How to reduce visceral fat: Five simple exercises you can do at home to reduce belly fat

Fatty tissue is not created equally, and visceral fat, which lies deep within the belly, precariously close to internal organs, is particularly dangerous.

Due to its positioning, carrying an excess amount of it can encroach on vital bodily processes, increasing the risk of developing chronic complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

It is therefore imperative to keep visceral fat at bay and reduce it if you have it.


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Reducing visceral fat requires a multi-pronged approach, including eating a healthy diet full of fresh foods and limiting alcohol, added sugar and saturated fats.

According to Nicole Wright, personal trainer and nutrition coach, exercise forms another essential pillar.

As Nicole explains, health bodies are in agreement that engaging in aerobic exercise offers the best defence against visceral fat.

Aerobic exercise is the type of exercise that gets out heart beating faster and gets us breathing faster.  

If you are trying out exercise for the first time, however, it can seem daunting, but, according to Nicole, exercise can be simple and accessible.

You can do it anywhere and you don’t require any equipment to beat the harmful belly fat.

To that end, Nicole has recommended five exercises below that aim to raise your heart rate, helping to blast away that belly fat.

“Aim to do them at least three days a week. Start by doing 20 – 30 seconds of each exercise, rest for 10 – 20 and then move on to the next exercise,” says Nicole.

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She adds: “Keep going like this for five minutes initially if you can, gradually building up to 20 minutes. Ideally you would also go for a brisk walk for at least 20 minutes each day.”

Here are five exercises you can do at home:

Step ups

You can use your stairs, any step or a very sturdy low chair for this exercise. Start standing straight with your arms by your side. Step up with your right leg, then step up with your left leg. As you step up curl your forearms into you. Step down with your right leg and then your left leg, bringing your arms back down to your side.

To make it harder: hold a small handheld weight in each hand. Increase the height of the step.

Benefits: Lifting your body weight on to an elevated platform like this quickly increases your heart rate and starts burning those calories fast.


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Plie squat with opening arms

Stand straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Turn your feet out 20-30 degrees, not so much that it feels forced. Bring your arms straight above your head. Bend your knees, the same way your feet are pointing, going as far as feels comfortable. As you bend your knees open yours arms in an arc above you bringing them back down to your side. As you straighten back up, bring yours arms back above your head.

To make it harder: hold a small handheld weight in each hand.

Benefits: using both your upper and lower body at the same time in an exercise ensures that your whole body is working hard, especially when your arms are above your head. This makes for an extremely effective workout.


Stand straight with your feet about hip width apart. Bend your knees to about a 45-degree angle if you can, but even a slight bend is good. You are now going to move between this bended knee position and standing straight. As you move up and down you are going to move your arms forward to shoulder height and then back as far as they will go.

To make it harder: Speed up the exercise. Hold a small handheld weight in each hand.

Benefits: Like the above exercise, you are using your whole body. Move briskly and this aerobic action will help you significantly reduce visceral fat as part of your healthy routine.

Grape vine

Take a large step to the right. Then step your left foot across your right foot. Immediately step right again and follow with your left foot tapping against your right. Then do the same move to the left. We always want to try and get the arms involved, to get as much moving of us as possible, so open out your arms as you step to the right and close them as you bring the left foot across. However, don’t worry about being coordinated as long as you are moving.

To make it harder: Add in a small jump instead of the foot tap. Hold a 1kg weight in each hand.

Benefits: This exercise is getting your heart rate up and making you work hard thereby helping to reduce that visceral fat.

Core twist

Start by sitting on the floor, with your knees bent and just your heels resting on the ground. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight and as you lean back try pulling in your stomach muscles. You keep this position throughout the exercise. Clasp your hands in front of your chest and rotate your arms all the way over to one side and then straight over to the other side. Keep holding in those stomach muscles and don’t let your shoulders hunch forward.

To make it harder: you can do it with your feet lifted off the floor, or clasp a small weight in your hands.

Benefits: Unfortunately, we can’t spot target fat, so just doing lots of core exercises does not equate to a reduction in belly fat.

That said, this exercise is tough, and will get you breathing hard as you move from side to side. It will also help strengthen those stomach muscles.


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