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When performed regularly, cardiovascular exercise provides a wealth of health benefits. Workouts such as bike riding, swimming, dancing and walking on a treadmill all burn calories and shed pounds, prolong your life and improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs. People who count losing belly fat chief among their fitness goals get a good start when they incorporate treadmill walking into their lifestyle.
How Treadmill Walking Sheds Pounds
Although you can't spot-train certain areas for weight loss, you can burn fat all over your body by walking on a treadmill. As you walk, you raise your heart rate, which causes your body to burn calories for energy. If you burn more calories than you consume on a regular basis, you will lose body fat, including abdominal fat. A treadmill allows you to modify your exercise intensity; the harder you work, the more calories you'll burn and the faster you'll lose belly fat.
A major advantage of walking on the treadmill is the amount of control you have over your exercise intensity. According to the American Council on Exercise, interval training burns a higher percentage of abdominal fat than other types of exercise, and provides a host of additional benefits. To get the most out of your interval workout, warm up for five minutes by walking at a moderately brisk pace. Next, walk as fast as you can or maintain the same speed but increase the incline for one minute. Return to a moderately brisk pace for two minutes, and repeat the three-minute interval four more times. Over time, increase the amount of intervals you do until you can exercise for 30 minutes without interruption.
Maximizing Your Treadmill Walk
Although walking at a steady pace for regular, prolonged periods is a proven calorie-burner, ACE and the American College of Sports Medicine report that high-intensity interval training helps you lose belly fat faster. Because of the increased oxygen demands during the sprint intervals, your body continues to burn calories after your workout, increasing metabolism for up to 24 hours following an interval session, according to ACSM.
How Much Exercise You Need
To see results, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of 150 minutes per week of brisk walking for at least 10 minutes at a time on most days of the week. Exercising at a vigorous pace means you can decrease the amount of time you spend walking to 75 minutes; moderate-intensity means you are sweating lightly but can carry on a conversation, while vigorous-intensity exercise makes conversation nearly impossible. Finally, if you can increase your weekly moderate-intensity exercise time to 300 minutes or your vigorous-intensity exercise to 150 minutes, the CDC reports that the benefits of exercise, including belly fat loss, are even greater.