Cardio exercises for a flat stomach

by Alex Chris on April 6, 2012 · 0 comments

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It seems like everyone I talk to wants to lose weight from their stomach. This is not a surprise since the belly is a very common place for our bodies’ to store fat.  And you can bet TV infomercials see this too, just about every day you can see new products showcasing men and women with six pack abs and promising super-fast results with minimum effort.

Nevertheless, do any of these magical machines actually work?  The answer is simply no, and even if they did, they are not the most efficient way to drop fat off your mid-section.  To lose your stubborn stomach fat, you need to burn fat from all over your body. Once you start noticing your overall weight dropping, you will be sure to notice your pants getting looser, your stomach will get flatter, and your abs may even show. But you will have to lose weight from all over your body to be sure you hit the stubborn fat stored around your stomach.

In fact, for most people the fat stores around their stomach will be the last place they start to lose. For example, I can be very lean and still hold a little weight around my mid section, just because that is where my body naturally stores fat. Many of my clients have this same issue as well, and I always recommend them just starting a good weight loss program and yes eventually they all get flat stomachs.

What is a good program for losing belly fat?

However, what does this kind of program involve? Besides eating correctly and possibly weight training, there is also another important tool to consider when losing weight (and fat) and this is no other than cardio exercises.  Cardio can be anything from walking around the block to swimming in the pool or biking in the countryside. Cardio simply means any form of exercise that raises your heart rate higher than normal, thus causing you to burn more calories. Burning more calories than you consume per day will cause your body to tap into its existing fat stores, such as around your thighs, hips, or stomach.

Which type of cardio is best?

Honestly, it all comes down to what you like, as long as you like what you are doing it is a good choice.  Whether you like long distance running, swimming, or riding a bike that is up to you, however I did include a helpful list of common exercises and how many calories they burn on average per hour

Calories (Kcal) Burned According to Your Weight

Exercise130lbs155lbs180lbs200lbs
Walking 2mph148176204233
Walking 4mph295352409465
Weightlifting177211245279
Swimming354422490558
Running 8mph79795011031256
Jumping Rope472563654745
Cycling, 10mph354422490558
Karate Classes590704817931
Hiking413493572651

 

You can always use our free fitness journal to find and log your exercise and activity plan.

As you can see these are all great forms of cardio training, although weightlifting has lower calories burned then something like walking, I think it is very important to incorporate in your schedule at least 3 times a week.  Also, who knew something as simple as jumping rope could be so effective at burning calories?  That is even with my numbers being on the conservative side, experts say you can burn over 1000 calories an hour by jumping rope intensely. Not to mention swimming, I remember Michael Phelps said when he did Olympic training he had to eat 8000 calories a day to fuel his swimming. Which is very believable considering you can burn 500+ calories an hour just swimming at your own pace, his intense training was probably easily burning 1000 or more, keeping him slim no matter how much he ate..

My main point is, if you are looking at cardio as a tool to burn calories and lose body fat, make sure your training is not one-dimensional, include large varieties of training to keep it fun.  Maybe making “Swimming Saturdays” or “Walking Wednesdays” a common practice in your household.  Some people perform cardio everyday, but for actual cardio training, I recommend starting at 2-3 days a week, then working your way up from there.

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Alex Chris
About the author

Alex is editor-in-chief of Calorie Secrets. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can also contact Alex for any comments or suggestions about the web site.

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