Before we start blasting it, let’s get one thing straight – every healthy person has stomach fat. Anyone who doesn’t have it would not be considered medically healthy at all. Problems arise when you have too much of it, and can occur depending on the type of fat you have in that mid-section. The bad news is, stomach fat is one of the most difficult areas to shed those unwanted centimeters… but not impossible. Check out these exercises for stomach fat that will help you tone and flatten your core!
Why Is Stomach Fat So Hard To Shed?
It’s important to get your head around the ins and outs of stomach fat in order to shed it. The belly is one of those problem areas that can be extremely difficult to tone and trim, and sit-ups alone won’t cure that! The reality is, sit-ups on their own or ‘miracle diets’ just don’t work – especially not in the long-term.
If you’ve read many of my articles, I’ll be sounding like a broken record by now, but it’s important to drill in again that a holistic approach to health, and an overall lifestyle change, is essential when trying to achieve a healthy physique and maintain it. It involves a number of essential changes, but it’s not as scary as it sounds. In fact, most of it comes down to good old-fashioned commonsense, with a little bit of knowledge around nutrition and muscles thrown in there. Don’t worry though – I’m going to guide you through all that. But first, let’s look at why the belly is one of those areas prone to stubborn fat storage…
There are two layers of fat in the body – some is right under your skin, called ‘subcutaneous’ fat, and some is around the heart, lungs, liver and other organs. That deeper fat is called ‘visceral’ fat, and can become the bigger problem. While you do need visceral fat to cushion your organs, too much of it can cause high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. When too much fat builds up in the body, it starts getting stored in unusual places, and the stomach is one of those go-to areas. Too much visceral fat is more harmful than subcutaneous fat, but the good news is, it is also easier to lose than subcutaneous fat. The Doctors explain it pretty well…
The Importance Of Nutrition
Exercise is not everything… In fact, it’s not even most things. Nutrition has to be a major player in toning the body and trimming fat. While no one exercise, type of food or ‘trick’ diet is going to magically blast away that stubborn stomach fat, it is still a much simpler concept and process than you probably realize. It comes down to reducing your overall body fat percentage, because the belly is generally the last, or one of the last, places that stored energy (fat) will be used by the body when you’re losing weight. And again, this is where that overall healthy approach, or lifestyle change, comes into play. The good news there is that you can do that naturally, without starving yourself, working out to the point of physical exhaustion, or buying expensive ‘fat blasting’ exercise equipment.
Nutrition plays a key role because the amount of calories you consume, and, more importantly, the types of calories you consume, relate directly to fat storage in the body. We’ve written a number of in-depth articles around this topic that can help you understand the bigger picture and how to eat sensibly. This one takes you through what not to do (and you will find some things in here that you probably have done!), and here you will find how to reduce your calorie intake without feeling hungry or becoming obsessed with food.
The Importance Of Exercise
Sit-ups are back in fashion! The vintage core exercise of crunching is definitely beneficial, and if you do them every day or every second day, then some of those ab muscles will be hard as a rock! However, they are certainly not the only exercise for toning the belly, and unfortunately they don’t target those important lower abdominal muscles (where all the belly fat tends to hang!), so you need to add some other exercises to your stomach fat blasting routine as well. Even so, none of it involves over-priced equipment and all of it can be done at home. The only thing we’d suggest you get is an exercise ball. However, again, that’s not essential – all of these exercises can be achieved without one!
The key to any weight loss, including the stomach area, is variety. It’s important to cover all the essentials in health and fitness – cardio, strength, stretching and relaxation (as well as nutrition, which we’ve already covered). Without an overall level of fitness and movement, those abdominal exercises will make your core stronger, but they won’t get rid of all the fat! You need to be exercising every day.
But, Don’t Overdo It…
That doesn’t mean a strenuous high intensity workout and these core exercises every day. What it does mean is humans should be active every day. That could be achieved by a brisk 30-minute walk on days you’re not working out at the gym. It could mean walking to and from work every day. As long as your heart rate is increased every day, then that is your base for your fitness routine. You can then add to that three or four days of strength training in some form or another, which can include our abdominal exercises.
Yoga or Pilates are also fantastic for strengthening and flattening the stomach, but go for a vinyasa flow or power yoga class if that is your aim. Anything else you enjoy – whether it be swimming, team sport, cycling, surfing or running – can also be added to the mix. Just make sure you are getting a mix!
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