Working in an office of mostly women (sans our doctors) we get into some interesting conversations. This afternoon, one of my staff members ducked her head in my office and asked “Hey, Boss Lady!” (as she grabbed her mid-section), How do you get rid of this?”
After we had a good laugh at her expense, we discussed belly fat, particularly in women of a certain age, being the culprit. As women age and hormones change, fat concentration around the midsection is common. Doctors will tell you, however, that excess belly fat is a big health concern. Deep visceral fat around the abdominal organs puts us at higher risk for heart disease, cancers and even dementia. Besides all the health risks, it makes it pretty hard to zip up your favorite jeans or want to strut your stuff on the beach. While what we eat is the key, there are also exercises that can help burn off some of that jelly belly.
Here are some of the top belly fat burning exercises. Hop online and check out YouTube to see the proper way to do each movement:
— Burpees: While most of my CrossFit friends dread a workout with Burpees, it is one of my favorite exercises. Burpees work your core as well as your chest, shoulders and arms. Burpees burn calories and also can be done just about anywhere.
— Mountain Climbers: Now we move from one I love to one I loathe — the dreaded mountain climbers. Mountain climbers combine holding a plank as well as working your legs and, like the burpees, can be done anywhere.
— Turkish Get Up: This one is a 200-year-old total body exercise that combines weight lifting, balance and coordination. I just finally mastered these this year! A Turkish Get Up works just about all muscle groups at once. Make sure you use a super light dumb bell or kettle bell.
— Medicine Ball Slams: A medicine ball is an average-size ball filled with sand at varying weights. By “slamming” the ball into the floor repeatedly, you work your core, back, arms and legs. You can slam them from either the overhead position or the side to work different core muscles. You can get a slam ball at a sporting goods store or even Walmart for around $15 to $20, depending on the weight.
— Planks: Plank workouts are all the rage because they are easy to do, take little time and no equipment. Planks target all the core muscles.
These are just a few ideas to get you working on that belly fat. Work these into your routine daily, first thing in the morning before you head to work is best. In addition, eating a healthy low-fat diet and getting in your cardio running, walking, cycling or rowing will give you the most benefit. Don’t forget to check with your physician before starting a new fitness program.
Kathy Hansen has more than 30 years of experience in the health and fitness field. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]