Run down that belly fat

Regular exercise is probably the deadliest enemy to any protruding belly. Once you start sweating, the calories start burning, and the belly retreats. And if there´s any exercise that really does the job—and does it fast–it´s got to be running.

But if you haven´t been exercising regularly for a while, consider this. "Running is a progression," says Stu Mittleman, director of the Fitness Evaluation Center in New York City and world–record holder for the 1,OOO–mile run. "Most people who have been sedentary for a long time and are just starting an exercise program shouldn´t be running. They should start off walking until they´re in reasonably good shape–and then run.

The big difference between running and walking is the intensity of the work you´re doing. And the important thing in exercise is to regulate that work so it fits with your target heart rate zone. For some people particularly those who are overweight, sedentary or otherwise out–of–shape–that means walking. As soon as one in three people start to run, they´ve already exceeded their target zone–and you get the benefits of aerobic exercise by working within your target zone". (We´ll help you determine your target zone later).

Read Tom Venuto Fat Burning Secrets of the World´s Best Bodybuilders and Fitness Models. Tom is an NSCA–certified strength and conditioning specialist, lifetime natural bodybuilder. After reading is book I was able to reduce my body fat percentage from 34% to 16% in only 10 weeks and I now maintain a 10%–11% body fat percentage year–round. Joe A  Start losing fat now

Getting the Right Shoes

One of the most important aspects of a beginner´s running program is getting the right shoe and the right fit according to Joe Ellis, D.P.M., a podiatrist in private practice, consultant for the University of California, San Diego, and a biomechanical design consultant for Asics, a leading running shoe manufacturer. A good pair of running shoes will cost between $100 and $150 and should be replaced after about 500 to 750 miles, he says.

"The first thing you need to know is your foot type, and basically, types are divided into flat feet, high–arched feet, and normal feet", says Dr. Ellis. "To determine your foot type, wet the bottom of your foot and stand on a piece of paper. Then look at the arch: Is it high and well defined or low and flat?"

Those with high–arched feet need shoes that provide a lot of cushioning to control the "shock" of running. Meanwhile, those with feet on the flatter side need "motion control" shoes that provide stability, says Dr. Ellis. "The best way to tell whether a shoe has what you need is to pull out the sock liner (the removable innersole, usually bearing the manufacturer´s name) and look at how the shoe is stitched. If you can see the stitching that runs lengthwise down the center of the shoe, then that shoe has a lot of cushioning but will likely offer little or no stability–so it´s better for high–arched people".

If there is a board over the stitching, it doesn´t have as much cushioning, but it provides stability–so it´s better for those with flat feet." A tip: Heavier runners typically have flatter feet, so they´re wiser buying "motion control" or "stable" shoes. (Keep in mind that all good running shoes provide adequate cushioning, so it´s not as though you´re "trading" one for the other.) When checking for proper fit, keep in mind that running shoes should be bigger than other shoes. You should be able to wiggle your toes slightly. That´s because when you run, as your foot hits the ground, your toes spread out and slide forward", says ultra–marathon man Mittleman. Most people are wrong to buy shoes that fit like a glove. If your shoes fit that snugly, your feet won´t be able to absorb the shock of running, and it´ll be distributed back up to other parts of your body.

Adds Dr. Ellis: The general rule is you should have 1/2 inch of space between the end of your longest toe and the shoe–and I want to emphasize longest toe because in 30 to 40 percent of the population, the second toe is the longest, not the big toe. That´s about an index finger´s worth. But don´t just assume you can buy a running shoe a half size larger than your regular shoe. Since many running shoes are made overseas, "size, as we know it, is thrown out the window", says Dr. Ellis. Some manufacturers make their shoes bigger, some make them smaller. You really don´t know unless you try them on.

And when you do, make sure you stand up with both shoes on, since your feet spread slightly while you´re standing. Some people even suggest you shop for shoes in the afternoon, or after an intense workout, when your feet are more likely to swell.

You shouldn´t, however, be able to wiggle the back of your foot. "One of the most important tests in proper fit is for the shoe to fit firmly around your heel", says Dr. Ellis. "If the back of your foot is slipping, don´t buy the shoe. And by all means, don´t assume you´ll 'break in' the shoe. If it doesn´t feel right in the store, it won´t feel right when you´re running."

