Does Running Burn Belly Fat?


Does Running Burn Belly Fat?

Apr 6, 2013 //

There are various benefits of running. Running can help you tone your body, elevate your mood, lead to better cholesterol levels, boost your immune system, prevent diseases and help you lose weight. These are a few benefits among many others that running has under its belt. However, the question is, does running burn belly fat?

Many sources such as the Harvard Medical School and the American Council on Exercise have conducted extensive research on whether running burns belly fat or not and have concluded that yes, indeed it does. Many studies conducted by the two have revealed that running does in fact burn calories. However, what needs to be assessed is how effective running really is when it comes to burning belly fat!

Belly Fat Composition

Belly fat is composed of two kinds of fats:

  • Subcutaneous fat and
  • Adipose fat

Subcutaneous fat can be found behind the abdominal cavity and adipose fat lies directly under the abdominal skin. The two kinds of fats come under the broader category of visceral (belly) fats and their distribution in the abdomen depends on heredity. Belly fat can become particularly problematic for women undergoing menopause. During menopause, the fat begins to accumulate around the waistline rather than the hips and thighs, as lean muscle mass decreases.

Does Running Burn Belly Fat?

Belly fat loss is integral for those who are aiming at trimming their waistlines. But, does running burn belly fat? According to a report published by the Harvard Medical School, visceral fat releases a hormone which can put an individual at risk for cardiovascular diseases, chronic inflammation and decreased resistance. To get rid of something you must identify its root cause and work towards eliminating it. Hence, one of the most effective ways to get rid of belly fat is by practicing cardiovascular exercises.

According to the American Council on Exercise, 60 minutes of moderate to rigorous cardiovascular exercise most days of the week is the best way to lose belly fat. Cardiovascular exercises are those which get your heart pumping, for example running, swimming, cycling, kick-boxing and jogging.. According to the American Council on Exercise, running at low intensity for 30 minutes can help you burn 200 calories, with 120 coming from fat burn, and high intensity runs can help you burn 400 calories, with 140 coming from fat burn.

So, it can be concluded that running burns belly fat! However, while anything and everything is attainable, it does take time. Try and take it slow, one day at a time and refrain from hurrying the process of losing belly fat. Run at a pace which you are comfortable with but make sure you do spend 30 minutes running most days of the week for effective results. In addition, combining running with a healthy, low calorie diet will help you achieve results sooner!


While running burns belly fat and is an effective tool to keep the body toned, it may not be suitable for everyone. According to the American Council on Exercise, running may not be an ideal option for those who have a family history of heart diseases, smoke or have recently quit, have high cholesterol, blood pressure or pre-diabetes. All such individuals and men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 55 should consult a doctor before they start running. If you are being constrained by any of these factors, then you can always run or exercise at low intensity. However, you may have to increase the duration of your physical activity. Do not let the added duration stop you from aiming at being healthy or at losing belly fat, because the results will be worth the extra time spent!

So if you are looking to lose belly fat, then running may be your call for action!

George Ponting

George Ponting remains up-to-date with General Fitness! From a young age, he has been extremely keen on and passionate about learning about the best ways to remain fit. George is full of tips, advice and suggestions in the field of fitness! Stay tuned to our General Fitness Section to receive the hottest Fitness information

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