Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
When it comes to exercising to help burn off your belly fat, easy and pain free methods are always popular. This is when walking comes in as it is relatively low impact yet the benefits on health are impressive. How can walking help to get rid of your visceral fat?
Walking is certainly not the most strenuous form of exercise, but it is an effective way to help burn off belly fat.
Walking can help reduce overall fat (including belly fat), which, despite being one of the most dangerous types of fat, is also one of the easiest to lose.
Walking has many great benefits for one’s health including burning calories, strengthening the legs and getting the heart pumping.
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To burn as many calories as possible and maximise your weight loss, experts recommend walking in the correct heart rate zone.
The fat-burning zone is roughly 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate and burns about 7–12 calories per minute depending on the person.
Since walking’s intensity is low to moderate, you’ll want to make sure your workouts are long enough (work your way up to 45 minutes to an hour) so the body burns fat instead of stored carbohydrates which will increase fat burning.
In the beginning of your workouts, sugars and stored carbs are burned first.
When these are depleted, the body becomes more efficient at burning fat as the workout duration increases.
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In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, the effect of walking on abdominal fat in obese woman was analysed.
Woman were randomly assigned to either the control or exercise groups.
Women assigned to the exercise group participated in a walking exercise with an intensity of 50-60 percent, a frequency of three days per week and duration of 50-70 minutes targeting 400 kcal of energy expenditure per session for 12 weeks.
While women assigned to the control group maintained their sedentary lifestyle.
After the 12-week walking intervention, post-test measurements were conducted using the same procedure as the baseline measurement.
With respect to body fat parameters, significant time-by-group interactions were found in the abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissues.
The exercise group had significant reductions in both subcutaneous and visceral adiposity, and the control group had no significant changes in those parameters.
“The current findings suggest that walking exercise can provide a safe and effective lifestyle strategy against abdominal obesity and serum insulin resistance markers in obese women,” concluded the study.
Certified personal trainer at Gold’s Gym, Jackie Vick said: “Through a combination of exercise and diet, you can definitely work to reduce your overall body fat and that includes around the belly area.
“Walking is a great way to reduce body fat and build lean muscle.
“It burns calories and is one of the easiest forms of exercise to incorporate into your fitness regimen.
“To maximise your fat burn from walking, doing ‘fasted’ walking will help.
“This includes starting your walk on an empty stomach.”
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