Start Like the Tortoise

I´d say the biggest mistake beginning runners make is they get hung up on how fast they´re going and how far they´re going. They try too much too soon, says Budd Coates, a corporate fitness director and nationally ranked marathoner who competed in the Goodwill Games and Olympic trials. Instead of worrying about times and distance, you should mix walking with running for 30 minutes–run until you get slightly tired and then walk until you feel like running again–and work up until you can run comfortably for 30 minutes straight;.

Once you get to the point of being able to run for a continuous half hour, you´re already doing at least 2 miles, probably 3 to 3112. If you want to cover more distance, great; but remember, slow and steady wins when it comes to staying injury–free.

The best way not to get an overuse injury is to increase your mileage no more than 10 percent a week, says Jennifer Stone, head athletic trainer at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. You´ll find that whatever distance you´re running, the going is easier when you let your arms take some of the work from your legs. "A big mistake a lot of people make is not swinging their arms; they just hold them at their sides", says Coates, who is an exercise physiologist. The reason you should use your arms is because arms and feet work together, like a pendulum. If you´re moving your arms correctly, you´re probably moving your feet correctly, too.

Avoiding Injury

Even if you follow all the rules, you may encounter some overuse injuries somewhere along the road–especially if you´re new at running

The most common injury for beginning runners is shin splints, pain in the front of the legs between the knees and ankles, says Dr. Ellis. "It usually results from wearing a too–stable running shoe, so one answer is to get different shoes, with more cushioning", he says. To prevent shin

splints, he suggests a little walking–on your heels. "Walk on your heels with your toes held upward off the ground", he explains. "I suggest taking 50 steps, with toes up and outward like a duck, and with toes up and inward after running".

More seasoned runners frequently get plantar fasciitis, in which the tough tissue between the heel and the base of the toes tears. ''This is marked by pain in the arch, or a pain in the heel that feels like a stone or bone bruise", adds Dr Ellis. His Rx: more support in your shoes. In the meantime, you can apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes to help relieve the pain.

A good way to avoid these and other common running injuries including cramps, side stitches, and muscle strains–is to stretch after running. A common misconception is that you should stretch before a run. Warm–ups are for getting the muscles ready to run. You stretch to make the muscles longer, and that´s done best when they´re full of blood–after a workout.

Run by the Numbers

Don´t assume that all you need to start a new running program is a good set of legs, a good pair of shoes and a good dose of determination. You´ll also need a pencil and paper to do some math.

Here´s a formula, from Mittleman and his colleague Philip Maffetone, D.C., to help you determine whether you´re in good enough shape to start a running program. It´s based on the target heart rate formula that aerobic dancers use, but it will give a more precise target heart rate for activities such as running, walking and bicycling. First subtract your age from 180 (example: If you´re 55, 180–55 = 125). Then do one of the following things:

  • If you´re taking any kind of medication, have never exercised or are recovering from an illness, subtract 10 from that number.
  • If you have exercised but are constantly getting hurt with one injury after another, subtract 5. If you´ve been exercising but your fitness level hasn´t greatly increased, don´t subtract anything.
  • If you´ve been in a regular exercise program for more than two years and are making good progress, add 5.

"Your final number is the top point of a lO–beat range that is your target zone", says Mittleman. "You should be in that target zone at the end of about 10 minutes of exercise, whether you´re doing a warm–up of walking or slow, easy running". Mittleman suggests a 7 – to 12–;minute warm–;up of walking to get the heart rate going at a steady and easy pace .

That means our sedentary 55–;year–;old starting a new exercise program has a target zone of 105 to 115 beats per minute–and shouldn´t be in that zone until the end of his warm–up, or before about 10 minutes of serious exercise if no warm–up is done.

If that zone is reached sooner during a run, you´re better off walking, or doing a run–walk combination. This formula is especially designed for beginning runners not used to high–intensity workouts. It helps determine how fast you get to your target heart rate.

NOTE: If you´re over 40 and you haven´t been exercising regularly, you should get your physician´s okay before beginning a running program.

Read Tom Venuto Fat Burning Secrets of the World´s Best Bodybuilders and Fitness Models. Tom is an NSCA–certified strength and conditioning specialist, lifetime natural bodybuilder. After reading is book I was able to reduce my body fat percentage from 34% to 16% in only 10 weeks and I now maintain a 10%–11% body fat percentage year–round. Joe A  Start losing fat now

Resistance training will increase muscle mass help you lose belly fat. NOTE: Muscle is an active tissue. It´s about 25 times more metabolically active than fat which which burns more fat while idle.


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