With the advances in technology these days, going to the office may be as easy as turning on the computer and logging on to a network. With the majority of white collar work already accessible through the internet and mobile systems, more and more people no longer find it necessary to get up from their couches in order to get things done. Although these tools help us from accomplishing our tasks more easily, it has also created a generation of people who live a sedentary lifestyle. This inactive lifestyle has led to a host of health-related problems.
A “pot belly”, “beer belly”, or “apple shaped” figure is most associated with an inactive lifestyle combined with overeating, and has been strongly correlated to the risk for cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and myocardial ischemia, as well as insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. Recent studies have shown that reducing the amount of belly fat can significantly reduce the risk of acquiring these life-threatening diseases. Although there are numerous ways to reduce the amount of fat in the stomach area, the top five belly fat exercises and stomach-busting measures are enumerated and discussed herein.
1. Cardiovascular exercise.
There is no substitute for this old-fashioned activity. Sit-ups and crunches may make your abdominal muscles tighter but you have to get rid of the exterior flab first so that your abs will show. Researchers have found out that as little as a 20-minute daily cardiovascular exercise can do wonders to burn calories and melt away body fat. Jogging, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, jumping rope, and even dancing can all do wonders to trim down not only that stubborn stomach area but most other body fat as well.
2. Strength-training sessions.
Once you have rid yourself of the surface fat, regular strengthening exercises can help you lose those remaining flab from your waist area. This is the part where targeted belly fat exercises come in. Abdominal crunches, stomach twisting, hip raise, leg lifts, air cycling, reverse crunches, and hanging leg raise are just some of the “spot exercises” that one can do to really define those abdominal muscles.
3. Learn to relax.
Scientists have recently studied the effects that stress has on body fat and has found a direct correlation between the two. Cortisol levels in the blood are found to be elevated when the body is exposed to stress and this then produces insulin resistance, causing a craving for fats and sugary food. Instead of worrying, why not try to read a book, listen to soothing music, or do yoga.
4. Refrain from cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol drinking.
Nicotine and alcohol are major stressors to the body, thus increasing hormone cortisol levels.
5. Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet.
Carbohydrates are easily broken down to glucose which is the body’s major source of fuel. Because they are so easily digested, the body feels hungry again in only a short span of time. Proteins, on the other hand, are not easily processed and can thus provide more energy over a longer period, decreasing the need to constantly feed. It is also recommended to have a water intake of about 1.5 to 2 liters a day, and to have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.