Visceral fat increases a person’s risk of developing various health conditions, such as hypertension and heart disease. Which exercise is the best at reducing levels of this harmful belly fat?
Researchers from the Duke University Medical Centre have discovered the best type of exercise to cut levels of visceral fat.
Their eight-month study compared how much visceral fat was lost due to aerobic exercise, resistance training or both.
Documenting 196 people, they found aerobic exercise to be the most efficient and effective way to lose the harmful belly fat.
Published in the American Journal of Physiology, lead author physiologist Cris Slentz, Ph.D. said: “Our study sought to identify the most effective form of exercise to get rid of that unhealthy fat.
“[If] you want to lose belly fat, aerobic exercise is the better choice because it burns more calories.”
The study revealed aerobic exercise burned 67 percent more calories than resistance training.
The aerobic group performed an equivalent of 12 miles of jogging per week at 80 percent maximum heart rate.
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The resistance group, on the other hand, performed three sets of eight, 12 repetitions, three times per week.
“What really counts is how much exercise you do, how many miles you walk and how many calories you burn,” Slentz said.
“If you choose to work at a lower aerobic intensity, it will simply take longer to burn the same amount of unhealthy fat.”
Examples of aerobic exercise include anything that gets your heart pumping.
There are free aerobic workout videos to follow on the NHS website, which include dancing.
And aerobic exercises, also known as cardio, include spinning, running, swimming and hiking.
By repeatedly moving large muscles in the arms, legs and hips, breathing will get become rapid.
This maximises the amount of oxygen in your blood, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Additionally, the body will release endorphins – natural painkillers – which will promote an increased sense of wellbeing.
If you’re new to moderate-intensity exercise, it’s best to start off slowly.
Also, if you have any current health conditions, do discuss your plans to exercise more with your doctor who can advise you further.
The NHS state: “Aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still.”