How Much Cardio a Day to Lose Belly Fat?

Belly fat, or abdominal fat, is a term used to describe fat accumulations in the lower part of your torso. Fat accumulation in this area is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and high cholesterol. You can reduce your amount of belly fat with moderate amounts of regular aerobic or cardiovascular activity.

Learn the Basics of Belly Fat

Belly fat comes in two basic forms, according to Harvard Medical School. A surface layer of fat, called subcutaneous fat, accumulates between your skin and the muscular wall of your abdomen. A deeper layer of fat, called visceral fat, accumulates in the spaces between and around your organs, and sits inside your abdominal wall. Most of the fat in your belly is visceral. The fat in your abdomen actively changes your body’s hormonal and liver functions, leading to increased disease risks.

Raise Your Heart Rate

Typically, you can begin losing harmful belly fat by engaging in some form of moderate aerobic exercise for 30 to 60 minutes a day, Harvard Medical School reports. Examples of aerobic exercises include walking, bicycling, jogging and swimming. The particular type, amount and intensity of exercise that is suitable for you depends on factors that include your general health, level of physical fitness and specific exercise goals. Before beginning an exercise program, consult your doctor for guidance and advice. You must also, however, reduce your calorie intake. Exercise alone is unlikely to result in fat loss.

Get Moving for Results

Your relative level of aerobic activity will have real-world results. In a study performed by Duke University Medical Center, individuals who performed weekly exercises equivalent to 12 miles of walking or jogging did not experience any increases in harmful visceral fat. Individuals who performed weekly exercises equivalent to 20 miles of jogging actively lost visceral fat, as well as subcutaneous fat. On the other hand, individuals who did not exercise at all for a period of six months added roughly 9 additional percent of visceral fat to their bellies.

Strengthen Your Body

You may be able to increase your loss of belly fat by engaging in strength training exercises such as weight lifting, Harvard Medical School notes. For instance, in a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, overweight or obese women who engaged in an hour of strength training twice a week for two years showed an improved ability to combat belly fat compared to women who did not engage in strength training. These women also experienced close to a 4 percent drop in their overall body fat. Muscle mass elevates your metabolism to help your fight against fat.

Burn Fat and Improve Your Health

In addition to helping you control your levels of belly fat, regular aerobic exercise provides a range of significant potential health benefits. Examples of these benefits include strengthening your heart, improving your stamina, reducing your risk of chronic disease, improving your mood, boosting your immune system and increasing your lifespan. With assistance, you can find appropriate aerobic exercises regardless of your current weight or age.