-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Aerobic exercise is better
than resistance training if you want to lose the belly fat that
poses a serious threat to your health, researchers say.
That's the finding of their eight-month study that compared the
effectiveness of aerobic exercise (such as jogging), resistance
training (such as weight lifting), or a combination of the two
activities in 196 overweight, sedentary adults aged 18 to 70.
The participants in the aerobic group did the equivalent of 12
miles of jogging per week at 80 percent maximum heart rate, while
those in the resistance group did three sets of eight to 12
repetitions three times per week.
The Duke University Medical Center researchers looked at how
these types of exercise reduced the fat that's deep within the
abdomen and fills the spaces between internal organs. This type of
fat -- called visceral and liver fat -- is associated with
increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of
Aerobic exercise significantly reduced visceral and liver fat
and improved risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, such as
insulin resistance, liver enzymes and triglyceride levels.
Resistance training didn't deliver these benefits. Aerobic exercise
plus resistance training achieved results similar to aerobic
exercise alone, the investigators found.
"Resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass," lead author and exercise physiologist Cris Slentz said in a Duke news release. "But if you are overweight, which two-thirds of the population is, and you want to lose belly fat, aerobic exercise is the better choice because it burns more calories."
Aerobic exercise burned 67 percent more calories than resistance
training, the researchers found.
The study was published in the Aug. 25 issue of the
American Journal of Physiology.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases explains how to achieve
weight loss for life.
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