Belly fat looks bad, but that should be the least of your concerns. Because if you can’t control it, it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart diseasestroke, and even cancer

If you live in a tropical climate or lead a busy life, the conditions may be far from conducive to get you started. That’s why HealthBub recommends the following 15 exercises that you can easily perform every day to burn belly fat.

But before you begin, here’s what you need to about belly fat’s causes, and why it’s so dangerous.

Causes of Belly Fat

Belly fat is the result of living a sedentary lifestyle-such as sitting in one place for long periods, bad food habits, not exercising, or genetics. Other causes include slow metabolism, menopause, and stress. 

What Makes Belly Fat So Dangerous?

Belly fat (medically termed as visceral fat) poses many health risks, and that is why it is dangerous. 

According to the experts at Harvard Medical School, belly fat causes low-grade inflammation in the body. This leads to blood vessel constriction, a rise in blood pressure, and higher chances of insulin resistance.

The result: You will be more likely to suffer from: 

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Asthma

How to Measure Belly Fat

You can easily measure belly fat by:

  • Measuring the Circumference of Your Waist: Measure the circumference of your waist by standing upright. (Hint: Anything more than 35 inches is not good).
  • Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR): Measure the circumference of your waist and hip by standing upright. Then divide the circumference of the waist by the hip’s circumference. A healthy WHR for women is under 0.80 (and under 0.90 for men). A WHR of more than 0:86 not good.

If you’re already past (or nearing) the danger mark, you need to start exercising. And that includes working on your belly muscles.

Top 15 Exercises to Get A Flat Belly

Below are 15 exercises you can perform to lose your belly fat.

#1.  Brisk Walking

Steps

  1. Walk at your normal pace for one minute.
  2. Then walk briskly for 30 seconds.
  3. Walk at your normal pace again for one minute.
  4. Then walk briskly again for 30 seconds.

Recommended: 10-30 minutes (or more)

#2.  Crunches

Steps

  1. Lie down, and bend your knees by bringing your feet closer to your buttocks.
  2. Put your hands behind your head, keeping your thumbs behind your ears.
  3. Curl forward by lifting your head, neck, and shoulders above the ground, and hold for few seconds.
  4. Slowly return to your starting position.
  5. Repeat.
  6. Breath in when you curl up, and breathe out when you go down. 

Recommended: 12 reps x 3 sets

#3.  Sumo Squats

Steps

  1. Spread your feet wider than your shoulders by positioning them at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Do a 90-degree angle squat while raising your hands to meet under your chin.
  3. Come half-way up.
  4. Then go down again.

Recommended: 10 reps x 2 sets

#4.  Bicycle Crunches

Steps

  1. Lie down, and raise your feet while bending your knees.
  2. Place your hands behind your head, keeping your thumb behind each ear. Then raise your head above the floor.
  3. Extend your right leg forward, while curling up and twisting to your left. Try touching your right elbow with your left knee.
  4. Curl back to the starting position, while bringing your right leg back to the bent position.
  5. Repeat with the right leg.

Recommended: 10 reps x 2 sets

#5.  Half-Seated Reverse Crunches

Steps

  1. Sit down and bend your knees, while keeping your feet flat on the ground. Lean back, using your elbows to support your body. 
  2. Lift your feet above the floor, while bringing your knees as close to your nose as you can.
  3. Bring down your legs slowly to the step-1 position.

Recommended: 15 reps x 3 sets

#6.  Leg Raises

Steps

  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight and together, resting your palms on either side.
  2. Raise your legs to 90 degrees, and hold.
  3. Slowly bring your legs down.
  4. Repeat.

Recommended: 15 reps x 3 sets

#7.  Sit-ups

Steps

  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Bend your knees while placing your feet firmly on the ground.
  3. Place your hands behind your head.
  4. Curl your upper body up toward your knees, and exhale as you lift.
  5. Lower yourself down slowly while returning to your starting position. Inhale as you lower.

