There are four keys to controlling belly fat: exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management.
Vigorous exercise trims fat, including visceral fat. It can also slow down the build-up of visceral fat that tends to happen over the years.
How much exercise does it take? Half an hour of vigorous aerobic exercise, done four times a week, a Duke University study shows.
What counts as “vigorous”? Jogging, if you’re already fit, or walking briskly at an incline on a treadmill, if you’re not yet ready for jogging. Vigorous workouts on stationary bikes and elliptical or rowing machines are also effective.
Moderate activity – raising your heart rate for 30 minutes at least three times per week – also helps. It slows down how much visceral fat you gain. But to torch visceral fat, your workouts may need to be more vigorous.
Rake leaves, walk, garden, go to Zumba, play soccer with your kids. It doesn’t have to be in the gym.
If you are not active now, it’s a good idea to check with your health care provider before starting a new fitness program. They’ll probably be thrilled that you want to get started, and will check that you’re ready for it.