, and why consistency is key:
Walking consistently is an effective way to get in shape and burn fat.
One of the most dangerous types of fat - and easiest to lose - is belly fat.
Walking helps reduce overall fat.
The key is being consistent and walking in the right heart rate zone to maximize calorie and fat burn!
Targeting belly fat:
Include a well-balanced diet and up your step count consistently. Also take a look at the four ways you can focus your workouts to trim your waist line and burn as much fat as possible:
Aim for the fat burning zone - Walking in the correct heart rate zone is important; This zone is roughly 60-70% of your maximum heart rate and burns about 7-12 calories per minute depending on the person. The way to calculate your maximum heart rate is by subtracting your age from 220, then multiply by 0.6.
E.g A 30 year old will have a maximum heart rate of 190 beat per minute (bpm). To
achieve an intensity of 60%, aim for around 114 bpm.
The intensity is low-moderate, so you want to be consistent and work your way up to a walk long enough to burn fat instead of stored carbohydrates (45-60 minutes).
Try fasted cardio - Engaging in a workout before you have anything to eat or drink in the morning is known as "fasted cardio" or working out in a "fasted state" and is proven to be quite efficient at and teaching your body to burn more fat, as there are less nutrients circulating the body.
Be careful though - Keep your intensity on the low end of the scale for this one - when training beyond a 50% max intensity (of your maximum heart rate) in a fasted state can lead to your body initiating the "anaerobic system" - the body will require glucose as fuel, and if completely absent, can lead to rapid fatigue, nausea, muscle spasm and even damaged muscle tissue.
Mix up your workouts - Your body will eventually adapt to the same routine over time and calorie burn won't be as significant. Try upping the intensity 1-2 times per week, or add in a variety of exercises from cardio to strength training.
Higher intensity workouts place more stress on the body, so it requires plenty of rest in between to avoid injury. No more than 2 sessions per week is the recommendation. Your higher intensity sessions don't need to be as long to acquire some of the same benefits from regular training.
Focus on nutrition - This plays a significant role, and cutting out unnecessary calories is a good way to reduce belly fat. Include plenty of wholefoods (oats, grains, quinoa etc) for long lasting energy, and healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water! Several smaller meals a day instead of the traditional three also helps.
Join me on the "My Fitness Pal" app if you'd like to learn more - go to their blog section to find and read about the original article and Author, Marc Lindsay. This app is a great way to help you track you calorie intake on a daily basis and is full of information for weight loss and nutrition, recipes, inspiration - you can also add your friends, and see what they're doing! Add your step tracker or download the "Map my Ride" for cyclists and "Map my Walk" or "Map my Run", which are all capable of integrating with the "My Fitness Pal" app and records your exercises - and deducts the calories from your calorie goal for the day.