I recently participated in ACE’s new Group Exercise Leadership Specialty certification and felt like they offered a definitive answer to your very question! The best exercise to reduce “belly fat” (to be specific to your question), is ANYTHING you are willing to do a.) most safely b.) most intensely c.) for the longest duration, and most importantly (at least in my book), d.) with the most enjoyment so that you will want to stick with it for the long haul. I think that prescription along with a balanced and healthful eating approach–and all the great advice offered above–is a great start.
Our bodies aren’t designed to remove body fat from specific areas. Excess belly fat will be reduced as you work to reduce your overall body fat and increase your lean tissue. This will be accomplished through a combination of aerobic exercise (appropriate to your current fitness level), and resistance training. Diet of course is also important, but since your question is asking about exercise, I am limiting my response to that.
I hope that this helps.
ultimately, any form of aerobic activity that you enjoy and will engage in on an almost daily basis. Interval training within that activity is enjoyable and modifies the intensity, thus enabling you to expend more energy overall.
I also recommend that you add some resistance training with the goal to build more muscle which – in turn – will help you maintaining aerobic activity for longer periods of time and will create tissue that stays metabolically active when you are at rest, thus increasing your basic metabolic rate.
One last word: while you may want to target body fat in the abdominal region there is no exercise that will reduce the fat in that exact spot. You will have to leave it up to your body to determine where it will go to get the resources for the aerobic activity. But as long as you expend more energy than you consume, the fat will gradually disappear from the desired region as well.
I wish you good luck.