Visceral fat is dangerous in high amounts. Stored away as internal belly fat, it raises a person’s risk of heart disease. But it can be removed by doing a certain activity for a number of minutes. What is it?
Researchers from Manipal Academy of Higher Education, in India, investigated the effects of aerobic exercise on visceral fat levels.
Published on Dovepress – open access to scientific and medical research – the research team measured visceral fat levels by echocardiography.
The ultrasound is said to be “a reliable indicator of visceral adipose tissue in the body and metabolic syndrome”.
The 12-week experiment had 170 overweight, and mildly obese, participants.
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Half were allocated a three-month exercise programme, while the other (control) group had no supervised exercise.
As well as the echocardiography, body fat percentage and visceral fat levels were measured by a bioelectric impedance analyser.
Blood tests were also used to measure lipids, fasting blood sugar (FBS) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP).
Results proved that aerobic exercise was effective in reducing visceral fat levels.
And there was a “significant improvement in body composition, blood lipids, FBS, Hs-CRP and exercise capacity in the intervention group compared to the control group”.
Aerobic exercise gets the heart pumping, such as brisk walking, and there’s a certain amount of time needed to enter the fat-burning zone.
The fat-burning zone is reached when the heart rate is 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.
According to Medical News Today, to calculate your maximum heart rate it’s 220bpm (beats per minute) minus your age.
In order to reach the fat-burning zone from a brisk walk, you’ll need to be at it for 45 minutes.
This is when the body dips into fat reserves and burns stored visceral fat.
You’ll be breathing heavier during the activity and most likely will be sweating.
Advantageous for your health, doing a brisk walk everyday will lead to a longer, healthier life.
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A brisk walk that goes on for longer than 45 minutes is even better for your health.
The additional minutes spent doing so will burn more stored fat.
It’s advisable to start off slowly, to prepare the body for what’s to come – this is known as the warmup.
During the warmup, your body will start to burn off excess sugars – instead of visceral fat.
But, once the brisk walk is in full swing, the body will be preparing to burn off visceral fat.
Done five times per week and you’ll have achieved the amount of exercise recommended to reduce health risks.
It’s also important to have the correct footwear when engaging in exercise.
Good athletic shoes are flat and flexible with great support and cushioning.
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