Stair steppers have pedals that move up and down with your feet placed firmly on top. Due to the gliding, low-impact action of this machine, your body absorbs very little shock during workouts. This makes the stepper a good option for joint preservation. Aside from this, steppers also raise your heart rate and cause you to burn calories, which plays a major role in belly fat reduction.
Spot Reducing Belly Fat
The idea that you can lose belly fat by doing crunches or some other ab exercise is false. Belly fat isn't the soft layer of fat over your abdominal muscles. It's the layer of fat behind those muscles and around your internal organs. To lose fat in one location, you must lose it throughout your entire body. Cardiovascular exercise, such as stair stepping, involves repetitive motion of the limbs. This, in turn, raises your heart rate and helps you lose the fat both over and behind your abdominal muscles and in the rest of your body.
Amount of Work
Stepping needs to be done on a regular schedule and for a long enough time frame for it to be effective at reducing your belly fat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 60 minutes of physical activity performed five days a week to lose weight. If you have your own stepper, or easy access to one, split your workouts into smaller bouts and accumulate your time if you have a busy schedule. This works just as effectively as long bouts.
Benefits of Interval Training
Working out at a steady pace on the stair stepper burns calories efficiently, but you can increase this effect by doing interval training. This exercise method involves alternating your intensity back and forth from high to low. Interval training also boosts your aerobic capacity which gives you the ability to work out longer without becoming as winded. As a rule of thumb, follow a 1-to-2 ratio of high to low effort. For example, perform a light warmup, then step at a high intensity for 20 seconds, and a low intensity for 40. Alternate back and forth like this through your entire workout.
Metabolism is the rate at which you burn calories for all the functions you go through during the course of a day. When you exercise, you receive a small boost in resting metabolism. This, in turn, causes you to burn more calories around the clock and you further shed fat in your belly. By doing interval training, you boost your metabolism even more.
Tips About Dieting
If you eat too many high-calorie foods every day, the calories you burn on the stepper will be canceled out. Cut back on your daily caloric intake to produce a deficit. Combine this with a solid workout routine and you will build a bigger deficit and burn stomach fat even faster. A daily reduction of 500 calories causes about 1 pound of weight loss a week. If you burned 700 calories with five stepper sessions a week, you will lose about 2 pounds a week. A 180-pound person burns about 500 calories stepping at a light intensity for 60 minutes.
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a myth?
- Rush University Medical Center: An Expert Opinion: Is There Really "One Trick" to Losing Belly Fat?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Calorielab: Calories burned for Stair Stepping