Forget crunches and treadmills. The secret to a slimmer waistline may start in the gym, but cruising through your cardio session isn’t doing you (or your tummy!) any favors. As a matter of fact, science says that interval training may be more effective at banishing your belly fat, instead. (No gym membership? Here’s how to flatten your belly without a lick of exercise.)
Greek researchers recruited participants to perform four hour-long workouts every week, which included 40 minutes of strength training. For the additional 20 minutes, one group ran on treadmills, while the other group performed body-weight intervals.
After eight weeks, the researchers measured the participants’ waistlines. Those who performed body-weight intervals lost two inches of belly fat; meanwhile, the runners lost less than one inch, according to the final report. These foods fight belly fat, too.
Alternating high-intensity workouts with lower-intensity ones increases the amount of calories you burn for the rest of the day, researchers say. How? Short, intense intervals withdraw oxygen from your body rapidly, forcing it to work overtime to get your O2 back to normal levels. Although you might burn the same amount of calories regardless, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day through interval training. Translation: “The harder and longer you go, the more calories you’ll burn later,” Craig Ballantyne, M.S., Master Certified Turbulence Trainer, told Men’s Health.
As a bonus, intervals allow you to focus on different muscle groups as you switch between exercises, which gives certain muscles time to recover while you fire up others. Get started with these 8 exercises that will flatten your belly, without a single crunch.
[Source: Men’s Health]