People who want to get rid of belly fat often figure the more time they spend exercising, the better.
After all, long workouts burn more fat than short ones, right?
According to new research, less is actually more when it comes to getting rid of fat.
The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Researchers analyzed data from 36 studies with more than 1,000 participants.
The scientists examined two different types of workout programs. Subjects did moderate continuous workouts consisting of jogging, cycling or walking. Or they did high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
In HIIT, you alternate brief periods of exercising at or near your highest level of exertion with brief periods of rest.
The moderate workouts took about 40 minutes on average. The HIIT training programs lasted 18 to 28 minutes.
The scientists found that subjects who did moderate exercise lost, on average, 2.5 pounds of body fat over a month. People who followed HIIT lost an average of 3.5 pounds of fat.
Dr. Paulo Gentil was the senior study author. He observed that “losing weight is not only about how many calories you burn during exercise.” It’s also about what your body does after the workout is over.
And the study shows that HIIT causes your body to burn fat even when you’re not exercising.
HIIT: Shorter Workouts, Bigger Fat Loss
HIIT is adaptable to many activities. You can run, cycle, swim, do calisthenics, or use a rowing, stair climber, or elliptical machine.
Warm up for three to five minutes doing your chosen form of exercise slowly.
Then do the exercise at the highest intensity you can for the next minute.
Slow down for a minute or two to catch your breath. Then go hard again for another minute.
Repeat this process five to seven times. Afterward, do the activity slowly for at least two minutes to cool down.
The idea is to push your body for a brief burst, and then allow it to recover. HIIT allows you stay in great shape even when you don’t have time for a long workout.
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