Okay, the month of June is almost over and we are rapidly approaching Independence Day here in America. And if you are still trying to lose your belly fat, you are not alone. In fact, for most people, if you are wanting a swimwear body you should stay on top of it even though it is too late for those with excessive belly fat. If you want a fit and trim body for summer beach weather, begin working on it for next year. And keep it up over the fall, winter, and spring months.
We get asked all the time about the best exercises to achieve a flat tummy. It seems that Fork Put Downs hasn’t worked for a lot of people. Chair Push Backs from the dining room table has also not achieved the desired results for a good amount of people either. And with people also believing that exercise can beat an appetite, those people will fail also.
So, you may be wondering what single exercise is best for a flat tummy? If you guess the following exercises, you are wrong.
- Sit Ups – if you have a large belly, you are likely to not be able to do enough of them to burn the amount of calories needed for a flat belly.
- Crunches of every variety – surely Crunches will work. Everywhere we look, we can see evidence of people who do Crunches having a flat belly. But, there is more to the story.
- Hanging Leg Raises – nope, they won’t do the trick either.
- Lying Leg Raises? Keep guessing, you are not in the ballpark yet.
- Planks – sure, everyone knows that planks will create a belly that others will envy, right?
I could keep going with a list of exercises that will produce a flat belly, but for this purpose, the list above is enough to make the point. Each of the above exercises will indeed build up those abdominal muscles, but it doesn’t matter if they are still smothered in fat. You can do all of those exercises that I have just given you, but if your nutrition is not on point, all that you will accomplish is hypertrophy in your abdominals which will cause that belly to stick out even further.
There is one exercise which everyone can do unless they have become immobile as a result of morbid obesity, illness, and accidents which has left the body damaged. This exercise that I am going to share with you is something that you can do even if you are over 400 pounds and completely out of shape. But, only do this with the approval of your doctor as we do not want anyone to sue us for personal injury after advocating the single best exercise that almost anyone who is too heavy and out of shape can do.
I believe that we all know that a combination of physical activity and cutting calories seems to help with weight loss more than does exercise alone.
Physical activity, such as walking, is important for weight control because it helps you burn calories. If you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, you could burn about 150 more calories a day. Of course, the more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you’ll burn.
However, balance is important. Overdoing it can increase your risk of soreness, injury and burnout. If you’re new to regular exercise, you may need to start out with short walks or walking at a light intensity, and gradually build up to longer walks or more moderate or vigorous intensity.
Easy ways to increase your walking step count every day
The best walking routines allow you to walk along uninterrupted for extended periods of time. But any amount of walking you do can lead to benefits discussed above; if you’re having trouble carving out time daily for a walk, try peppering it into an otherwise busy routine.
These are simple ways to increase how much you walk naturally throughout the day:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk up the escalator instead of riding it.
- Schedule 10 minutes of walking in the morning, during the afternoon, and then again in the evening before bed.
- Deliberately get off at an earlier stop on public transport to incorporate more walking into your day.
- Park farther away from store, office and restaurant entrances instead of circling the lot for a closer spot.
- Ask a friend to join you for a walk-and-talk activity during a lunch break on nice days.
- Catch up with family or friends over the phone while walking outside as a way to keep company and entertained.
- Consider setting a timer to get up from your desk at work and taking a walk around your office a few times a day.
- Make plans in a nearby neighborhood and leave your car at home, if possible. Walking to and from activities is a great way to stay active.
- Shop in-person at grocery stores, perusing the aisles and carrying the groceries home by hand when possible.
Benefits of Walking
- Improved mood: Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in depressed moods.
- Burn calories and maintain a healthy weight: As you continue to walk, you may notice your pants begin to fit more loosely around your midsection, even if the number on the scale isn’t moving much. That’s because regular walking can help reduce fat and, as a result, improve your body’s response to insulin.
- Improve heart health: One of the major ways that walking can improve your heart health is by lowering your blood pressure. For every 1,000 daily steps you take, you should be able to lower your systolic blood pressure by .45 points. That means if you clock in 10,000 daily steps, your systolic blood pressure is likely to be 2.25 points lower than someone else who walks only 5,000 daily steps.
- Reduce your risk of chronic diseases: A 2022 study published in Nature Medicine has shown that walking can reduce your risk for a variety of chronic diseases. One study showed that walking 8,200 steps effectively reduced the risk of chronic conditions, including: obesity, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), major depressive disorder (MDD), diabetes, and hypertension. The same study also found that walking even more steps continues to increase benefits from walking for nearly every health condition studied.
- Reduce your stress: A 2018 study published in Health Promotion Perspectives showed that just 10 minutes of walking lowers anxiety and depression and increases focus and creativity. Plus, research shows that taking your stroll outside can make a huge difference, too. A 2022 study published in Molecular Psychiatry found that a 60-minute walk in nature decreases activity in brain regions involved in stress processing.
- Improve your sleep: If you work out regularly, you’ll sleep better at night. That’s because physical activity naturally boosts the effects of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
- Alleviate joint pain: A 2019 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine followed 1,564 adults older than 49 with lower-body joint pain. Participants who walked for an hour each week were more likely to remain disability-free four years later.
- Delay the onset of varicose veins: The venous system includes a circulatory section known as ‘the second heart,’ which is formed by muscles, veins, and valves located in our calf and foot. This system works to push blood back up to the heart and lungs – and walking strengthens this secondary circulatory system by strengthening and preserving leg muscle, which boosts healthy blood flow. If you already suffer from varicose veins, daily walking can help ease related swelling and restlessness in your legs.
- Stimulate your digestive system: A regular walking routine can greatly improve your bowel movement. One of the very first things an abdominal surgery patient is required to do is to walk because it utilizes core and abdominal muscles, encouraging movement in our GI system.
- Improve your immune system: Walking ramps up our immune system. It increases the number of immune cells that attack pathogens in our body, which lowers your risk of becoming seriously ill from infectious diseases. Not only that, if you do get sick, research has found that people who walk more spend less time in the hospital. It has even been found that those who walk regularly could reduce their risk of dying from pneumonia compared to those who don’t exercise regularly.
- Protect your bones: Walking works directly on the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine to slow density loss.
- Live longer: That’s right, walking can seriously help you add years to your life, and it doesn’t take much to see results. People who complete the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise in at least 10-minute spurts had a 31% lower risk of death. Research has also shown that the faster you walk, the more your risk drops. The longer life benefit is believed to come from the cardiorespiratory workout that walking provides.
Now for the rub – walking alone will not cause a fat belly to disappear simply because it is almost impossible for most people to out exercise a poor diet. No amount of exercise gives you the ability to continue to consume high calorie, low nutrition foods. If you follow our simple healthy nutrition plan, I can guarantee that you will lose weight and to also be able to keep it off. If not, I will refund all that you have paid us for this sound advice. But you have to follow the easy plan without cheating. Of course, you would never cheat since it only hurts yourself – right?
Once you’ve lost weight, exercise is even more important. It’s what helps keep the weight off. In fact, studies show that people who maintain their weight loss over the long term get regular physical activity.
So keep walking, but make sure you also eat a healthy diet.