Recommended: 10 reps x 2 sets

#8.  Flutter Kicks

Steps

  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Place both your hands under your buttocks.
  3. Lift the left leg above the ground past hip height, and lift the right leg so it hovers a few inches above the floor. 
  4. Hold for 2 seconds. Then switch the leg position, making a flutter kick motion. 
  5. Repeat. 

Recommended: 20 reps x 2 sets

#9.  Plank

Steps

  1. Place your forearms on the ground, parallel to each other. And keep your elbows below your shoulders.
  2. Raise your body in a push-up like position, resting your weight on your toes and forearms.
  3. Stay in this position for 30-60 seconds.

Recommended: 30-60 second reps x 3 sets

#10. Jackknife Crunch

Steps

  1. Lie flat on your back, and stretch your hands straight back behind your head.
  2. Lift your hands toward your legs, and lift your legs toward your chest, while keeping your neck and back aligned. Try to hold your legs 35-45 degrees away from the floor.
  3. Lower your back and legs toward the ground, stopping just short of putting your feet and shoulder to the ground.
  4. Repeat.

Recommended: 15 crunches x 2 reps

#11.  Russian Twist

Steps

  1. Sit down and lift your legs while flexing your knees. Lean back slightly, while clasping your palms.
  2. Twist your torso to the right and then to the left.
  3. Repeat.

Recommended: 25 reps x 2 sets

#12.  Burpees

Steps

  1. Squat with your palms on the mat.
  2. Kick your feet back to a plank position, while keeping your arms extended.
  3. Take your feet back immediately to the squat position.
  4. Stand up briskly from the squat position.

Recommended: 10 reps x 3 sets

#13.  Toe Taps

Steps

  1. Lie down on your back. Then raise your legs, hands, head, and upper back above the floor, while engaging your core.
  2. Try touching your right foot with your left hand by curling up.
  3. Return to your starting position.
  4. Now try touching your left foot with your right hand by curling up.
  5. Repeat.

Recommended: 15 reps x 2 sets

#14. Crossbody Mountain Climbers

Steps

  1. Take a plank position. Place your elbows below your shoulders, and try to keep your hips, back, and neck aligned.
  2. Lift one foot up a little, and start bending your knee while pulling it up between the front of your body and the floor.
  3. Then move your leg back to the original position.
  4. Repeat with the other foot.

Recommended: 15 reps x 2 sets

#15. Leg In And Out

Steps

  1. Sit on a mat. Place your hands behind you, with the palms flat on the mat. Lift your legs off the floor and lean back a little. This is the starting position.
  2. Tuck both your legs in. Simultaneously, bring your upper body close to your knees.
  3. Go back to the starting position.

Recommended: 20 reps x 2 sets

Try out these exercises every day. Start small, and keep increasing incrementally – you’ll be surprised at the results!

Other Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

Eat Wisely

Reducing abdominal fat starts with eating the right food. That means:

  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet
  • Avoiding fast foods
  • Eating home food

Exercise

You don’t have to work out for hours or run many miles every day to lose belly fat. Recent studies have shown that short bursts of exercise are a great way to reduce stubborn belly fat.

Minimize Sodium

Salt (especially uncooked) causes water retention. Reducing your sodium intake can go a long way in helping you get back to shape fast.

Take More Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays an important role in the secretion of carnitine, which helps convert fat into energy. It also helps block a stress hormone called cortisol. One of the main reasons behind abdominal fat is a spike in cortisol levels.

Eat “Fat-Burning” Foods

Boost your metabolism by including these foods in your diet: onion, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, cabbage, tomato, cinnamon, and mustard.

Eat Healthy Fats

Get rid of your bad cholesterol by eating avocados, olives, coconuts, and nuts.

Sleep Well

Getting enough sleep is an integral part of your weight management program. Try to sleep for at least six to eight hours every day. Studies have shown that too little (or too much) sleep can lead to weight gain.