Was exercise a New Year’s resolution for you?
In today’s post, I will be sharing 5 of the best belly fat burning exercises. Before I get into the exercise specifics, I would like to touch on the fact that January is a month when New Year resolutions are made and one of the most common is losing weight. Many people ask what is the best way to lose weight? They typically do two things, join a fitness program and begin a new diet while their willpower and motivation are high coming into a new year. The one thing that many people fail to realize is that the initial thrust of motivation only lasts so long when we act on willpower alone. This is why many people begin to lose steam and momentum towards the end of January and into February. We also know that people who begin to diet for a period of time achieve weight loss results however many end up gaining some or all of it back just a few months later. This experience is referred to as the yo-yo effect and is also known as weight cycling. Most diets just do not work and are quick, short-term weight loss programs.
What is your big WHY?
In my experience, one must be fully committed to a lifestyle change to achieve lasting results and avoid disappointment. It is wise to consider what our big WHY is for embarking on the mission to make a permanent lifestyle change. The key to a lifestyle change is raising your awareness and consistently making healthier choices with persistent determination and repetition that will lead to strong habits. Your reason WHY has to be so big that it becomes a must so that you become fully committed. Focus on your desired physique, the training and nutrition plan that will get you there, and the benefits such as feeling health, energy, vibrancy, and vitality. You also want to focus on releasing fat instead of losing weight and then sustaining your new shape and way of being. Your mind will no doubt resist many times through the early going and the key to sustaining your new training routine and healthy habits is by sticking with it for a least a 10-week period. You want to build consistency, self-confidence, and self-trust during this period which is more important than the intensity and duration of your workouts at first. Once you reach the 10-week mark, your efforts will begin to feel automatic and you can raise the duration and intensity. The longer you sustain the habit after this point the more likely you will create lasting change.
Subcutaneous fat vs Visceral fat
What is the difference between these two types of body fat? The harmless stuff is referred to as Subcutaneous fat which is that soft layer that sits beneath the skin. The other which is a cause for concern is called Visceral fat. This is the fat that you cannot see which forms deep around your organs. This is the stuff that has been proven to increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. A key indicator is your total percentage of body fat which refers to the proportion of fat relative to lean tissue such as muscle, body water, and organs. This measurement is an indicator of your fitness. The higher percentage of body fat you have, the more likely you are to develop the health issues listed above. I recommend that you have your percentage of body fat measured at a gym or by a dietitian who typically has the proper equipment available.
Body Fat Guidelines (as published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
Age Healthy Body Fat % (Women) Healthy Body Fat % (Men)
20-39 21%-32% 8%-19%
40-59 23%-33% 11%-21%
60-79 24%-35% 13%-24%
Best belly fat burning exercises
Now let us turn our attention to 5 of the best belly fat burning exercises.
1. Burpee – this is one of the more explosive exercises and one that most people dread given the high intensity required to perform the motions. It usually gets people gasping for air when they complete their set which trains them to expand their lung capacity. It is a full-body exercise with combined strength and aerobic training.
2. Mountain Climber – this exercise is also a high-intensity full-body workout. The focus is on increasing your abdominal core strength. While in the high plank position you also train your shoulders and upper back while moving your quads and glutes.
3. High Knees – This is one of my personal favorite exercises that push you to the edge of your comfort zone to expand your lung capacity. It too engages your abs and strengthens your leg muscles while getting your heart rate up.
4. Knee Strikes – this exercise tones your entire body with a focus on your abdominal which drives each movement particularly with your quadriceps and hamstrings. You begin with your arms above your head and bring them down together and strike each knee and alternate. It is another great aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up immediately.
5. Squat crunch – this exercise is vital for increasing the strength in the lower body muscles while at the same time developing your core. It is performed with a wider stance so you lower the hips from the standing position and as you stand back up you switch and alternate a crunch to the left side followed by the right. Place your hands behind your head so that your elbows are bent outwards.
So are you committed?
These are some of the best fat-burning exercises that focus on your core and I will continue to share more of them in future posts. If you are trying these exercises out for the first time please make sure to take some time to stretch following your training session to prevent pain and reduce lactic acid build-up. It is always best to consult with your family doctor prior to the start of an exercise program particularly if you have a preexisting medical condition.
As I stated earlier, it all starts with considering the reason why you must make a change to your lifestyle. If your must is bigger than why you won’t then you will be well on your way to committing to a healthier lifestyle. If you need a hand on the topic of training and nutrition and are looking for results, I welcome you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a consultation. I wish you success on your path to living a healthy and vibrant life.