Treadmill intervals can help decrease belly fat.
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Both subcutaneous fat -- the fat found just beneath the skin -- and deeper visceral fat -- the fat located around the internal organs -- contribute to a large belly size. Abdominal fat is more than just unflattering; it can cause serious medical complications like high cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Fortunately, regular aerobic workouts on a treadmill can help bust through that belly fat -- especially if you add intervals into the mix.
Adding intervals to your treadmill routine helps burn more calories and fat -- including the fat around your midsection -- than a traditional running or walking workout. Intervals are also entertaining and help improve aerobic capacity, so you are able to work out for a longer period of time. Start your workout by warming up with a brisk walk at 3.5 mph for three minutes. Increase the speed to 4.5 mph and perform an easy jog for three minutes. Boost the speed to 5.5 mph and run at a natural pace for three minutes. Sprint for one minute at 6.5 mph or faster. Repeat the run and sprint sequence for a total of 30 minutes. Cool down by reducing the speed to 2.5 mph and walking for at least three minutes. For best results, keep your abdominal muscles tight and contracted throughout the workout.
Adjust the speed and length of intervals to match your current fitness level. For example, if you're a beginner you may only be able to add one or two sprints to your routine. Add other intervals to your workout such as holding the handles and performing butt kicks as you run, or lowering the speed to a walk and doing calf raises with each step. You can also jump off the treadmill every few minutes to perform squats, crunches or pushups.
Don't run too close to the treadmill console, which restricts your arm swing and lessens caloric burn. In addition, never run toward the back of the treadmill because this forces you to take smaller steps to prevent falling off. Instead, run toward the center of the treadmill where your arm swing feels natural. Only use the handrails for balance or when switching intervals. Relying too much on the handrails reduces your caloric burn and can overstrain your shoulders and elbows.
Keep the treadmill incline at 1 percent to help prevent injuries like shin splints. Always keep your gaze facing forward. Your feet typically follow the direction your eyes are pointing, so focus on something in front of you so you don't veer off in one direction. It's normal to feel dizzy or disoriented after your treadmill workout. It can take a few minutes for your body to understand that it has stopped moving. Hold onto the treadmill or lean against a wall after you get off to prevent falling.