(NaturalNews) Excess weight, especially around the midsection, is dangerous for your health. Belly fat increases your risk of stroke, heart attack and a muffin top. Thankfully, there is a better way to shed pounds than spending hours sweating over cardio equipment. Tabata cardio workouts are short, effective and can be done in the privacy of your own home. These four minute workouts won't specifically burn belly fat but then no form of exercise can target a body part for weight loss. Tabata cardio workouts do give benefits equal to that of longer cardio sessions in only four to eight minutes so you can lose weight fast. The best part is that you can adapt the Tabata protocol to almost any form of physical activity so you won't have to give up your favorite cardio, just modify the way you do it.
Tabata cardio workouts
Izumi Tabata discovered the miraculous Tabata method for getting in shape in record time. Tabata workouts were originally used to improve exercise performance. The Tabata routine increases endurance both for short bursts of energy, like sprinting, and longer activities like long-distance running. It also was found to improve fat burning, so you can use the training for athletic conditioning and to burn belly fat.
The original Tabata study involved male college students who played sports. The participants did a four minute Tabata workout on a stationary cycle. People have since adapted the routine to use other machines, free weights and body weight. Choose whichever method you want but stick to the same intervals that define the Tabata protocol.
How to do a Tabata workout
Tabata workouts are high-intensity interval training. This type of cardio involves changing from high-intensity periods to low to moderate-intensity intervals during a workout. What makes the Tabata routine so effective is the high-intensity periods followed by very short "recovery" intervals. To do a Tabata workout, exercise at a high-intensity for 20 seconds and then slow down, but don't stop, for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle eight times, which makes a four minute workout. You should perform a warmup and cool-down too.
If you love the gym, try this workout on a stationary bike or rowing machine. To exercise at home, try squats and pushups. Take Tabata outdoors and alternate between 20 seconds of sprints and 10 seconds of jogging. It really does not matter what you do as long as you get your intensity up really high during the 20 seconds of high-intensity training.
Tabata to burn belly fat
Anyone who tells you that you can burn belly fat by doing crunches or any other exercise is either lying or completely mistaken. Your body holds fat where you are genetically predisposed for fat storage. For some people, fat goes to the belly. Other people have thunder thighs or extra junk in their trunk. A big butt or full hips can look curvy and sexy, but a beer belly is a major health risk that you must address quickly. You must lose weight fast because the only way to ditch abdominal fat is to lose weight in general. Tabata workouts are great for weight loss because they are short enough to fit into your busy schedule, plus boost your metabolism so you burn calories during workouts and afterward.
One note of caution: high-intensity interval training is not for beginners. Ease into exercise with less intense training and then incorporate one or two Tabata cardio workouts into your routine each week. As long as you eat well too, you are guaranteed to lose weight fast and say goodbye to belly fat.
About the author: Sarka-Jonae Miller is a former personal trainer and massage therapist. She has a journalism degree from Syracuse University. Sarka-Jonae currently writes romantic comedy novels and romantic erotica under the same SJ Miller. Get more health and wellness tips from SJ's natural health Twitter feed or from SJ's Facebook page. SJ's books can be found on Amazon.