A big flabby belly is one of those things that make women cringe. Sadly, this problem is common among women. A study from the “Journal of the American Medical Association” suggests that more than 30 percent of women are obese. Fortunately, you can get rid of that annoying belly fat by increasing physical activity. Walking is a simple and effective cardio exercise to lose belly fat and keep your body healthy. What's more, it is not as physically demanding as strenuous weight training programs. However, a few walks here and there will not get you the results that you are looking for. You need to use the right techniques.
Warm up. Before walking, set time aside to warm up for about 5 minutes. A brief warmup will help get your blood flowing and make you more physically prepared to start walking. Your warmup should consist of simple exercises such as the standing hamstring stretch, lunges, quadriceps stretch, hip circles and side lunges. Make sure your calves, quadriceps and hamstrings are properly stretched before walking.
Increase the intensity slowly. After warming up, begin walking slowly. As you cover more distances, slowly increase your pace. Strive to walk at a moderate or fast pace. If you feel you that you are not working hard enough, increase the pace further. Walking at a higher pace is important because it helps you burn more calories. Ideally, the pace of which you walk should cause you to sweat or breathe heavier than normal. Try to walk for about 15 to 60 minutes daily. If you have difficulty walking because of poor health, increase the intensity and duration of walking sessions slowly overtime. Doing this gives your body time adjust.
Begin doing more-intense form of cardio, such as jogging and jump rope, after your body is accustomed to brisk walking. Running or jogging at 5 miles per hour burns more than twice as much calories at walking. Walking only burns about 300 calories per hour. Eating just one large doughnut can provide all of the calories you've been trying to burn. Try not to consume more calories than you burn throughout the day. This leads to weight gain.
Supplement your walks with a healthy diet. Walking alone will not help you to lose weight; you also need to nurture good eating habits. Stay away from unhealthy processed foods filled with trans fats and refined sugars. Instead, incorporate healthy foods that are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, dietary fiber and lean proteins into your diet. A healthy diet facilitates calorie restriction and makes it easier to burn belly fat. For example, a 2010 study published by the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” showed that a fiber-rich diet leads to a decrease in waist circumference.
Use different techniques. In order to burn belly fat by walking, you need to be versatile and apt to adapt to various situations. For example, if the weather is extremely hot, cold or rainy, you can try walking on a treadmill instead. If you feel that you have hit a serious plateau, consider taking on much more difficult tasks such as walking uphill or barefoot on the sandy beaches.
- Journal of the American Medical Association: Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Among Us Adults, 1999-2008
- University of California San Francisco Fitness Recreation Center: Daily Stretching Exercises
- MayoClinic.com: Walking: Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Dietary Fiber and Subsequent Changes in Body Weight and Waist Circumference in European Men and Women
- MayoClinic.com: Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour
Juderson Jean-Baptiste has been a professional writer since 2009. His main objective is to provide intuitive and insightful health and tech guides. He has contributed to various publications online, and he is currently the senior editor of LibreHealth.com.