The pesky gut: a target area for many people on their fitness journey. But did you know the complications of a rounder midsection go deeper than cosmetic? Fat around the midsection is linked to an increase risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even some types of cancers. While your initial motivation for an active lifestyle may be cosmetically driven, think of it more as the cherry on top of an exponentially important life change that will have a huge impact on your overall health. The physical changes you'll see are the markings of big changes happening in the way your body functions.



How do you lose belly fat? You can greatly decrease body fat and the risks it brings through diet and exercise. Surprisingly spot reducing abdominal exercises is not an effective way to lose abdominal fat. A 6 week study showed that these exercises had zero measurable effect on waist circumference. Instead cardiovascular exercises and weight training are the most effective ways to burn belly fat. This includes aerobic exercises like walking and running.



Walking is a great way to begin burning belly fat. The amount of calories burned while walking is dependent on your weight and the distance you walk. For example a 180-pound person burns about 100 calories per mile while a 120-pound person burns about 65 calories per mile. To lose weight you must consistently expend more calories than ingested, so combining a daily walk of at least 30 minutes a day and a healthy diet is a great way to decrease belly fat and your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.



While walking does burn enough calories to lose weight when paired with a healthy diet, studies have shown that running is even more effective for losing weight. Running is a more intense exercise. This means more energy is expended, more calories are burned and more weight loss occurs. The intensity of running may not be an option for many, either those just starting out or those unable to handle the impact of running on their feet and joints.

The bottom line: Walking is better than no exercise. It is a great option for those wanting to lose weight, but are not ready or physically able to handle the impact of running.

Get started on your daily walks today with the help of a treadmill. Or read our guide: Walking on a Treadmill for Beginners.