Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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Visceral fat is not always as clear to the eye as a build-up of subcutaneous fat, which is stored under the skin. Instead, visceral fat is referred to as a “hidden fat” because it is stored in the abdominal cavity, often surrounding many vital organs.
However, according to Rachel Penrose, a Trainer who works at the Paddington F45 studio, targeting visceral fat is not too dissimilar to getting rid of subcutaneous fat build-up.
She told Express.co.uk: “Whether you are needing to reduce visceral or subcutaneous fat, the same steps apply.
“Exercise, monitor your diet, and make smart lifestyle changes to decrease your daily calorie intake.”
Though no one type of exercise can spot reduce fat, “visceral fat is very receptive to exercise” in all of its forms.
If you’re just getting started with a fitness regime, focus on a minimum of 30 minutes a day.
Rahel said: “Look at doing both cardio and strength training, aiming for at least 30 minutes a day, and reassess your daily lifestyle choices. Walk where possible, take the stairs, ride a bike instead of driving or getting public transport.
“Every little bit counts and adds up and before you know it, these extra bits of movement throughout your day will become the norm.”
Her advice is backed up by doctors too, with the NHS recommending “at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week, spread evenly over four to five days a week”.
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Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Sarah Johnston, clinical nutritionist and health coach for Liva Healthcare, recommended exercises “that elevate your heart rate”, such as “running, biking, rowing, swimming”.
Even 30-minute bursts of activity a day could put you well on your way to fitness.
Sarah said: “If you are currently inactive, brisk walking a few days a week is a great way to get started with a cardio-based exercise, or going through bodyweight movements such as squats and push-ups for a strength workout.”
For those who are eager for a challenge though, high-intensity workouts have been proven to benefit full-body fat burning.
Sarah explained: “Evidence shows the higher the intensity of the workout, the more effective it is at burning fat and HIIT sessions are a great example of this.
“As your body uses fat to fuel exercise, it’ll start using up your visceral stores.”
F45 is just one form of HIIT workout, describing itself as “innovative, high-intensity group workouts that are fast, fun, and results-driven”.
F45 trainer Ms Penrose said: “HIIT workouts such as F45, have become increasingly popular over the last few years for many reasons.
“There is a variety within the movement, working your cardiovascular endurance as well as strength through weight training, qualified professionals are there to help, progress and regress any movements performed, and short explosive sets performed in HIIT training raises your heart rate quickly, depleting your body oxygen levels so your body is forced to work harder to restore it.
“You are able to get an effective workout in a shorter amount of time, and calories continue to be burnt after you finish training.”
And classes which provide a group training environment can be an ideal place for people wanting to dip their toes in the world of fast-paced exercise but fear they lack the motivation.
She said: “I would recommend, especially if working out is new to you, to sign up to a gym, or even better, a group training venue.
“Therefore, you have external motivation, professionals to make sure you are performing moves correctly, and by booking in and committing to classes, it is much easier to create a routine to stick to.”
According to Liva’s health coach, the more committed you are to a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regime, the faster visceral fat will melt away.
Sarah said: “The good news is that visceral fat is the first to go in weight loss, so efforts to stay a healthy weight can make a difference quickly. “Going beyond weight tracking, by tracking your waist and hip measurements can help see how your body changes over time.”
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