There's no doubt that any amount exercise is good for you, but the more you do, the more ab fat you can get rid of. In one study, researchers measured abdominal fat in people involved in different amounts of exercise. The group who worked out the most (about 200 minutes a week) and at the highest intensity (80 to 95% of max heart rate) lost the most abdominal fat.
The news that you have to workout longer and harder to get rid of belly fat probably isn't the best news you've gotten recently, particularly since many of us struggle to get even the minimum amount of exercise suggested, something around 30 minutes of moderate activity a day. In addition, not all of us are equipped, either physically or mentally, for high intensity, often high impact exercise.
So, what do you do if you want to reduce your belly fat, but you're not ready to sign up for hours of intense exercise? Start where you are and build from there. No one starts out doing high intensity exercise. It takes time to build the strength, conditioning and endurance. Start with what you can handle and build from there.
How to Build Your Exercise Time and Intensity
- Add time to your workouts -- If you're a beginner, focus on the length of your workouts. Work at a moderate pace and increase workout time every week by 5 to 10 minutes until you can workout continuously for 30 minutes. You might start with something like this Beginner Cardio Workout or, for more guidance, this 4 Week Jumpstart Workout Program
- Increase intensity -- Add short bursts of speed or resistance to your workouts or practice going faster than you normally do. Try this Beginner Interval Workout 2 for an idea of how this works.
- Increase your frequency -- Add a day of cardio after you've been exercising for about 2 to 3 weeks.
- Split your workouts -- Don't forget, you can split your workouts while getting the same benefits as a continuous workout.