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The Best Sports That Burn Belly Fat

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
The Best Sports That Burn Belly Fat
man and woman holding tennis rackets Photo Credit: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Playing sports provides a venue for you to not only satisfy your thirst for competition, but also improve the health of your body and mind. If you've packed on the pounds over the years and are dismayed at the appearance of your bulging belly, sports can help you burn off this fat and restore a slim midsection. Although sports can't solely burn belly fat, breaking a sweat several times a week will help you create a slim, new physique.

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Understanding Spot Reduction

Two men talking after playing basketball
Two men talking after playing basketball Photo Credit: Jon Feingersh/Blend Images/Getty Images

You might turn to sports as a method of bidding farewell to your bulging belly, but understanding the workout myth of spot reduction before you get started can help you avoid disappointment. It's not possible to target a desired fatty area of your body for burning. If you exercise regularly and make healthy changes to your diet, you can put your body in a caloric deficit. Once in this deficit, you'll experience fat loss from a number of areas from head to toe, including your belly.

Burning Calories Together

Close up of handball player about to throw ball
Close up of handball player about to throw ball Photo Credit: imagean/iStock/Getty Images

If you enjoy being active with a group, team sports are an effective way to burn calories to reduce the fat from your belly and elsewhere in your body. The best sports for burning fat are those that burn calories the fastest. Such team sports, notes the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, include beach volleyball, basketball, flag football, handball, hockey, rugby and singles tennis. Of these sports, handball burns calories the fastest. A 190-pound person can burn as many as 1,035 calories in an hour of handball.

When You Favor Solo Workouts

Senior man paddling canoe
Senior man paddling canoe Photo Credit: Ben Blankenburg/iStock/Getty Images

Team sports aren't for everyone, and whether you enjoy playing a sport alone or with a partner, you've got several options that burn calories quickly. Canoeing, boxing, martial arts such as karate and judo, cross-country skiing and squash are among the top calorie-burning solo sports. Boxing and canoeing at a pace faster than 6 mph can help a 190-pound person burn 1,035 calories per hour. When choosing a sport, consider the length of time you can perform it. Golf, for example, has a low calorie burn, but if it takes you four hours to complete a round, this sport can result in more calories burned than an hour of boxing or canoeing.

Know the Risks of Belly Fat

Senior couple exercising with football in park
Senior couple exercising with football in park Photo Credit: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Too much belly fat can negatively affect your self-confidence, but the real threat to your health sits beyond what your eye can see. Excess deposits of visceral fat, which is the name of the fat located deep inside your abdomen, around your organs, can lead to numerous health complications. Harvard Health Publications reports that excessive visceral fat can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder issues and even cancer.

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