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Studies have shown that adipose (fat) around the belly is the most dangerous type of fat to have. Although doctors aren’t exactly sure why, abdominal fat is related to certain types of diseases and health risks.  Did you notice some extra padding around your waist lately? If you answered yes, I’ll give you some simple exercises to lose belly fat and decrease your risk of heart disease.

Let’s Start With Cardio…

There’s no such think as “spot” weight loss. When you start to lose weight, it comes off everywhere. Partaking in some form of cardio will help you lose body fat all around. Which is great because to lose fat around your stomach, you have to lose it everywhere.

Based on genetics, we tend to accumulate fat in certain areas of our body. For instance, when I gain weight, I gain it around the middle first. My sister on the other hand, gains weight in her hips first.

If you’re one of those people who accumulates fat around the middle, you’ll want to decrease your body fat percentage through stomach exercises. Doing so will make you healthier and flatten your stomach.

No Such Thing as “Best” Cardio For Belly Fat

There’s no such thing as “best” cardio exercises to lose belly fat. The best cardio is the type that you’re able to sustain over the long haul. Try picking a few different cardio activities you enjoy like the eliptical, treadmill, stairmaster if you like the gym. Then try to participate in them at least 5 hours a week.

Do Some Gardening

If you like fixing things in your home, or if you’re into home improvement, do some lawn and gardening work. Do you have kids? Play with them at the park, or take them out for long walks down nature trails. How about Frisbee? That’s a great cardio exercise and it’s fun.

If you have a dog, take it to the dog park, take it for walks, or play Frisbee. Yes, Frisbee is great for kids and dogs. If you’re more into a social environment, participate in a group class of Yoga or Pilates at your local recreational center or your gym.

Do Core Strength Exercises

Having a tight, toned stomach is hard work. It requires more than sit ups and crunches. Do variations on sit ups as variations can help your waist shrink. For example, in place of the usual boring crunches, the American Council on Exercise recommends vertical leg crunches. These are performed lying on your back with your legs held at a 45 degree angle from the floor.

Doing leg lifts and crunches with an exercise ball builds your core strength. Since exercise balls require you to maintain your balance your core muscles are being worked. For muscle symmetry, be sure to work your back muscles as well.

Try Taking Up Yoga 

Yoga gets rid of stress and builds core strength. Yoga strengthens your abdominal muscles, which makes it a great simple exercise to lose belly fat.  Yoga is also beneficial in the weight loss process because it tones your midsection. Look for poses that are performed in the supine position, or seated and standing poses that require you to extend your legs and maintain balance.

Controlling Stress

Your body responds to stress (whether it’s due to mental, emotional or other kinds of issues) by kicking into preservation mode.  Your brain releases a hormone called cortisol – which tells your body to start storing fat (particularly around the waist). This response is a throwback to the days when our ancestors had to survive times of famine.

Yoga reduces the production of cortisol. Yoga includes breathing and stretching exercises that relieve muscle tension. Since Yoga places an emphasis on relaxed, flowing motions, it can be used to calm or slow down racing thoughts, reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure.

If you do decide to take up yoga, there’s a terrific online yoga course that’s gotten rave reviews.  It’s called Brilliant Yoga Weight Loss and Well Being Success System.

With a regular routine of cardio, core strengthening, and yoga, you’ll lose inches from your waist and enjoy better health and relaxation. what exercises have worked for you to lose belly fat?