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Jan 12

One 5-Minute Workout Can Melt Belly Fat, Says Study – Eat This, Not That

If you're stuck insidewhether it's because of nasty weather or, you know, a pandemicthere's no reason you can't get in a quick exercise session that yields significant results. And one small Korean study suggests all it takes to lose weight and belly fat is just five minutes of this exercise routine twice a day. What is this miracle workout?

Stair climbing.

In the study reported in The Korean Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers asked four sedentary overweight people to do stair-climbing intervals in their offices or apartments for five minutes without rest twice a day. The participants did this interval workout without supervision, and they were allowed to take their time during the going back down interval following each climb up. (Related: 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply.)

After three weeks, measurements showed that the exercisers lost an average of 7.3 pounds of body weight and 5.5 pounds of body fat. While this Korean experiment was very small, other research suggests that brief bouts, or "exercise snacks," of vigorous stair climbing are effective in improving fitness levels and leg strength.

Here's one way to do it as described in our book The 14-Day No Sugar Diet:

Go to a staircase at home, the stairwell at your workplace, or the bleachers of a local athletic stadium. Walk up the stairs quickly but in control and walk down at a moderate pace. Repeat for 5 minutes without resting. Staircases have roughly a 65% grade, which will make walking up and down them harder on your legs and lungs than walking on flat ground. After five minutes, rest, then repeat the exercise for another 5 minutes; to increase the resistance and cardiovascular effort, this time take every other step on the way up. Be sure to warm up before exercising and cool down after.

Add interval training to your longer flat-ground walks, too, to lose belly fat. Using the speed-up/slow-down interval method (think city driving versus highway driving) will help you burn more calories than steady-pace walking will in a shorter period of time. Here's The 14-Day No Sugar Diet flat-ground walking interval plan; it'll take you about 30 minutes:

Related:30 Tips When You're Walking for Weight Loss

Another benefit of high-intensity interval exercising is that it may help insulin do its job better. In a Scandinavian study, people with type 2 diabetes did either a moderately intense exercise program or a HIIT plan. After just six sessions over 14 days, the interval training group improved insulin sensitivity much more than the lower-intensity exercise group did. In fact, the HIIT exercisers showed a return to normal glucose metabolism after just 2 weeks, suggesting that HIIT training may actually work as effectively as diabetes medication.

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One 5-Minute Workout Can Melt Belly Fat, Says Study - Eat This, Not That

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