The Best Cardio Exercise to Get Rid of Belly Fat

The Best Cardio Exercise to Get Rid of Belly Fat

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Running is the best fat-burning cardio.

Chad Baker/Jason Reed/Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Grab yourself a pair of running shoes and hit the track or treadmill for the most effective form of calorie-burning cardio: running. Optimize the time you spend running by tailoring your routine around high-intensity training. Running at high-intensity is the most effective method to burn calories and to get rid of stubborn belly fat.

Running is Your Answer

All cardiovascular activities burn calories to some extent, especially when exercising vigorously. However, running at a vigorous-intensity -- either indoors or outdoors -- has the highest potential for burning calories, according to the physical activity compendium published in a 2011 issue of "Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise." Running at or above 10 mph burns more calories and sheds more belly fat than biking vigorously, riding an elliptical machine or attending an aerobics class.

Fat Burning Frequency

Hitting the track or treadmill won't get you far if you don't exercise frequently. To shed excess body fat, aim for five sessions per week, according to the 2008 "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.” Exercising less than three or four days per week may help you maintain your current weight, but five days will kick fat loss into high gear.

It Takes Intensity

An easy stroll on the treadmill isn't going to cut many pounds from your waistline. Intensity refers to how difficult the run is to you. Gauging your intensity during exercise is simple and effective when you use a scale of one to 10. Start out your run with a jog at a difficulty level of five. After a 10-minute warmup, sprint for 30 to 45 seconds at a difficulty level of eight or nine before slowing back down to a walking pace. After two minutes of walking, boost back up for another sprint. Do five sets of sprints with a walk in between each set.

Time to Burn Calories

The time that you spend on cardio is based on your workout intensity. Two minutes of moderate-intensity exercise amounts to the same as one minute of vigorous-intensity exercise, according to the 2008 "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.” For burning belly fat with high-intensity training, aim for 150 minutes per week spread between your workout sessions. It's important to remember your limits when exercising at a high-intensity. If it's Wednesday and your legs are still sore from Monday's workout, cut down the pace to a difficulty level of six or seven to give yourself time to recover. You may need to take the day off from running and cross train on the bike or elliptical.


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