Is the StairMaster Good for Losing Belly Fat?

There's a reason why most people shy away from taking the stairs at work and why coaches across the country have their athletes sprinting up and down stadium steps. Climbing stairs is hard work for your heart and your muscles. The StairMaster, a pioneer brand in the stair stepper exercise machine industry, allows you to mimic the climbing motion without heading to the nearest stadium. While exercising with the StairMaster has plenty of health benefits, it can only help you reduce belly fat by reducing overall body fat.

The StairMaster can burn away calories. (Image: Joseph C. Justice Jr./iStock/Getty Images)

Myth of Spot Reduction

Doing squats or lunges will not burn leg fat. Doing 100 situps will not burn stomach fat. Targeting fat loss on a certain area of your body is impossible, and the StairMaster is no exception. While exercising on the machine can lead to fat loss, its health benefits are not specific to the belly. The only effective way to lose belly fat is to reduce your overall body fat through diet and exercise, and the StairMaster can be an effective part of your exercise plan.

StairMaster Benefits

Losing fat requires creating a caloric deficit with diet and exercise. When you eat fewer calories than you burn, your body turns to fat stores for energy, and when the caloric deficit grows to 3,500, you've lost a pound. A 30-minute session on the StairMaster burns an average of 223 calories, a good start in your quest for fat loss. The StairMaster helps build muscle in your legs, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even while at rest.

Using the StairMaster for Fat Loss

To achieve fat loss, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic activity most days of the week. The StairMaster could account for some or all of your aerobic exercise. Just because spot reduction on your belly is impossible doesn't mean you won't see results. Belly fat is often the first to respond to a healthy diet and regular exercise, such as stepping on the StairMaster.

A Word on Nutrition

The StairMaster and other aerobic exercises make up only half the fat loss equation. If you're burning 223 calories each day from 30 minutes on the StairMaster, you'll need to reduce your daily food intake by 277 calories to set a fat loss pace of a pound per week. If you're eating more calories than your body can burn, your hard work on the StairMaster won't do a thing to budge your belly fat.

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